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Accutane Alternatives

(Isotretinoin)

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Compare Accutane (Isotretinoin) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Accutane (Isotretinoin) or used for similar purposes.

Accutane
(Isotretinoin)

Epiduo
(Adapalene / Benzoyl Peroxide)

Duac
(Clindamycin / Benzoyl Peroxide)

Vibramycin
(Doxycycline)

Benzamycin
(Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin)

Duac
(Clindamycin / Benzoyl Peroxide)

Solodyn
(Minocycline)

Differen
(Adapalene)

Renova
(Tretinoin)

Treats severe acne and facial redness. 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.Coming soon.Coming soon.Treats bacterial infections. Vibramycin (Doxycycline) is good for treating many bacterial infections. It is also available as generic. However, it can make birth control pills less effective. You also have to protect yourself against sunburn.Topical treatment for acne. Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin) is a topical combination acne treatment that may work better for people who didn't see an improvement when taking either medicine alone or simply don't want to take pill medication. You need to be careful because it can bleach your hair, clothing and other fabrics. It also needs to be stored in the refrigerator and is only good for three months..Coming soon.Treats bacterial infections. Solodyn (Minocycline) is an effective way to treat certain skin infections, acne, and rosacea, but you'll need to use barrier methods of birth control since it can make birth control pills less effective and cause birth defects.Coming soon.Treats acne and sun damage. Renova (Tretinoin) isn't a cure for fine lines and wrinkles, but it's clinically proven to improve them.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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4.858585858585859Accutane
Reviews for Accutane (Isotretinoin)
54%
of people say Accutane (Isotretinoin) is worth it
42%
say it works well
36%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Reviews for Vibramycin (Doxycycline)
50%
4% vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)
34%
8% vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)
23%
+13% vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)
Reviews for Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin)
54%
Same vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)
26%
16% vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)
12%
+24% vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)

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Reviews for Renova (Tretinoin)
40%
14% vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)
26%
16% vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)
28%
+8% vs. Accutane (Isotretinoin)
Side effects
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova

The Accutane FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Accutane side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Epiduo side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Epiduo »

We haven’t found good data for Duac side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Duac »

The Doxycycline FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Doxycycline side effects »

The Benzamycin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Benzamycin side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Duac side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Duac »

We haven’t found good data for Minocycline side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Minocycline »

We haven’t found good data for Differen side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Differen »
  • Severe local irritation 6%
More Renova side effects »
How it works
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
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.Coming soon.Coming soon.Vibramycin (Doxycycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic. It stops bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin) is a combination topical medicine. Erythromycin (an antibiotic) kills bacteria that cause acne. Benzoyl peroxide works to fight the bacteria and shed acne-affected skin.Coming soon.Solodyn (Minocycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic. It stops bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Coming soon.Renova (Tretinoin) is a vitamin A derivative. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to make skin cells renew faster and better.
Type of medication
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
Acne agent
Retinoid
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Coming soon.
Antibiotic
Tetracycline
Prescription only
Acne agent
Antibiotic
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Antibiotic
Tetracycline
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Acne agent
Retinoid
Prescription only
Available as
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for (click to learn more)
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Acne vulgaris
Risk factors for serious side effects
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
    • History of depression or other psychiatric condition
    • Taking with Accutane (Isotretinoin) with tetracycline
      • Diabetes
      • Alcohol intake
      • Family history of lipid conditions
      • High triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood
            • History of childhood osteoporosis or bone conditions
            • Anorexia nervosa
            • Taking anticonvulsant medicines
            • Taking corticosteroids
            • Problems with vitamin D breakdown
            • Longer-term therapy with Accutane (Isotretinoin)
            • History of eye problems
            • Wearing contact lenses
            Detailed Accutane (Isotretinoin) risks & warnings »
            Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
            Pregnancy category
            AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
            XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

            Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

            See the FDA package insert
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            Alcohol
            No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
            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).
            • 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.
            No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
            • Has to be taken with plenty of water and food and you have to stay upright for 30 minutes afterwards to avoid stomach irritation.
            • Take with plenty of food and liquids.
            No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
            Kidneys and liver
            No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
            Sex
            No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
            Sleep
            No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
            Weight
            • Your doctor will prescribe a dose custom-made for you based on your body weight so don't change your dose on your own.
            No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
            • Not the best choice if you're pregnant. Benzamycin is categorized as pregnancy Category C (weight risks vs benefits) because of the benzoyl peroxide part.
            No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
            Upsides and benefits
            AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
            • Works for people with severe (nodular) acne that hasn't responded to anything else including oral antibiotics.
            Coming soon.Coming soon.
            • Available in generic.
            • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
            • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
            • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
            • Benzamycin works better to reduce bacteria in oil glands and improve overall signs and symptoms of acne than either medicine alone.
            • Reduces bacteria on the skin, which "calms" the skin down (lowers the inflammatory response) in acne.
            • Combining an antibiotic with benzoyl peroxide lowers the chances of Benzamycin not working as well over time.
            • Although Benzamycin can irritate the skin, a true skin allergy is rare.
            • Can be used in combination with acne pill medicine if your doctor thinks you need it.
            • Clinical studies show it's effective against MRSA, a common skin infection, and it's commonly used to treat acne and rosacea.
            • Available as a generic, so it should be reasonably priced.
            • Solodyn (Minocycline) is less likely to cause sunburn than other tetracycline antibiotics.
            • Bacteria are less likely to become resistant to Solodyn (Minocycline) than other tetracycline antibiotics.
            Coming soon.
            • You only need to apply it once a day, usually in the evening.
            • Most people who reported having skin irritation said that it was mild.
            • Part of a complete program to help you take better care of your skin.
            Downsides and risks
            AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
            • 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.
            Coming soon.Coming soon.
            • Can't be used in pregnant women and children under 8 years old.
            • Makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
            • Has to be taken with plenty of water and food and you have to stay upright for 30 minutes afterwards to avoid stomach irritation.
            • Can make birth control less effective.
            • Can cause diarrhea.
            • There's a risk of irritation with anything you apply to your skin and this is no different. Benzamycin, contains a topical antibiotic and can cause redness, peeling, abnormal dryness or stinging, tightening, or burning sensations.
            • It's rare, that a serious allergic reaction would occur, but it's a good idea to test a small area of skin before using on any larger or sensitive areas
            • Can cause severe inflammation of the large intestine (pseudomembranous colitis).
            • Not the best choice if you're pregnant. Benzamycin is categorized as pregnancy Category C (weight risks vs benefits) because of the benzoyl peroxide part.
            • Can cause bleaching of hair and clothing.
            • You'll need to stay out of the sun or apply a sunscreen if you go outdoors.
            Coming soon.
            • It can make birth control pills less effective, so people should use barrier methods of birth control like condoms or diaphragms while on Solodyn (Minocycline).
            • Can stain your teeth, mouth, and gums if you're using the tablets, or your skin if you're using the topical version, but this is temporary.
            Coming soon.
            • It may take up to 6 months to see the full benefit for facial wrinkles.
            • Not a good choice for women who want to become or are pregnant
            • Can change the color and texture of your skin if used long-term.
            • You need to be careful about avoiding any sunlight or artificial tanning while using it.
            • It doesn't work for deep wrinkles.
            Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
            AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
            • 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.
            Coming soon.Coming soon.
            • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
            • If you're using birth control pills, this medication can make them less effective.
            • Wear sunblock if you have to go out into the sun since your skin can become more sensitive to sunburn.
            • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
            • Space out any vitamins by at least two hours.
            • Take with plenty of food and liquids.
            • Don't take any medications with bismuth (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate) while taking this medication.
            • Don't lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.
            • Combination medicine you apply to your skin to treat acne.
            • Apply a thin film to clean and dry affected skin twice a day- in the morning and evening.
            • Store in the refrigerator, but don't freeze.
            • The pharmacist mixes the medicine when you pick it up at the drugstore. You'll need to use it within three months of this date or dispose of it properly.
            • Let your doctor know if you notice abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhea after starting this medicine.
            • Using a moisturizer that doesn't block your pores (non-comedogenic) may help lessen common side effects of skin dryness and peeling.
            • Taking good care of your skin is an important part of treating acne. Lightly wash with warm water and non-soap-based or gentle cleanser.
            Coming soon.
            • Both men and women should use barrier methods of birth control while on Solodyn (Minocycline) since it can cause birth defects and make birth control pills less effective.
            • Can make you dizzy, so be careful if you're getting up from lying down or sitting. Don't drive until you know how it affects you.
            • Can stain your teeth, tongue and gums, but this is temporary.
            • Take this exactly how your doctor or pharmacist tells you until it's all gone.
            • Don't eat any dairy products or take any vitamins within 2 hours of taking Solodyn (Minocycline) because they can make the medication less effective.
            Coming soon.
            • Works best as part of a complete skin care program (including SPF) to protect your skin from sun damage.
            • Renova doesn't permanently erase or improve significant skin changes such as deep wrinkles.
            • Apply a very small amount (pea-size) on entire face once a day at bedtime.
            • You'll need to use Renova regularly for at least 3 to 4 months before you see improvement. Once you stop, the improvement may slowly disappear.
            • Renova wasn't studied in people with skin cancer or serious damage from the sun (actinic keratosis) so it's not known if this would benefit.
            • Not safe to use during pregnancy. Even though Renova is applied to the skin, a small amount is absorbed and harmful to your unborn baby.
            • Some medicines you take by mouth can make you more sensitive to sunlight and combine with effects of Renova. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you take any new medicines.
            Learn more
            More about AccutaneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
            More about EpiduoSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
            More about DuacSide effectsFDA package insert
            More about DoxycyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
            More about BenzamycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
            More about DuacSide effectsFDA package insert
            More about MinocyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
            More about DifferenSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
            More about RenovaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert