Accutane is a powerful retinoid and is used for the treatment of persistent and severe acne that has not cleared using other skin or oral medications. It works by decreasing the production of oil and changes the skin’s characteristics, thereby impeding the unusual hardening of the skin.
Method of Use
It is recommended that Accutane is taken orally twice a day with food, unless advised differently by your doctor, with a glass of water, milk or other non-alcoholic drink.
If you suffer from a reaction to taking Accutane, advise your doctor immediately and they may adjust the dosage accordingly. If you symptoms respond well, your doctor may advise you to stop taking Accutane prior to the completion of the course.
When you have completed a course or Accutane, it is recommended that you take a “rest period” of at least 2 months (your acne may continue to improve despite no longer taking the drug). If you acne still persists after this “rest period”, you may be advised by your doctor to take a second course. If you are a teenager or young adult, and are still growing, your doctor may recommend a longer “rest period”.
Avoid alcohol at all times whilst taking Accutane. Do not crush, suck or chew the capsules. It is essential that you follow your doctor’s instructions and read the enclosed guidelines at all times. If you miss a dose of Accutane, take it as soon as you remember, unless this is close to your next scheduled dose. If it is, miss that dose and then return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Accutane is to be stored at 77°F (25°C), in its original container, away from heat, light and moisture. It must not be stored in the bathroom. Accutane may be stored briefly at temperatures between 59°F and 86°F (15-30°C). The product must be kept out of the reach of children and pets at all times. Any medication that is out of date should be disposed of safely (any pharmacist will be able to advise you on disposal instructions).
If you are allergic to any ingredients contained in Accutane, do not take Tetracycline and consult your doctor as soon as possible. Your acne may worsen during the initial stages of treatment, but it does not mean that the medication is not working and do not cease taking Accutane. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor immediately.
Prior to using Accutane, advise your doctor or pharmacist of any medical conditions you may have, particularly if:
you are pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, or are breast feeding; and
you have any other allergies to medications, foods or other substances.
Whilst taking Accutane, it is important that you:
do not drive or carry out any dangerous tasks until you are aware of your reactions to the drug;
do not give blood whilst taking the drug, or for at least 1 month after taking the drug;
do not drink alcohol;
use a lip balm or moisturiser to prevent the cracking of your lips as they may become dry during treatment;
do not undergo any cosmetic procedures on your skin including waxing, dermabrasion or laser treatment whilst taking the drug, or for at least 6 months after completing a course (there is a potential increase in scarring);
avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps or tanning equipment. If you are to be outside in the sun for a prolonged period of time, you must use a good sunscreen application or wear protective clothing;
advise your doctor or health practitioner of any excessive physical activity, such as sports, during treatment;
are sexually active and of child-bearing age, that you take two effective forms of birth control, such as the contraceptive pill and a condom, at least 1 month before, during and 1 month after a course of treatment; and
avoid progestin birth control pills that do not contain oestrogen as they may not be totally effective during treatment.
If you a diabetic, it is advised that Accutane may affect your blood sugar levels. Ensure your blood sugar levels are monitored closely. Your doctor may adjust the dosage accordingly.
Potential Side Effects
If you experience any of the above or following side effects, seek immediate emergency medical treatment and notify your doctor as soon as possible. Possible side effects include:
additional or unusual hair growth, hair thinning, skin sensations;
bleeding, redness or swelling of the gums, mouth, face, lips or tongue, leg swelling;
menstrual changes, flushes;
chapped lips, skin infection, sensitivity to the sun;
reduced tolerance to contact lenses, dizziness;
dry eyes, mouth, nose (potentially nosebleeds), skin;
unusual tiredness, lack of energy, insomnia, difficulty sleeping;
headache, increased pressure in the brain (eye), reduced or loss of vision;