What is Accutane?

When I was in my late teens, I had my first experience with acne.  Having always prided myself on my almost-flawless skin, I was completely mortified to experience this sudden turn of events, and even more surprised to experience it at such a late stage in my so-called youth.

Anyhow, with this sudden outburst of acne, I tried every cream there was, but to no avail. Stumped, (and very emotional) I resorted to Accutane, the controversial medicine that I had heard so many great and no so-great tales about.

In my case, Accutane helped clear my skin completely, and I, luckily, only experienced the dry chapped lips for about 3 months.
Looking back, I realized that I had not done much research on Accutane then, out of my desperation to get ride of my acne; so I thought that I would revisit this acne mediation and provide a general overview of its properties and side-effects for the benefit of those who may be suffering through a bout of acne like I did in the past.

So, what exactly is Accutane?
The word “accutane” is the trade name for isotretinoin, a medication that is structurally almost the same as natural vitamin A, and is known as the vitamin A retinoid. It is a powerful drug used to help reduce the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, and is usually prescribed to treat severe acne, but only after other acne medications have been tried, with unsuccessful results. 
Accutane helps reduce the number of bacteria in the oil glands and on the skin surface. It controls the keratin levels which can otherwise clog pores. It stimulates the hormone, testosterone, which causes different oils to be produced by the skin. These oils don’t block pores or cause acne.

However, the Vitamin A in Accutane  will not only eliminate oils in the skin, but also liquids and oils throughout the whole body, including the eyes, joints, mouth and other important areas. This leads to dryness of the skin. Some studies have shown there is a higher risk of developing depression with the use of Accutane.

According to www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/accutane.html some of the common side effects are listed below:
• Chapped lips (90%)
• Dry skin and itching (80%)
• Dryness of nose, mild nosebleed (80%)
• Joint and muscle pains (15%)
• Temporary hair thinning (10%)
• Rash (7%)
• Intestinal symptoms (5%)
• Urinary symptoms (5%)
• Headache (5%)
• Increased sensitivity to sun (5%)
• Decreased night vision (<1%)
• Depression, thoughts of suicide (<1%).

Since this drug is proven to be effective and powerful, and quite controversial because of its side effects, any female old enough to have children must take every possible measure to avoid pregnancy if she is consuming the drug, since depression appears to be the most damaging side effect of Accutane.

We welcome your thoughts on your experience with Accutane, so that our other readers in the community who are contemplating the usage of this medication can benefit from your comments.

Fact Or Fable: Black Skin has natural moisture, so no moisturizer needed

Fact Or Fable: Black Skin has natural moisture, so no moisturizer needed

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There are 10 comments

  1. Rachel

    I am going into my 5th month on accutane. I has worked great with no side effects. Only down side for me is that I decided to go through this process during the summer months which means I cannot be out in the sun at all. Also, I noticed scars around the end of the 3rd month. They say this happens to some people and dermabrasion or other options are available that will clear it up.. More $$$ of course. But I don’t regret doing this at all. I’m going to be 22 and at this point I don’t feel like dealing with acne anymore. Mine was never severe but enough to lose self esteem. I’d encourage you to do it. It is dangerous to be sexually active on this medicine as a female. I am thankful that I’ve practiced abstinence and am waiting till I’m married..but for those different..be very careful and follow all the guidelines. It definetly works…and its well worth it!

  2. Paul

    I had most of those side effects during the 6 months that I was on 80mg/day. I took the name brand accutane for 2 months and sotret generic for the last four. Both worked the same as far as I could tell.

    It was easy to deal with the side effects with the right products like aquaphor for your lips at night, eye drops (use constantly), and gentle skin lotion.

    I got the rash on the backs of my hands but my derm gave me a cream in a little tub that worked well to control it. I think it was a topical steroid.

  3. product defect lawyers

    I never really had any big problems with skin, except for a few zits every now and then. Then I tried Accutane, but sadly it didn’t work right for me. The side effects were something that I can’t shake off.

  4. Musarrat

    I am suffering from acne since i was about 24, now i am 28.I never had it when I was a teenager and only got it when I was an adult.I tried everything from home remedies to TV products to antibotics but nothing worked.After reading this article i am thinking to go for Accutane treatment but i am scared about side effects.

  5. David Guio Lorente

    Hi all

    Above all do not want to scare or anything like that, but this is my story, and perhaps others will serve to decide whether or not to take the medicine.

    My name is David I have 28 years, I’m from Madrid, and I also was taking Dercutane (Isotretinoin) for almost 9 months, a total of 10gram take that for my weight, 65Kilos is the maximum recommended dose can be given.

    I had a mild nodular acne that is I got a few pimples but internal and took too long to leave, so the dermatologist decided to give me these miracle pills.

    During the treatment, I had the typical side effects, like all people who take it, nothing alarming. But now, after almost a year after completing the treatment when I am suffering more: I have permament dry eyes, back and joint pains continued, headaches, generalized dryness throughout the body, nose bleeds, constipation, anxiety produced through all this trouble sleeping ..

    My quality of life has been reduced by 70%, since I can not do almost anything he did before, I can not even bend over without pain in my back and knees.

    My life has become a specialist come and go, orthopedic surgeons, ophthalmologists, rheumatologists, neurologists … and none of them give me solution to my problems.

    I created a website so that all who pass or have passed through what I promote it and to know what they can do this drug, which not even the laboratories that produce exactly know the mechanism of action is a poison, and certainly, at least I do, I devote my time and desire to spread my message.

    This is the website I created: (In Spanish)



  6. Marina Witsky

    It never fails to amaze me how the cosmetics & pharmaceutical industries continue to rip acne suffers off providing them with useless products in order to fuel cyclical consumption. Think how many billions are made from selling rubbish like Benzoyl Peroxide or using Tetracycline antibiotics. They can never cure the acne just provide temporary relief if it can even be called that.
    Moderate/ Sever acne needs to be treated seriously with Accutane which has been used to treat 13 million people worldwide for over 25 years.

  7. Marina Witsky

    This is a great write up and I would recommend you put a youtube vlog up if you get the time cause it will benefit allot of sufferers. My acne was not as bad as yours but I have myself to blame having used pro hormones to cause my problem in the first place. Accutane certainly cleared the problem for me, so be patient.  

  8. Minerxstore

    Great Information you shared. Accutane is a acne care medicine used to treat skin acne. It is also used to treat blackheads and whiteheads from skin surfaces.

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