Isotretinoin Side Effects, Is It Safe?

There is an extensive list regarding isotretinoin side effects and some of those side effects can be really dangerous, so is important that you only take this drug under your doctor's supervision.

Isotretinoin, though first developed as a drug for treating brain, pancreatic and other cancers, is now mostly used to treat Cystic and intractable acne, where dosages of antibiotics have failed miserably in producing results.

It is related to vitamin A, and it was a theory that a fat-soluble solution of 500,000 IU per day of this drug was used to reduce the levels of sebum in the hair.

This drug molecule, closely resembling retinoid acid, works by retarding the production of certain substances which effectively, cause the breakout of pimples, blackheads and cysts.

The brands under which Isotretinoin are sold is Roaccutane (Roche), and known in the United States, as Accutane, Annesteen (Mylan), Claravis(Barr), and Sotret (Ranbaxy).

Today, doctors and dermatologists also prescribe this drug for the treatment of severe cases of acne. We can find oral and topical isotretinoin.

Isotretinoin Side Effects

Isotretinoin Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of Isotretinoin, are acne inflammation, dryness of skin and lips, skin peeling, rashes, bleeding of the nose, conjunctivitis, raised levels of body enzymes, intolerance with contact lenses, thinning of hair, back pain and what have you.

Among the infrequent problems, you can include mild acne inflammation, a reduced level of libido, erectile dysfunction, tiredness and the like.

The rare side effects pertain to cataract, poor night vision, hepatitis, depression, mood disorders and a radical reduction in bone mineral density.

Prescribing This Drug

The sale of this drug, under its several brand names, is strictly controlled. In the UK, these cannot be sold without the prescription of a consultant dermatologist, fearing apprehensions that the acne cysts may lead to permanent and deep scarring.

Most of Australia follows Britain in these restrictions, except in New South Wales and Victoria, where only a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists is authorized to prescribe this drug.

And in the United States, control of sales of these drugs has been brought under a website platform called iPLEDGE, which is controlled by the FDA, and requires dermatologists to register their patients online, before writing prescriptions for the medicine, which again, will be rechecked by the pharmacist before dispensing it to the patient.

For tretinoin and retinol products without prescription check the recommendations below.

Isotretinoin Dosage

It is normally dispersed based on the patient’s body weight and the severity of the attack, and could range between 0.5mg/kg/day to 2 mg/kg/day.

 This dosage is used, half each time, twice a day, and the treatment duration is 4 to 6 months.

At this time, you will be issued an identification number, which is used while filling up your prescriptions, and to correspond with iPLEDGE, when the need arises.

Since Isotretinoin is known to interfere with the function of oral contraceptives, it is best to avoid taking them simultaneously. In general, you would do well if you keep your doctor abreast of all the medications you are taking, in order for him to advise you properly on safety factors, especially if you are on Isotretinoin.

Important Warnings

The intake of Isotretinoin is strictly disallowed for all women who expect to fall pregnant, or those who are pregnant already. This drug has been known to induce loss of pregnancy, or worse still, cause the birth of children prematurely, or with birth defects.

Also, the intake of vitamin A supplements while taking tretinoin and the donation of blood should be avoided.

Always, consult your doctor if you have any doubt regarding the side effects of this drug.

A word of caution to male patients taking this product; traces of the drug in the semen might affect your partner’s pregnancy.

Click below to discover effective products for acne problems:

Professional Grade 2.5% Retinol Cream

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