What is Accutane?
Accutane is a kind of vitamin A. It makes the skin to renew itself, while reducing the amount of skin sebum that is produced by the sebaceous glands.
Accutane treats severe nodular acne, when other treatment, for example with antibiotics was not effective.
What questions should be discussed with the doctor before taking Accutane?
Inform your doctor or pharmacist at Accutane drugstore if you have any of the diseases listed below before taking Accutane:
Mental disorders, such as depression, suicidal behavior, psychosis (hallucinations , ravings, hearing strange voices) which happened with the patient or his family.
osteoporosis (bone loss) or weak bones;
high cholesterol or triglyceride levels (types of fat) in the blood; or
If you have any of the states listed above, you may not take Accutane for acne treatment or you may need a special dosage or serious observation during the treatment.
If you are pregnant, do not take Accutane. Do not get pregnant earlier than a month after you stop taking the drug. FDA gave category X to isotretinoin, which means that this medicine can make serious injury and even death to unborn child. Stop using Accutane and consult your doctor if you are pregnant, if you have violations of your menstrual cycle or you stop taking oral contraceptives.
If you breastfeed your baby inform your doctor before taking Accutane, because it is not researched wheather the drug gets into the breast milk.
How is isotretinoin taken?
Only the doctor can explain how to take Accutane. Also the nurse, the pharmacist in Accutane drugstore or doctor can explain the instructions to you, if you don’t understand exactly what to do.
If treatment with antibiotics didn’t help with serious acne, as well as treatment with other drugs, Accutane can help. Before starting the treatment with Accutane consult your doctor and tell him everything about your state, discuss the advantages of the treatment. That is really important, because Accutane has serious side effects. If you realize all the risks which accompany the treatment with isotretinoin, the doctor will give you a special form to fill in and sign.
The course of the Accutane therapy is not more then 30 days. The doctor should add a special yellow sticker to the prescription. If you noticed that you don’t have it at your prescription, inform your doctor. The pharmacist in Accutane drugstore should not take the prescription without this yellow mark.
Take a full glass of water to wash down the pill. Do not chew or suck on the capsule in order to prevent the drug inside the pill irritating the lining of the esophagus. That’s why it’s important to drink water while taking the drug.
It is usually recommended to take Accutane twice a day with food or milk if your doctor advise you different.
If you feel better while taking Accutane, do not stop until you finish the whole course of treatment. The symptoms of acne disease may become worse at the beginning of the treatment, but by the end of the treatment it can improve. In order to get the full recovery, take all the pills prescribed by your doctor or Accutane drugstore specialist. He also can prescribe you more then one course of isotretinoin therapy.
You may require additional blood tests and analysis to control side effects.
Do not share the use of Accutane with someone else, because it has serious side effects.
Accutane should be stored at room temperature, avoiding moisture and heat.
What happens if you miss a dose?
As soon as you remind you must take a pill. But if it’s time for taking the next dose, skip the missed pill and continue taking the medicine according to your regime. Never double the dose.
What happens in the case of overdose?
If you have such symptoms as vomiting, abdominal pain, flushing of the face, inflammation of the lips, headache, dizziness, and clumsiness, call emergency to ask for medical help.
What should be avoid while taking Accutane?
As Accutane is a form of vitamin A, additional take of this vitamin can cause the increase of side effects, so do not take vitamin A and other drugs, containing it.
If you donate blood, stop doing this until you finish the course of treatment and for at least one month after. This blood can be given to a pregnant woman and make harm to her unborn baby.
While taking Accutane and at least 6 month after do not use depilatory and cosmetic procedures such as wax hair removal, skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, laser, because it can lead to scars appearing.
Accutane can make your skin sensitive to sunlight and hard sunburn can happen, so avoid direct sunlight and UV rays.
Accutane can affect the ability to drive vehicles at night by decreasing the night vision suddenly, so be attentive while taking the medicine.
Possible side effects.
Accutane side effects can be unexpected. You should inform your doctor or Accutane drugstore with all unknown changes in your condition. The most common side effects are:
an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
changes in vision, blurred vision, or decreased vision (especially at night);
painful or constant dryness of the eyes;
depression including feelings of sadness, crying spells, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, unusual tiredness, trouble concentrating, loss of appetite, and/ or suicidal thoughts or other mental problems;
stomach, chest, or bowel pain;
rectal bleeding, or severe or bloody diarrhea;
difficulty or pain when swallowing;
new or worsening heartburn;
yellowing of the skin or eyes or persistently dark urine;
severe headache or dizziness;
nausea and vomiting;
joint or muscle pain or bone problems;
hearing problems or hearing loss;
increased thirst or urination;
slurred speech or problems moving;
increased levels of cholesterol or triglyceride (types of fat) in your blood (detected by blood tests).
There are also less serious side effects, which your doctor should also be informed about.
inflammation, dryness, or cracking of the lips;
dry skin, dry mouth, dry or bleeding nose, dryness of the eyes and/ or difficulty wearing contact lenses;
increased sensitivity of the skin to the sun.
Accutane interaction with food and other drugs.
There are several drugs which can interact with Accutane. Inform your doctor if you take:
benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or other drying medicines used for acne
corticosteroids (example: prednisone)
medicines for seizures
other drugs that make you more sensitive to the sun such as sulfa drugs
progestin-only birth control hormones (examples: ‘Minipills’ like Aygestin®, Micronor®, Nor-QD® or injectable/implantable products such as Depo-Provera® or Norplant®)
tetracycline antibiotics (examples: doxycycline, tetracycline)
vitamins and other supplements containing vitamin A