Accutane (Isotretinoin)

Accutane also known as isotretinoin is a vitamin A derivative that is used to treat sever forms of acne that did not respond to other forms of treatment option. It is administered orally  in the forms of pills one times or twice per day.

It is one of the most efficient medication prescribed for cystic or severe acne. According to the information obtained from Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 70%-75 % of the people who are using Isotretinoin have a significant improvement of acne breakout through 16 to 20 weeks course followed by rest period.

How Accutane works

  • Isotretinoin affects acne in a variety of ways:
  • it reduces skin cells proliferation inside skin pore that helps the pore from being clogged.
  • It minimises the burning effect since it has some anti inflammatory nature
  • It also reduce skin oil gland size where by minimises oil production.
  • It reduces the bacteria that causes acne.

At the start of the treatment, you may not see any improvement, rather the acne become more severe. Do not panic at this moment. Majority of the people using isotretinoin faces the same problem before they see the real change. Since the course of treatment period lasts for about 3 - 4 months, it gradually slows down oil formation and skin pore clogging  and you will see a complete clearance of acne when completed the cycle.

Several studies showed that the dosage and duration of accutane depends on the severity of acne. Peoples with mild to moderate acne needs considerably lower dosage for a shorter period of time, whereas,  patients with severe acne may need lower dosage but for an extended period of time. In both cases the course of treatment is to avoid or lower the incidence of scarring.

Side effect

Patients who are taking Isotretinoin, experience from mild to moderate and occasionally long term side effect. Possibly the most serious side effect is birth defect and miscarriage when taken by pregnant woman. In general, the common side effects includes:

  • Fatigue
  • Drying and peeling of the skin
  • Reduced night vision
  • Nosebleed
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Thinning or loss of hair
  • Rash
  • Overgrowth of hair in woman

Anxiety and depression

It is well documented that, acne causes anxiety and depression especially among teenagers with severe acne flare-up. People who are in the course of isotretinoin shows significant reduction in acne breakout. As a result, the level of depression is also decreased. There is also a controversy regarding the observance of depression among people who are taking isotretinoin. If you are felling depressed or suicidal, it is important to closely monitored by your health care professionals.   

› Accutane (Isotretinoin)


severe acne, cystic acne, mild acne, moderate acne

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