Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, is a powerful medication used to treat severe acne. The treatment course is usually about 4 to 6 months. It is very effective for all types of breakouts. At the end of the treatment usually full acne clearance is observed. There is over 90 % cure rate with Accutane. After the accutane course completed usually no additional treatments needed in the future. There is nothing else in the world that comes close to being this effective for clearing severe acne.
Accutane is used in moderate and severe acne when scarring is observed or when other treatments have failed. While it has rare serious side effects, in some ways it is safer than taking antibiotics for long terms.
The medication has been around for over 60 years so a lot is known about its safety and effectiveness.
Accutane is a natural derivative of vitamin A, however in large quantities it can cause birth defects but fortunately the body is able to quickly remove Accutane from the bloodstream. It is gone from the blood within nine days and has no lasting effect on future pregnancies.
Taking Accutane with “fatty” food increases the absorption of the medication. The most common side effect is chapped lips and it could be relieved with using “Aquafor” or Dr. Dan’s “Cortibalm” a few times a day.
Dry skin is another common side effect, using moisturizer daily can alleviate dry skin symptoms. Blood fat levels can increase during treatment but usually come back to normal levels once the treatment is completed. There are additional side effects but are very rare. Regular blood tests are necessary during Accutane treatment. If these precautions are taken the risks of damage and side effects are greatly reduced.
The most serious side effect of the treatment is birth defects if taken during pregnancy. It is imperative for women not to become pregnant while taking it.
Women who are, or might be sexually active while taking Accutane must use 2 effective forms of birth control. Common examples of contraceptive methods are included but not limited to: birth control pills, hormonal skin patch, IUD, hormonal shots and make latex condoms.
Accutane has been reported to cause depression though several recent studies have not shown any correlation. This is a great medication when precautions are taken and you follow your doctors recommendations. You will see significant difference even after the first month of taking the medication.
If you are interested in treating you acne please contact us for a consultation!