ACCUTANE (ISOTRETINOIN) - DESCRIPTION, SAFETY INFORMATION, HOW TO USE, SIDE EFFECTS OF ACCUTANE (ISOTRETINOIN)
Generic Name: Isotretinoin (Oral) (EYE so TRET i noyn). Brand Names: Accutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret
Accutane (Isotretinoin) is used to treat severe nodular acne. It is usually given after other acne medicines or antibiotics have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms. Accutane is a form of vitamin A. It reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, and helps your skin renew itself more quickly.
Accutane may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How to use Accutane (Isotretinoin)
Take Accutane exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Always take Accutane with a full glass of water to prevent the capsule from melting in your esophagus (food pipe), causing irritation. Do not chew or suck on the capsule. Swallow it as quickly as possible. Take Accutane with food or milk. Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your acne may seem to get worse at first, but should then begin to improve.
Each prescription of Accutane must be filled within 7 days of the date it was prescribed by your doctor. You will receive no more than a 30-day supply of Accutane at one time.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Never share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. Store Accutane at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Accutane side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Accutane: difficulty breathing; hives; swelling of your face, tongue, lips or throat.
Stop using Accutane and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- depressed mood, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, crying spells, aggression or agitation, changes in behavior, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- blurred vision, sudden and severe headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with vomiting;
- seizure (convulsions);
- hearing problems, hearing loss, or ringing in your ears;
- severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
- severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding, black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, purple spots under your skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
- joint stiffness, bone pain or fracture;
- severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.
Less serious Accutane side effects may include:
- feeling dizzy, drowsy, or nervous;
- joint pain, back pain;
- dryness of the lips, mouth, nose, or skin; or
- cracking or peeling skin, itching, rash, changes in your fingernails or toenails.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Important information about Accutane
Accutane can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects. Never use Accutane if you are pregnant.
Women of child-bearing potential must agree in writing to use two specific forms of birth control and have regular pregnancy tests before, during, and after taking isotretinoin.
Do not take vitamin supplements containing vitamin A while you are taking isotretinoin. Do not donate blood while taking Accutane and for at least 30 days after you stop taking it.
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