Accutane

(isotretinoin)

3.6/ 5 average rating with 101 reviewsforAccutane
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Treats severe acne.

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Our bottom line

Accutane (isotretinoin) works well against severe acne but has a lot of serious side effects. You will need to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Quick facts about Accutane
  • Drug class: Dermatologic
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • Works well to clear your skin when other medicines have not worked for you.
  • Most people experience clear skin after just one course of treatment. Clear skin can last for some time even after you've stopped taking Accutane (isotretinoin).
  • You only have to take Accutane (isotretinoin) once or twice a day.

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What to expect from Accutane, on one page

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People’s experience with Accutane

101reviews so far. What do you think?

Downsides

  • Accutane (isotretinoin) can raise your blood sugar levels. Your doctor may have to monitor your sugar levels more frequently.
  • If you play sports a lot, you may be at higher risk of bone fractures.
  • You'll have to see your doctor every time to get a refill of Accutane (isotretinoin) because of the high risk of birth defects.
  • Can cause serious bowel problems. Talk to your doctor if you experience loose stools, blood in the stools, or bad belly pain.
  • Can damage your liver. Your doctor will do regular blood tests to make sure it's healthy.

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What to expect from Accutane, on one page

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How it works

Accutane (isotretinoin) is a medicine for severe acne that works by making oil glands in the skin smaller and produce less oil. It also keeps cells under the skin's surface from becoming tough.

Quick facts about Accutane
  • Drug class: Dermatologic
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Pill
People’s experience with Accutane

101reviews so far. What do you think?

What to expect when you take Accutane (isotretinoin) for Severe acne

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Side effect rates for Accutane (isotretinoin)

Risks and Warnings for Accutane (isotretinoin)

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  • Accutane (isotretinoin) can cause harmful effects on unborn babies. Due to this risk, Accutane (isotretinoin) is only available through a special program that you, your doctor and your pharmacy must sign up for. You can sign up for this program after discussing the risks and benefits with your doctor. Women of child-bearing age 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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Kidneys and liver
  • Can damage your liver. Your doctor will do regular blood tests to make sure it's healthy.
Pain
  • Accutane (isotretinoin) can cause muscle weakness, joint and bone pain, back pain, weakened bones, and bone fractures. The risk is higher if you are elderly, currently have bone or joint problems, or are taking other medicines that can weaken your bones. Talk to your doctor about ways to stop bone fractures.