Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a vitamin A derived medication that is used in the treatment of moderate to severe acne. Accutane is more effective for severe acne than all other previous treatments available.
Accutane is a retinoid- meaning that it is a derivative of Vitamin A. The drug is available both as a pill and as a topical ointment. In 1982, Isotretinoin (Accutane) became available for the treatment of patients with severe acne not responsive to conventional treatments. It immediately became a success and has been widely used all over the world. Most individuals need to take the medication for at least 1-5 months depending on the severity of their condition. The majority of people do respond to once course of treatment. Despite all it benefits for acne suffers, the drug is associated with a number of side effects and complications during pregnancy and thus its use is under rigid control in North America.
Accutane is not the first choice of treatment for acne suffers. It is only prescribed after other treatments like antibiotics have failed.
Besides severe acne, Accutane is also prescribed to treat acne Rosacea and xeroderma pigmentosum.
Teratogenicity (Birth Defects)
For men the drug does not cause any serious health side effects but in any female of child bearing age, the drug is associated with controversy.
The major problem with Accutane is that it can cause birth defects when taken during pregnancy. All females of child conceiving age need to get a pregnancy test before a prescription of Accutane is given. There have been numerous reports of abortions and miscarriages in women who have taken Accutane during pregnancy. Numerous law suits regarding Accutane and birth complications have resulted.
Accutane is available on the internet without a prescription and you can rest assured the FDA closely follows this sellers. All available Accutane online is illegal and there are serious consequences when people are caught.
Accutane prescription in the USA is rigidly monitored by the FDA. Every physician who prescribes Accutane is required to register patients. No more than a 30 day supply is dispensed. Similar restrictions apply to pharmacies and there are strong penalties for those fail to meet these guidelines.
Doctors and pharmacists must also verify written prescriptions in an online system before patients may fill the prescription.
The dose of Accutane is usually 5 mg but it is also available in higher doses (10-30 mg). Accutane is also available as a topical ointment
The higher doses of Accutane are associated with higher toxicity and side effects include:
Dryness- this is a common side effect of Accutane. Initially it may even cause a worsening up of acne. The dryness may occur on the face, lips and mouth. Sometimes the skin may peel.
Photosensitivity: After taking Accutane, exposure to sun should be avoided. This may cause development of a sunburn like effect.
Raised liver enzymes: Accutane can cause elevated liver enzymes and this has to be monitored by the physician.
Others: Headaches, Joint pain, Hair loss, eye irritation
Despite reports claiming that Vitamin E can reverse the toxicity of Retinoids, this is not backed by any scientific data.
Individuals who take Accutane are not allowed to donate blood for 30 days after stopping the drug. Birth defects have been reported in mothers who have received blood transfusions containing Accutane.
Depression: There are some suggestions that Accutane can also causes or worsens depression and this is one of the other reasons why the drug is strictly regulated. Suicides have occurred and numerous law suits have taken place. Irrespective of the relationship between Accutane and depression, all health are professional are weary or prescribing this drug
Drug interactions: Accutane can interact with several antibiotics and cause increased pressure in the brain.