Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Dermatologic

Accutane 

(isotretinoin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Dermatologic
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Treats severe acne and facial redness.

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Our 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.

Price and discounts
Prices and coupons for 30 (40mg) capsules of isotretinoin

Upsides

  • Works for people with severe (nodular) acne that hasn't responded to anything else including oral antibiotics.
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Downsides

  • 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.
How it works

Accutane (Isotretinoin) is a medicine for severe acne. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to make oil glands smaller and produce less oil. It also keeps cells under the skin's surface from becoming tough.

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

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Side effect rates for Accutane (isotretinoin)

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

Common concerns from people taking Accutane (isotretinoin)

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Pregnancy
Interactions
  • Avoid some prescription and OTC drugs that interact including: vitamin A, tetracycline, progestin-only birth-control, Dilantin (phenytoin), corticosteroids, and St. John's Wort.
Food
  • 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).
  • 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.
Pain
  • Accutane (Isotretinoin) can cause muscle weakness, joint and bone pain, back pain, and sudden onset of osteoporosis or bone fractures. This is especially the case in teenagers who play sports with repeat injury. There are also cases of early growth plate closure and loss of bone density that did not return to normal (pre-Accutane (Isotretinoin)) in teenagers.
Weight
  • Has a lot of very serious side effects, so think about weighing risks and benefits, and talk to your doctor.