With the generic name of Isotreonin and the brand names: Amnesteem, Claravis and Sotret; Accutane is a discontinued drug, used to treat and prevent severe acne.
It has been established countless times that severe acne causes scarring in the skin and it is mainly caused by inflammation due to excessive secretion of sebum by the sebaceous glands in the skin. On its mechanism of action (which is currently unknown, but it’s related to DNA transcription) Accutane may reduce the secretion of these glands resulting on less inflammation and keratinization, which also means less scars. However its usage is strictly to treat severe acne that’s resistant to more conservative treatments such as creams, drying agents, and topical or oral antibiotics.
It is forbidden to use of this medicine during pregnancy or suspicion of it. Accutane could be fatal for the fetus or cause severe, life-threatening birth defects if the mother takes this medication during the period of pregnancy. Its effects on the child are so severe that even one dose may result in major birth defects of the baby’s features and brain. It is advisable not to take Accutane if you are pregnant.
As a precaution, you must have a negative pregnancy test, at least 30 days before you start taking Accutane. A pregnancy test is also required before each prescription is refilled, right after you take your last dose of Accutane. You might as well, agree into using two specific forms of birth control, starting a month before you begin the consumption of Accutane and ending 30 days after you stop taking it. Both a primary and a secondary form of birth control are suggested to be used together.
However, while breastfeeding It is currently unknown if the medicine passes through breast milk. Nonetheless don’t take Accutane without consulting your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Always tell your doctors about all the medication you use. There are some drugs that pose serious side-effects, when they are mixed with Accutane. Some of them are:
Tetracycline antibiotics like: demeclocycline, doxycycline, minocycline or tetracycline.
The list of drugs that interact with Acutane is not exhaustable. There are other drugs both OTC and prescription drugs that are also not recommended while taking Accutane.
Some people may be allergic to this drug and there has to be special care for patients with dermatitis and other skin conditions. Always check with your doctor.
Common side effects:
Bone or joint pain
Signs of inflammation on eyes and lips
Irregular heartbeat or pulse
unusual weight gain or loss
unusual bleeding or bruising
sores or ulcers on the lips, tongue or inside the mouth
redness, soreness, or itching skin
Please note that only a specialist can determine the exact dose you need, in order to start treatment. However, we provide some guides on these regards.
Recommended dosage range for Accutane is 0.5 to 1.0 mg/kg/day given in two doses with food for some weeks, it needs to be taken with food to assure better absorption. If there’s an improvement on the reduction of nodule count prior to completing 15 to 20 weeks of treatment, the medicine should be discontinued.
Please, do not take this drug for a longer period of time or try to increase dosage without your doctor’s direction because some side effects and complications are dosage related. Also, there’s evidence showing that all dosages provide initial clearing of disease, but within time there is a greater need for retreatment with lower doses.
For such reason, during treatment, the dose may need to be adjusted, according to the patient’s response and other clinical side effects that may apply. Nevertheless before these adjustments are made, patients should provide information about other treatments and food habits, to establish the correct dose.
Another interesting fact: Once daily dosing is NOT recommended.
Skip it and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
Seek medical attention immediately. Some overdose symptoms may include:
sudden loss of coordination
warmth under the skin