Prescription onlyClass: Dermatologic

Accutane Alternatives

(isotretinoin)

Prescription onlyClass: Dermatologic
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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. 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.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.85Accutane
Reviews for Accutane
53%
of people (All ages) say Accutane is worth it
43%
say it works well
36%
say it's a big hassle
101 reviews
Have you used Accutane (isotretinoin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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

Have you used Epiduo (adapalene / benzoyl peroxide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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

Have you used Duac (clindamycin / benzoyl peroxide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Doxycycline
49%
+4% better vs. Accutane
36%
+7% better vs. Accutane
24%
-12% worse vs. Accutane
112 reviews
Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Benzamycin
54%
-1% worse vs. Accutane
26%
+17% better vs. Accutane
12%
-24% worse vs. Accutane
146 reviews
Have you used Benzamycin (benzoyl peroxide / erythromycin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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

Have you used Duac (clindamycin / benzoyl peroxide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Minocycline
53%
Same vs. Accutane
59%
-16% worse vs. Accutane
18%
-18% worse vs. Accutane
Have you used Solodyn (minocycline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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

Have you used Differen (adapalene)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Renova
41%
+12% better vs. Accutane
28%
+15% better vs. Accutane
28%
-8% worse vs. Accutane
Have you used Renova (tretinoin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
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 »
  • Any adverse event 40%
  • Nausea 13%
  • Vomiting 8%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Bacterial vaginitis 3%
  • Headache 2%
  • Upper abdominal pain 2%
  • Vaginal yeast infection 2%
More Doxycycline side effects »
  • Dyness 3%
  • Urticarial reaction 3%
More 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 »
  • Mild skin reactions 100%
  • Severe local irritation 6%
  • Any side effect 4%
  • Skin hypo- or hyperpigmentation 2%
More Renova side effects »
How it works
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
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.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
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription 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
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
  • Acne Vulgaris
  • Acne Vulgaris
  • Acne Vulgaris
  • Acne Vulgaris
Risk factors for serious side effects
AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
  • History of depression or other psychiatric condition
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Increased alcohol
  • History of childhood osteoporosis or bone conditions
Detailed Accutane (isotretinoin) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
      Coming soon.
      • Age 8 years or younger
      • Using oral birth control pills
      • Long antibiotic treatment period
      • Women of childbearing age
      Detailed Vibramycin (doxycycline) risks & warnings »
      • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
      • Eczema
      • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
      • Long-term use of Benzamycin (Benzoyl Peroxide / Erythromycin)
      Detailed Benzamycin (benzoyl peroxide / erythromycin) risks & warnings »
        Coming soon.
        • Age 8 years or younger
        • Using oral birth control pills
        • Long antibiotic treatment period
        • Women of childbearing age
        Detailed Solodyn (minocycline) risks & warnings »
          Coming soon.
          • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
          • Eczema
          • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
          • Allergy to fish or fish products
          Detailed Renova (tretinoin) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy

          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.

          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.

          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.

          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.

          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.

          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.

          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.

          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.

          Price
          AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
          No price related info.No price related info.No price related info.No price related info.No price related info.No price related info.
          • Available as a generic, so it should be reasonably priced.
          No price related info.No price related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
          • Can damage your liver. Your doctor will do regular blood tests to make sure it's healthy.
          No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
          Pain
          AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
          • 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.
          No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
          • Let your doctor know if you notice abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhea after starting this medicine.
          No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
          Weight
          AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
          No weight related info.No weight related info.No weight related info.No 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 weight related info.No weight related info.No weight related info.No weight related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          AccutaneEpiduoDuacDoxycyclineBenzamycinDuacMinocyclineDifferenRenova
          • 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.
          Coming soonComing 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.
          Coming soon
          • 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
          • 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.
          Coming soonComing 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
          • You'll have to use birth control if you're sexually active and taking Accutane (isotretinoin) because it can cause birth defects. Talk to your doctor about appropriate birth control.
          • You should not donate blood while on Accutane (isotretinoin) and for 1 month after stopping.
          • You may need to get frequent blood work done while on Accutane (isotretinoin).
          • Accutane (isotretinoin) could make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when going out. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and tanning beds.
          • Your skin may intially look worse before it gets better.
          • Avoid harsh skin products and treatments (such as microdermabrasion, laser treatments, waxing), while on Accutane (isotretinoin). These can further irritate your skin and raise your risk of scarring.
          Coming soonComing 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
          Have you used Accutane (isotretinoin)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about EpiduoSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
          Have you used Epiduo (adapalene / benzoyl peroxide)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about DuacSide effectsFDA package insert
          Have you used Duac (clindamycin / benzoyl peroxide)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about DoxycyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
          Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about BenzamycinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
          Have you used Benzamycin (benzoyl peroxide / erythromycin)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about DuacSide effectsFDA package insert
          Have you used Duac (clindamycin / benzoyl peroxide)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about MinocyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
          Have you used Solodyn (minocycline)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about DifferenSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
          Have you used Differen (adapalene)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about RenovaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
          Have you used Renova (tretinoin)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it