Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Accutane

(Isotretinoin)

  • Pill
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Treats severe acne and facial redness.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Accutane (Isotretinoin) may be the last hope if you have severe, resistant, nodular acne. Talk to your doctor about the risk of birth defects, serious side effects, access restrictions and required patient contract to make sure it's right for you.

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  • Works for people with severe (nodular) acne that hasn't responded to anything else including oral antibiotics.
  • Has a lot of very serious side effects, so think about weighing risks and benefits, and talk to your doctor.
  • Accutane is restricted to specific doctors and pharmacies through the iPledge program.
  • Make sure you're not pregnant before starting Accutane. It can cause serious birth defects.
  • Can raise the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior that can continue after you stop it.

Save on your next Accutane (Isotretinoin) prescription

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Side effects for Accutane (Isotretinoin)

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Abnormal menses
  • Abnormal wound healing
  • Abnormally fast heart beat
  • Acne fulminans
  • Agranulocytosis
  • Agression
  • Allergic reactions
  • Alterations in blood sugar levels
  • Bleeding and inflammation of the gums
  • Blood vessel inflammation
  • Bronchospasms
  • Calcification of tendons and ligaments
  • Clouded eye lens
  • Color vision disorder
  • Conjuctivitis
  • Corneal opacities
  • Decreased night vision
  • Decreases in bone mineral density
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry lips
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry nose
  • Dry skin
  • Emotional instability
  • Eruptive xanthomas
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Esophagitis/esophageal ulceration
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Eyelid inflammation
  • Fainting
  • Feeling unwell
  • Flushing
  • Fragility of skin
  • Hair abnormalities
  • Hair loss or baldness
  • Headache
  • Hearing impairment
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation
  • High blood triglycerides
  • Hives
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Ileitis
  • Infections
  • Inflamed cover of eyeball
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Itching
  • Large intestine inflammation
  • Letharty
  • Light sensitivity
  • Liver inflammation
  • Loss of contact with reality
  • Low mood disorder
  • Low red blood cells
  • Low white blood cells
  • Miscellaneous gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Musculoskeletal symptoms
  • Nail dystrophy
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • No blood donation
  • Non-specific urogenital findings
  • Nosebleed
  • Optic neuritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Paronychia
  • Peeling of palms and soles
  • Photoallergic reactions
  • Premature epiphyseal closure
  • Pseudotumor cerebri
  • Pyogenic granuloma
  • Rash
  • Respiratory infection
  • Seizures
  • Skeletal hyperostosis
  • Skin or nail darkening
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Stevens-johnson syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Suicidal attempts
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Sunburn susceptibility increased
  • Sweating
  • Teratogenicity
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Tingling sensation
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Type of kidney disease
  • Vascular thrombotic disease
  • Violent behaviors
  • Visual disturbances
  • Voice alteration
  • Weakness

What to expect when you take Accutane (Isotretinoin) for Acne

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take by mouth twice a day.
  • Don't suck on or chew the capsule because it can hurt your throat.
  • Absorption differs greatly depending on whether it's taken with food and what type food (high fat food or meals increase its absorption into the body).
  • Women need to be on two separate types of birth control and start one month before taking Accutane.
  • Not a good choice if you have family history of depression, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, eating disorder, bone loss, asthma or food/drug allergies.
  • Your doctor will prescribe a dose custom-made for you based on your body weight so don't change your dose on your own.
  • Avoid some prescription and OTC drugs that interact including: vitamin A, tetracycline, progestin-only birth-control, Dilantin (phenytoin), corticosteroids, and St. John's Wort.
  • Some formulations contain soybean oil so be careful if you have any food allergies.
  • Don't worry if you miss a dose, just wait and take your next dose. Don't double your dose.
  • You'll need to have a pregnancy test and other blood testing once a month to check cholesterol and liver enzymes.

Risks and Warnings for Accutane (Isotretinoin)

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  • Research studies with real people found Accutane (Isotretinoin) can cause harmful effects on unborn babies. There's also a risk if men take it. Talk to your doctor about other treatments if you're thinking of getting pregnant or starting a family. If you take Accutane (Isotretinoin) as part of the iPledge program you won't be able to donate blood for at least a month after finishing treatment because of the risk of giving your donated blood to another woman who may be pregnant. Women who can become pregnant must use 2 reliable forms of contraception for 1 month before therapy, during therapy, and for 1 month after therapy. You'll also need to have regular pregnancy tests while taking Accutane (Isotretinoin).

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Accutane (Isotretinoin)

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The FDA category for this medication is X. It is advised that you: Unsafe
Pregnancy
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Absorption differs greatly depending on whether it's taken with food and what type food (high fat food or meals increase its absorption into the body).
  • Not a good choice if you have family history of depression, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, eating disorder, bone loss, asthma or food/drug allergies.
  • Some formulations contain soybean oil so be careful if you have any food allergies.
  • Took the new one Absorica because it is absorbed better and you don't have to take it with food. Fantastic results!! Get Aquaphor for your lips and hands.
    Age: 28
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Acne (severe)
    Duration taken: A few months
Weight gain or loss
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Your doctor will prescribe a dose custom-made for you based on your body weight so don't change your dose on your own.