Accutane: Contraindications, Properties And Benefits

Accutane treats conditions that affect the lives of those who suffer in one way or another, a specifically chronic disease of an inflammatory nature that is suffered on the skin. This condition has a history that begins in ancient history and was deeply associated with puberty, a characteristic of individual growth.

It is about acne, specialists have confirmed that it tends to affect people between 12 and 24 years of age. However, a variety of factors are found to influence its appearance in newborn babies with neonatal acne, even at the fourth week of age.

Likewise, it can be seen in children of different ages before the onset of their preadolescence, even women can have an onset or worsening just because they are close to their next menstrual period. We must bear in mind, those people who start suffering it in the flower of their puberty, continue to present severe degrees of acne at thirty, even up to forty years.

And not only that, this condition is distinguished by degrees, where the mildest presents comedones in the form of blackheads or closed pimples that come with a certain level of pain, no matter how mild, and more severe degrees include a picture with pustules, painful nodules that despite being benign can wreak havoc.

But what is acne due to? How can we correct or treat it? Acne or also known as acne vulgaris , is caused by the accumulation of sebum or large amounts of dead cells that cause obstruction in the sebaceous glands along with the hair follicles, which causes the accommodation and reproduction of bacteria in the pores. It is there, that we go to the Accutane .

What is Accutane?

Accutane is a popular medicine used in the treatment of acne and the repercussions that it can have on the affected person, although it is normally used in serious cases such as cystic acne or other severe dermatological diseases, it also turns out to be a drug for anticancer purposes. .

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It is a chemical composition whose base is related to vitamin A , which in the health field can be widely used due to the effects of growth in the cellular tissue covering the skin and mucosa of the organism; specifically epithelial cells, which is why it is widely used in acne vulgaris when it reaches a certain amount of risks.

Accutane was mainly developed as a drug to treat different types of aggressive cancers, however its effectiveness was determined to combat other conditions mainly in the skin, in this case acne. Doctors were able to determine other uses for this drug, if the case warrants it.

It is important to note that this drug is only used if the case of acne is very serious and the previous treatment with other medications did not work, in addition this drug should not be used if your case of acne is hormonal, since it is only used for cystic or nodular formations.

On the other hand, it should also be noted that the proliferation of acne occurs due to the action of the bacteria characteristic of this pathology , simply what Accutane does is eliminate the proteins with which they feed, thus inhibiting their growth in the papules.

Do you have other names?

If you do, we must remember that many drugs are manufactured and sold under a variety of names, there is always a generic drug, but they are changed for commercial purposes. In the case of the Accutane, this is its commercial and popular name . The generic would be Isotretinoin , it can also be known by its chemical name: 13-cystoreinoc acid.

Regarding this we recommend you read  Isotretinoin: Contraindications, Properties and Benefits

That is, the name Accutane belongs to a large family of trade names manufactured by large pharmaceutical companies or laboratories that contain this retinoid of vitamin A. However, despite having the same Isotretinoin there may be small differences characterized in efficacy and the action time of the product.

This is because in most generic drugs, the amount of the active ingredient added is less than the amount of excipients, for this reason Accutane is one of the most recommended brands since it maintains the amount of the active ingredient due in each pill.

What is Accutane made of?

As its generic name indicates, it is clearly composed of Isotretinoin , a subaltern form of vitamin A, we must remember that they are part of the group of retinoids, this composition is of great help in reducing secretion in the amounts of natural oils produced by glands in our skin, those that benefit the appearance of acne.

This active compound is used to improve and eliminate all those cases of severe acne where the risk of scarring and skin pigmentation are very high, the dermatologist could also prescribe this drug originating from the retinoid of vitamin A for other conditions, such as for example pityriasis rosea.

Note that a retinoid drug like Accutane , is one that derives from the natural synthesis of vitamin A , and lies effect on the normalization of the cell growth in the specific organism in the skin, said common is reason use in dermatology.

The main retinoids most used are; the Tretinoin and isotretinoin thanks to its anti – acne effects after treatment ends. It is believed that this compound can be up to 90% effective after treatment.

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How does Accutane work?

Since it is part of the group of retinoids, they help with certain properties of cells such as: their growth, the distinctions within them, the death cycle within tissues or at certain times, this occurs thanks to the control of nuclear receptors found in every cell.

This makes them essential in different studies carried out, affirming that the nature before these receptors that the drug possesses can be vital in finding the cure against cancer and even the way to prevent it. For this reason, it has been used in different types, from skin cancer to kidney, ovarian, bladder and more.

Accutane acts by regulating cell proliferation, reducing the production of fat cells in the epithelial cells, which makes the sebaceous glands reduce the production of bait and fat in the skin, thus eliminating the main source of food for the bacteria found in the papules.

Its immunomodulatory function prevents the infection by bacteria from continuing to advance , thus greatly reducing the inflammation in the area in the first weeks after starting the treatment.

Retinoids also influence the expression of certain hormone receptors, inhibiting the growth, differentiation and expansion of cells in the epidermis, preventing carcinogenesis and the growth of papules or nodular cysts in it .

There are two main types of retinoids:

  1. Retinoic acid (RAR).
  2. Retinoid X (RRX).

Each of them includes several subtypes, which perform dissimilar functions in different tissues.

However, those same abilities can be catastrophic if you do not take the drug under careful observation , taking into account how it influences cells and their processes, it can be dangerous if it malfunctions against cell tissues.

Read the article we have on  Retinoic Acid: Pros and Cons for Stretch Marks and Aging Skin

This is why you should never medicate with this drug without medical supervision and even more if you still do not know what type of acne and its severity, since you may need a previous medication with antibiotics.

One of the most serious side effects is the development of hepatitis, decreased function of the thyroid gland, a syndrome called hypothyroidism, and the appearance of prolonged headaches. You should not consume Accutane if you have an intolerance or allergy to vitamin A in general .

Given its danger in circumstances of low medical force, it is necessary that your purchase be made only by showing the prescribed prescription of a specialist with a fairly broad knowledge of the patient’s history, illness, grade, general health condition and specific treatments, being aware of the side effects it has.

Side effects of using Accutane

Because it is such a powerful drug, its side effects can also be , however this is reversible and to calm down we only need to keep enough rest and follow the instructions of our doctor.

Like any medicine, Accutane can cause harmful adverse reactions for the organism and fatal , depending on the conditions in which the patient is, what makes the care so strict is the severity of certain sequelae if they do occur. Therefore, we will divide the side effects into serious and less serious.

Mild side effects

Among these we can mention:

  • Muscle aches and pains in the joints.
  • Deterioration of the skin such as: dryness, the appearance of a rash, scaly areas or, rather, cracks and itching.
  • Anxiety or nervousness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dryness in permeable areas such as (nose, mouth and lips).
  • Certain transformations in the nails, both hand and feet.

Serious side effects

As they have a higher level of severity, they are the reasons why precautions should be presented when ingesting this drug, these effects can be subdivided into:

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The presence of allergies that can be presented to medicine, loss of muscle mass, inflammations due to fluid accumulation, extreme sensitivity and fainting, all factors that can even worsen the patient’s situation.


Excessive acceleration of the pulse or better known as Tachycardia, heart disease or deep vein thrombosis, there could even be the possibility of a cerebrovascular mishap.


There may be sudden changes in lipid levels or certain fats in the bloodstream, which may tend to rise in these cases, as well as in sugar levels; therefore, laboratory tests must be done strictly every so often.


Presence of disease at the level of the intestines , which can become inflamed, like the liver, giving way to hepatitis; pancreatitis can also be present, as well as ulcers in the esophagus, gastric discomfort and other gastrointestinal ailments that cannot be specified.


Thanks to the composition of the product, it is possible to see insufficient red blood cells in good condition, this condition being known under the name of anemia ; There have also been cases where the amount of platelets drops drastically, as well as low levels of white blood cells in the blood, which is why hematological tests are necessary.


Strangely, there are cases where a side effect is Hyperostosis, known to be a condition, in which the bone grows excessively, the deterioration of the tendons is also seen as another negative effect of this drug. Even a decrease in bone mineral production is also seen, as well as acute pain.

The loss of bone health is also appreciated , to the point that a thirty-year-old person presents signs of musculoskeletal diseases normally seen in an older individual, such as osteoarthritis and other kinds of anomalies.

See our article on  Osteoporosis: Prevention, Treatments, Symptoms and Tests to be performed


Different neurological conditions are also seen, such as an inexplicable increase in pressure within the brain or skull bone , which in turn causes other effects equal to drowsiness or, otherwise, insomnia; acute headaches, general malaise around the whole organism, weakness, convulsions, damage such as stroke.


The presence of psychological disorders such as sequelae or collateral damage of the drug , such as delusions, suicidal ideas and desperate actions that may be accompanied by these thoughts, even occasions where it ends with the death of the individual by his own hand. Likewise, there are psychotic outbreaks, aggressive and violent behaviors against himself or his own environment.

It is incredible how one of the most seen effects is mental and emotional instability, which must be treated (also the conditions mentioned above) with other medications and visits to a psychiatrist to help balance it.


People (mostly women), who come to take Accutane have had deficiencies in the behavior of their reproductive systems , such as decreased hormones, and counts, also abnormal menstrual cycles, so they must perform necessary tests before, in the process and after of product administration.


They are also present, ailments and difficulties in the respiratory system , appearance of respiratory infections, also as contractions and narrowing of the bronchi, or the famous so-called bronchospasms , changes in the voice is nothing new thanks to the problems that may occur in this whole system and everything it includes.


Incredibly, the misuse of this medicine can lead to its greatest benefits against severe skin diseases being reversed and instead of improving, the dermatological deficiencies already present are complicated, as well as the appearance of other related ailments. with the skin.

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Among them, the vision of bruises, the persistence of acne and an increase in its severity, dryness in the permeable airways, in the skin, as well as hypersensitivity, fragility in the same, problems of hyper or hypo pigmentation, infections Like the herpes of the first level, also allergic reactions, granules and acne in its different forms.

Photosensitivity is another symptom that, although it is serious, if we take care of ourselves this does not result as a serious impeding pathology , since this is a natural consequence of the product due to the fragility of the skin.

If you get to present this symptom, you should not expose yourself to harmful agents such as sunlight and ultraviolet rays because they will leave you strong burns, an excellent option to relieve them is the use of cold water applied in compresses. Always wear sunscreen.


Likewise, specialists live experiences where the use of Accutane has influenced the perceptions that everyone has through the well-known five senses such as deficiencies in the ear canals or the loss of absolute perception in them, the presence of cataracts, and eye problems, such as lack of light in the retina, visual disturbances, poor color vision

Insufficiency of vision in night settings is not unusual in circumstances like this, as is the swelling in the skin folds such as the eyelids, having a deterioration of two senses of great importance for our development as individuals.


It causes inflammation in certain small filters in the kidneys, which causes hypersensitivity when urinating, therefore, the patient suffers pain in addition to discoveries of urogenital abnormalities without specification.

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You can also find lack of control in cholesterol and blood sugar levels, these uncontrols affect other biological processes of the human being, wreaking havoc on the body with terrible possible consequences, all due to the toxicity of retinoids.

Emergency symptoms

It should be noted that in the presence of the following symptoms you should seek specialized medical help as soon as possible , as they can be the prelude to greater risks:

  • Breathing difficulties, obstruction of patent airways.
  • Allergic reactions such as inflammation and the appearance of severe rosettes.
  • Fever levels going above 38 ° C.
  • Psychotic outbreaks where the individual is dangerous to himself and the people around him.
  • An inexplicable and very sudden increase in muscle mass.
  • High intensity abdominal pain.

How is Accutane administered?

At the time of administration , the amount and the schedule is the most important because an excess, no matter how small, can have catastrophic results and various factors must be studied to quantify an exact amount to be administered, such as what the person measures and weighs the results of daily check-ups, which reflect the general condition of the individual.

Normally, it is indicated by the permeable route, that is, orally with a presentation in soft gelatinous capsules, which can be found in doses from 10 to 40 milligrams . Said capsules should be kept in a certain type of environment, without much exposure to light, preferably taking them with meals and a lot of liquid together, which is better than water or milk.

To ingest these capsules, you must take them whole without chewing or crushing them , the duration of the treatment will be previously indicated by the specialist, although this could last approximately 15 to 20 weeks, with an intake of twice a day.

Through studies it was determined that, if you consume the generic brand of Isotretinoin, you will have to ingest the pills twice a day only with water, while if you take the Accutane brand, you could ingest it only once a day with a food or drink of your choice. and if you prefer with water, but you will not be able to lie down until 10 minutes have passed.

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The amount of Accutane that should be supplied is determined by the doctor through a series of previous physical evaluations, this in order to prescribe the indicated amount. This amount will also depend on the severity of the case of acne you have.

Usually when the treatment begins, the doses are usually in greater amounts and as it progresses, the dose will also decrease proportionally. If in your case the acne does not show improvement, the prescribed amount of medication should be maintained or increased.

The most commonly suggested dose by experts is 0.05 to 2 grams for each kilogram of the individual’s mass per day. It can be administered with other medications such as anti-seizure drugs, steroids, and some tetracycline antibiotics, although this should be consulted with a specialist physician first.

The capsule should not be chewed or sucked as stated above, it is better to swallow it as quickly as possible , following the strict schedule given by the doctor; There is a possibility that in the case of acne treatment, there is a deterioration of it before improvement.

You can witness an increase in your acne breakout but you should not be scared since it is a temporary effect, after 4 weeks with the treatment, you will begin to notice improvements in the affected area of ​​your body .

If severe acne returns, you will have to start a new treatment cycle after resting or taking a short break, usually this cycle lasts for at least 8 weeks if the case warrants it.

Does it really work, is it worth using Accutane?

Accutane is one of the drugs that is used as a last resort to solve the problems related to nodular and cystic acne. Thanks to the different studies it was possible to determine the efficacy of this drug.

We recommend reading the following for more information  Cystic or Nodular Acne: Causes, Symptoms and Best Treatments for each type

Its effectiveness is centered on the ability to eliminate bacteria and their food source in the skin, in addition to its long-term effect to prevent the development of this annoying condition.

It is important to note that before undergoing the treatment, the patient must be fully aware of the strong side effects and the proper rest that they require. The photosensitivity that this causes, along with dry skin and mucous membranes, must be considered a lot.

That is something that can only be decided by the patient, as a doctor may indicate the administration of the drug, but if the patient is not willing to risk the possible side effects, then obviously they can choose not to take it. It is necessary to make it known that Accutane is 90 percent effective.

You also have to keep in mind that the effectiveness of the treatment will depend on whether you comply with one hundred percent all the indications that your dermatologist has given you and even more so if you respect their daily doses. If for any reason you forgot to take the daily dose, do not plan to increase it the next day, since you have to respect the daily amounts.

Important information about Accutane

Given the risks it presents when administered, experts in the field totally prohibit its use under a state of pregnancy and lactation . Even women who do not have this condition must undergo check-ups, sign agreements where they accept all complications, their responsibility in the matter and other clauses.

Among these clauses are present: the acceptance of a birth control imposed by specialists , with all its specifications. Also pregnancy tests performed regularly before administration, between and after several days of completion.

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It is also forbidden to take it together with other supplements that contain vitamin A in their composition, to donate blood while and after a minimum of 30 days with the treatment completed.

Taking this drug together with other medications such as antibiotics such as Penicillin and Tetracycline turns out to be dangerous , for this reason, before starting treatment, notify your doctor in advance about other medications you consume.

This occurs due to the bacterial origin of the antibiotics mentioned above and the reaction to fight the bacteria of Accutane , which creates a strong adverse reaction and the effect that is wanted for both drugs is not fulfilled .

Given how dangerous the product turns out to be, both for the individual and for everyone around them, it can only be made available thanks to a program called iPLEDGE, which places different rules, such as being under the registration of said program and authorization by the patient. of its disposition and absolution of responsibility of another.

If an overdose occurs or is suspected, you should immediately call a medical emergency and more if symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and breathing difficulties occur.

This medicine is for totally personal use , that is, no one should ingest it if their case does not warrant it and without the supervision or prior agreement of a health specialist. Accutane should only be prescribed by a dermatologist and not by pharmacy specialists.

What things should we check before taking Accutane?

Every specialist must take into account certain factors that may intervene with the good and effective administration of the drug , these factors tend to be possible conditions that the patient has, which have nothing to do with the reason for taking Accutane, but with health general. These are:

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  • Medical history of the patient and family that may present evidence of psychological disorders such as depression or any mental illness.
  • Also possible heart disease or lack of control of parameters such as cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Bone diseases.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Ulcers.
  • Respiratory diseases, asthma.
  • Sugar level disorders (diabetes).

If you have any doubts, ask your doctor if your case of acne meets all the symptoms so that the drug can be prescribed, also if you take contraceptive pills you must notify him as well.

Never buy Accutane outside of a pharmacy , that is, do not buy it online or with suppliers of dubious origin, since they may violate all the drug and pharmacology statuses of the country.

Do not use this drug if you are allergic to its active compound such as Isotretinoin or Paraben or to any component that the excipients of the pill have, such as lactose and diuretics.

This drug causes congenital malformations in more than 45% of cases, it could be determined that no matter the gestation time, it can also negatively influence the embryo, fetus or neonate, microcephaly and hydrocephalus and bone problems being very common in the baby’s growth.

Why not take Accutane if you are pregnant?

The levels of toxicity that it has as a retinoid can cause the same side effects mentioned above, to be suffered by the fetus and in a worse way since its systems are not developed, and it can cause fatal defects for the baby at birth, therefore It should never be used if you are pregnant or if you have suspicions.

The risk of congenital malformation is very high , causing irreversible damage to the fetus, both physical and bone, visual, respiratory and heart problems, as well as neurological effects such as hearing and speech difficulties.

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Doctors tend to excessively control the birth of all women who have the potential to become pregnant, a rule from which only those who have had a total hysterectomy, removing ovaries and uteri in a radical way, or having been a victim of the menopause for at least 12 months without interruptions.

If the woman has been sterilized with complete removal of the uterus, no problem occurs, now if the form of sterilization was by means of the tubal tying, while this drug is consumed , use of physical contraceptive methods such as condoms should be used. since Accutane lowers the hormonal effect of the pills.

To start giving the medicine, a negative pregnancy test will need to be performed with a period of no more than 30 days. In the same way, it must be done at the time of prescribing each dose throughout the entire treatment, a document will also have to be signed where all the risks of birth are known at that time.

One of the reasons why donating blood under the consumption of Accutane is prohibited is because donated blood can end up being administered to a pregnant woman in need of a blood transfusion, and this has the same effects as if she were taking this one. medicine.

What happens if I skip a dosage?

If you miss a dose, no problem would occur, you just have to be more careful and pay more attention and care to this. You can put a reminder on your cell phone or a note in a visible place.

You have to go ahead with the program and take the next dose as scheduled , without taking anything to try and supplement the missed dose, as this can have serious consequences for you or any patient.

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However, if you forget the routine doses very frequently, you will significantly affect the effectiveness of the treatment and you will not achieve the expected results, since you will have insufficient drug in the body.

What to do in case of overdose?

Following the routine schedule given by the doctor is of vital importance in the administration of Accutane, but in case of overdose, the best thing to do is call the emergency room and go for medical help immediately , some symptoms that this happens and you should act fast are:

  • Dizziness, vomiting
  • Excessive stomach pains.
  • Loss of sense of coordination or orientation.

Interactions of Accutane with other medications

Your doctor or pharmacist should warn you from the beginning about the possible interactions of this drug with others, for this reason a series of blood tests are carried out that can determine this risk. Do not lower the doses of your previous medications until you are sure that Accutane can influence them .

Avoid as much as possible to ingest natural plants, which, although they seem to be harmless, produce adverse effects on the mechanism of action of many drugs especially in this one that performs a focused action, what the plant compound does is to divert the circulation of the drug in the bloodstream avoiding its proper synthesis.

Inform your doctor if you started taking another medication for any other condition, especially if it is vitamin complexes that contain vitamin A itself or if it is a pill or contraceptive method with hormonal action.

What things should be avoided while taking Accutane?

It is absolutely forbidden by doctors to take any supplement composed of vitamin A, not to perform processes on the skin such as waxing or laser hair removal, as well as tanning, with UV rays, for example, tanning beds, this is due because the medicine tends to make the skin susceptible and you can get burns.

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You should avoid driving or doing any activity in which you need clarity, in the dark they worsen the visual problems that the medicine causes. The taking of drugs and / or alcohol is also prohibited.

On the other hand, you should totally avoid exposures to sunlight and ultraviolet rays , since your skin is very sensitive thanks to the photosensitivity that was caused in it. If it is extremely important to do this, try to immediately apply sunscreen with a protection screen of SPF 30 or more.

You cannot get pregnant in the middle of the treatment, because the risks of malformations are very high and to get pregnant you have to wait at least six months after finishing the treatment. This with the purpose of eliminating the greater toxicity of the body.

Another important factor that you should avoid is breastfeeding , since most of the drug is diverted to the milk ducts, thus causing the baby to ingest most of the drug, constituting a high risk for the infant’s bone growth. .

To conclude, Accutane is a drug that offers help and benefits to severe conditions but that, in the same way, exposes the patient to other conditions that are the same and even worse. For this reason, it is important not to be taken recklessly , considering the fatal conditions it can have.

Likewise, it is a strictly regulated product, its sale without a prescription is prohibited , and it is not available in many places, experts emphasize asking that you refrain from smuggling said drug, since in some countries it is considered a drug and its marketing It is illegal.

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Another thing that specialists highlight are the care that must be taken , and the medical follow-up that the administration of a product like this warrants, if a person is in a condition where the medicine will only cause more damage than improvement, think carefully if you really prefer its consumption, all this must be said and studied by your doctor.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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