Compare Accutane vs. Erygel

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

ADVERTISEMENT

Accutane (isotretinoin)

Prescription only

Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin)

Prescription only
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.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 101 reviewsforAccutane
Topical treatment for acne.

Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin) is a very common acne treatment you apply to the skin that may work better when combined with other topical medicines.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 93 reviewsforErygel
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.
  • Applying erythromycin to the skin reduces the amount of acne bacteria and "calms" the skin down (lowers the inflammatory response) in acne.
  • Available in a gel formulation which may be better if your skin is very oily.
  • Better choice if you're pregnant. erythromycin is categorized as pregnancy Category B (likely safe) as compared to similar topical medicines that are Category C (weigh risks vs benefits).
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.
  • There's a risk of irritation with anything you apply to your skin and this is no different. erythromycin, like other topical antibiotics, can cause skin irritation and may appear as 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
  • Studies show it works better when combined with other topical medicines to fight acne and reduce the risk of it losing its effectiveness over time.
  • Can cause severe inflammation of the large intestine (pseudomembranous colitis)
  • Stop using if you don't notice any improvement in your acne after 6-8 weeks. The most time you can use it is three months.
ADVERTISEMENT
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Topical solution
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
Reviews
101 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
36%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Accutane (isotretinoin)?

Leave a review
93 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
34%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Akne-Mycin (Erythromycin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Accutane (isotretinoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
1possible side effects
  • Burning
    25%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Harm to fetus
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression or other psychiatric condition
  • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Increased alcohol
  • Serious skin reaction
  • Bone fractures
    • 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)
  • Eye problems
    • History of eye problems
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Allergic reaction
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Development of more serious infections
See more detailed risks and warnings