Accutane Side Effects

Girl after accutane acne treatment

Accutane is one of the best acne treatment out there with many benefits. Accutane is the drug of choice for severe acne and for people with moderate acne that did not respond to regular treatment.

Why isn't everybody with acne using accutane?

Accutane comes with some contraindications and possible side effects:

1. Accutane can cause birth defects in pregnant women.

Pregnancy during accutane is absolutely contraindicated. Women must use two separate effective forms of birth control at the same time for at least 1 month before treatment begins, during the entire course of treatment, and for 3 full months after stopping the drug.

2. Is there a link between accutane and mood changes?

In the past, there were some concerns that accutane may intensify mood changes in people prone for depression. depression.
Nevertheless, the link between accutane to depression was not proven. Many Dermatologists, actually believe that mood changes are caused by the severe acne and not by the drug. Thus, accutane treatment, stopping acne is expected to improve the mood.
Nevertheless, if one feels unusually sad or has a loss of appetite during accutane treatment, the drug should be stopped and physician should be consulted

3. Blood tests are required during the treatment to test blood count, liver function tests, blood lipids and CPK. In rare cases these function tests can be affected by accutane. In most cases the blood tests results normalize after the dosage of the drug is reduced.

4. Minor discomfort is expected due to dry lips and skin. Simple lip balms and oil free moisturizer can easily decrease lip and skin dryness. People using Accutane should wear sunscreen at all times.

5. When accutane is severe and accutane dosage is high, acne can flare and get worse. Adding blue light acne phototherapy in parallel to accutane and reducing the drug dosage can significantly reduce the risk of acne flare up without reducing treatment efficacy. 

Read more: 

The oral adverse effects of isotretinoin treatment in acne vulgaris patients: A prospective, case-control study.

Isotretinoin: Treatment for severe acne

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