Accutane for Acne Treatment

Acne VulgarisAccutane is a powerful drug that is used to combat serious acne, primarily in teens. Because of its serious and lengthy list of side effects, it is generally used as a last resort only when nothing else has worked to cure the acne.

The most serious of the side effects is that it can cause birth defects that are severe, such as malformed babies and mental retardation. Other common side effects are conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye; skin that becomes fragile and dry, cracked or dry lips, dry mouth, pain in your joints, a dry nose, excessive itching, and nosebleeds.

Other side effects that are less common but very annoying are pain in the bowels and even some inflammation; chest pain, inability to tolerate your contact lenses, a decrease in your night vision, wounds that heal more slowly, fatigue, depression, nausea and vomiting, headaches, a rash, stomach or intestinal upset, skin that is sensitive to sunburn, peeling on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet, thinning of your hair, and urinary discomfort.

Your acne could actually get worse before it gets better when you first start accutane treatment.

It is extremely important that you do not get pregnant when you are taking accutane. Your baby will have a high risk of having birth defects if you do so. No doctor will prescribe it to a woman who does not sign a statement that she has been on effective birth control for at least a month and will stay on it for at least a month after the accutane treatment ends. So serious are the problems and the side effects for the baby that a woman must have a negative pregnancy test within two weeks of starting treatment and will begin the regimen on the second or third day of her menstrual period.

Blood sugar may be hard to regulate while you are on accutane. Some of the side effects may be exacerbated if you’re taking tetracycline at the same time.

You cannot donate blood while you are on accutane and for one month after you end the treatment.