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Home: Diseases & Conditions: Acne: Treatments: Isotretinoin

Acne: Treatment With Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin - Acne Treatment With Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is considered to be most effective medicine for severe acne. Isotretinoin is a drug of choice for acne patients who may have lost hope about treatment of their acne. Isotretinoin is available as capsules to be taken orally and the trade name of Isotretinoin in the USA is Accutane.

Isotretinoin is a retinoid. Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A. Isotretinoin is chemically known as 13-cis retinoic acid.

Isotretinoin is generally prescribed for 16 to 20 weeks and by the end of this period considerable improvement is seen in most of the patients.

Isotretinoin may cause some side effects and should be strictly taken under medical supervision. It can cause birth defects in a fetus. Therefore women should take the precaution of not getting pregnant while taking Isotretinoin.

Isotretinoin may also be used for some other conditions that include: folliculitis, seborrhoea, chloracne and other diseases that look like acne.

Usage -

Nodular and cystic acne that does not respond to other medications is treated with Isotretinoin. Any other acne that does not respond to medication may also be treated with Isotretinoin. The rate of success with Isotretinoin is very high. In the beginning some people see deterioration in their acne but that slowly disappears. Isotretinoin is commonly prescribed for 16 to 20 weeks and if needed it is repeated after a gap of eight weeks.

It is believed that Isotretinoin works by shrinking the sebaceous glands and reduces sebum production. Isotretinoin is also an anti-inflammatory medicine.

The dosage of Isotretinoin depends upon the severity of acne, body weight, other treatments being used at the same time etc. Your doctor is the best person to decide about the dose. The treatment begins with a small dose and as body adjusts to isotretinoin the dose is increased. Doctors also monitor the response during this period and if they find that patient is not responding, they may stop the therapy. As isotretinoin needs fat to help its absorption in body, it is taken after food.

Side Effects Of Isotretinoin -

Isotretinoin causes side effects such as: dry mouth, dry nose, thinning of hair, fatigue, dry skin, red itchy eyes, sore lips, etc. If you experience any other side effect such as muscle aches, difficulty in walking, depression, vomiting, etc. please inform your doctor.

You may not be able to wear your contact lenses for some time in the beginning of treatment with isotretinoin.

You should not donate any blood while you are taking isotretinoin and for a period of one month after you stop taking it.

Isotretinoin And Pregnancy -

Isotretinoin can cause serious defects in a fetus. Therefore, you should inform your doctor if you are pregnant.

You should also tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant or are already breast-feeding. You will have to test yourself for pregnancy before you begin isotretinoin and continue getting tested while taking Isotretinoin. Your doctor will explain the details to you.

If you get pregnant while taking isotretinoin you should stop taking it and call your doctor immediately.

You must adopt two reliable methods of birth control for one month before taking isotretinoin, continue with two methods while taking isotretinoin and for after one month of stopping isotretinoin.

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