Accutane side effects


Accutane side effects :
a look at Purpose, Interactions and Warnings

Accutane (Isotretinoin) is in a class of drugs called retinoids. It is used to treat severe acne that has not responded to oral or topical anti-infectives. This medication should not be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Special Warning about Accutane side effects

According to The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), "Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking isotretinoin, stop taking isotretinoin and call your doctor immediately. Isotretinoin can harm the fetus. You will need to have two negative pregnancy tests before starting to take isotretinoin, and you will need to take a pregnancy test once a month while taking isotretinoin. Use two reliable methods of birth control for 1 month before taking, while taking, and for 1 month after stopping to take this drug. It is important to use two reliable methods of birth control to be sure that you do not accidentally become pregnant. Your doctor should show you a videotape and give you written information about birth control. Carefully read the consent form before signing it. Ask your doctor any questions you have about this information.Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to isotretinoin."

Accutane side effects and interactions

Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure there are no unwanted Accutane side effects.

Isotretinoin causes birth defects in humans if taken during pregnancy. Therefore, if you suspect that you may have become pregnant, stop taking this medicine immediately and check with your doctor.

Importance of checking with your doctor before taking any medications including vitamins, herbal products, or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Some of these medicines or nutritional supplements (e.g., St. John's wort) may make your birth control pills not work.

During the first 3 weeks you are taking isotretinoin, your skin may become irritated. Also, your acne may seem to get worse before it gets better. Check with your doctor if your skin condition does not improve within 1 to 2 months after starting this medicine or at any time your skin irritation becomes severe. Full improvement continues after you stop taking isotretinoin and may take up to 6 months. Your health care professional can help you choose the right skin products to reduce skin dryness and irritation.

Do not donate blood to a blood bank while you are taking isotretinoin or for 30 days after you stop taking it. This is to prevent the possibility of a pregnant patient receiving the blood containing the medicine.

Some of the Accutane side effects in some patients may cause a decrease in night vision. This decrease may occur suddenly. If it does occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not able to see well. Also, check with your doctor.

Isotretinoin may cause dryness of the eyes. Therefore, if you wear contact lenses, your eyes may be more sensitive to them during the time you are taking isotretinoin and for up to about 2 weeks after you stop taking it. To help relieve dryness of the eyes, check with your doctor about using an eye-lubricating solution, such as artificial tears. If eye inflammation occurs, check with your doctor.

Isotretinoin may also cause dryness of the mouth and nose. For temporary relief of mouth dryness, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if dry mouth continues for more than 2 weeks, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.

Avoid overexposing your skin to sunlight, wind, or cold weather. Your skin will be more prone to sunburn, dryness, or irritation, especially during the first 2 or 3 weeks of treatment. However, you should not stop taking this medicine unless the skin irritation becomes too severe. Do not use a sunlamp.

To help isotretinoin work properly, regularly use sunscreen or sunblocking lotions with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Also, wear protective clothing and hats.

Some of the Accutane side effects may cause mood or behavior problems, including having thoughts about hurting themselves; check with you doctor right away if unusual mood or behavior problems occur.

Isotretinoin may cause bone or muscle problems, including joint pain, muscle pain or stiffness, or difficulty moving. Check with your doctor if these problems are bothersome.

Do not take vitamin A or any vitamin supplement containing vitamin A while taking this medicine, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Importance of not removing hair by wax epilation while taking isotretinoin and for 6 months after stopping isotretinoin. Isotretinoin can increase your chance of scarring from wax epilation.

Importance of not having any cosmetic procedures to smooth your skin (e.g., dermabrasion, laser) while taking isotretinoin and for 6 months after stopping isotretinoin. Isotretinoin can increase your chance of scarring from these cosmetic procedures.

For diabetic patients:

The potential Accutane side effects may affect blood sugar levels. If you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests or if you have any questions, check with your doctor.

Observed Accutane side effects

Along with its needed effects, there may be unwanted Accutane side effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following Accutane side effects occur:

More Commonly Observed

Bone or joint pain; burning, redness, itching, or other signs of eye inflammation; difficulty in moving; nosebleeds; scaling, redness, burning, pain, or other signs of inflammation of lips; skin infection or rash.

Rarely Observed

Abdominal or stomach pain (severe); attempts at suicide or thoughts of suicide (usually stops after medicine is stopped); back pain; bleeding or inflammation of gums; blurred vision or other changes in vision; changes in behavior; decreased vision after sunset or before sunrise (sudden or may continue after medicine is stopped); diarrhea (severe) ; headache (severe or continuing); mental depression; nausea and vomiting; pain or tenderness of eyes; pain, tenderness, or stiffness in muscles (long-term treatment); rectal bleeding; yellow eyes or skin.

Other Accutane side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These Accutane side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More Commonly Observed

Crusting of skin; difficulty in wearing contact lenses (may continue after medicine is stopped); dryness of eyes (may continue after treatment is stopped); dryness of mouth or nose; dryness or itching of skin ; headache (mild); increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight; peeling of skin on palms of hands or soles of feet; stomach upset ; thinning of hair (may continue after treatment is stopped).

Other Accutane side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Sources : The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP)


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