Isotretinoin, Accutane, Accutane Roche, Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret

Habit forming? No
Prescription needed? Yes
Available as generic? Yes
Drug classification: Anti-acne (systemic)

Decreases cystic acne formation in severe cases.
- Treats certain other skin disorders involving an overabundance of outer skin layer.
- Reduce sebaceous gland activity and size.

How to take Accutane:

Capsule: Swallow with liquid or food to lessen stomach irritation.

- If you can't swallow whole, open capsule and take with liquid or food.

When to take Accutane:

Two times a day. Follow prescription directions.

If you forget an Accutane dose:

Take as soon as you remember up to 2 hours late.

- If more than 2 hours wait for next scheduled dose and double the dose.

What drug does:

- Reduce sebaceous gland activity and size.

Time lapse before drug works:

- May require 15 to 20 weeks to experience full benefit.

Don't take with:

Vitamin A or supplements containing Vitamin A. 

-  Any other medicine or any dietary supplement without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

SYMPTOMS: None reported.
Overdose unlikely to threaten life. If a person use's a much larger amount than prescribed or if accidentally swallowed, call doctor or poison control center for help.


None expected.


Burning, red itching eyes; lip scaling; burning pain; nosebleeds.  Itchy skin.  Dry mouth.


Rash, infection, nausea, vomiting.  Pain in muscles, bones, joints; hair thinning; tiredness.


Severe stomach pain, bleeding gums, blurred vision, severe diarrhea, continuing headache, vomiting, eye pain, rectal bleeding, yellow skin or eyes, serious depression, psychosis, thoughts of suicide.  Mild headache, increased sensitivity to light, stomach upset, peeling of skin on palms or soles of feet.

Don't take if: 

You are allergic to Accutane, Etretinate, Tretinoin or Vitamin A derivatives. 

- You are pregnant.

- You are planning a  pregnancy.

- You are even able to bear children.

- Read, understand and follow the patient information enclosure with your prescription.

Before you start, consult your doctor if:

- You have diabetes.

- You or any members of your family have high triglyceride levels in blood.

- You or family members have a history of severe depression.

Over age 60:

Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.


- Cause's birth defects in fetus. Don't use.

- If you are planning pregnancy or at risk of pregnancy, don't take this drug.


- Effect unknown.

- Not recommended. Consult doctor.

Infants & children:

- Not approved for ages under 12.

- Use under close medical supervision for ages 13 to 18.

Prolonged use:

-  Possible damage to cornea of the eye.

- Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check complete blood counts (white blood cell count, platelet count, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit), liver function, blood lipids, blood sugar.

Skin & sunlight:

- May cause rash or intensify sunburn in areas exposed to sun or ultraviolet light (photosensitivity reaction).

- Avoid overexposure.

- Notify doctor if reaction occurs.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:

- Use caution if there is a decrease In your night vision or you are unable to see well. Consult doctor.


- Single course of treatment is usually all that's needed. If second course required, wait 8 weeks after completing first course.


Use only for severe cases of cystic acne that have not responded to less hazardous forms of acne treatment.

- May interfere with the accuracy of some medical tests.

- May cause bone problems (osteoporosis, fractures, delayed healing).

- Don't donate blood for at least 30 days after discontinuing medicine.

- Acne may worsen at the start of treatment.

- Contact lens wearers may experience discomfort during treatment with this drug.

- Contact doctor right away if a person taking this drug develops symptoms of depression, psychosis (severe mental problems) or has any suicide thoughts or suicide behaviors. 

- Advise any doctor or dentist whom you consult that you take this medicine.

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