If you or your teenager suffers from acne and has tried multiple treatments, it may be time to take your skincare regimen to the next level. Consulting with Fort Morgan dermatology services can provide personalized recommendations about the best treatment for your stubborn acne. Many patients turn to Accutane after other treatments haven’t worked. Here are helpful things to know about Accutane.
What is Accutane?
Isotretinoin, or Accutane, is used to treat severe cystic acne after all other treatments have failed to work. The specific brand Accutane is no longer available, but many people still refer to the generic prescription models by the name. Accutane replacements include Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret, Myorisan, Absorica, and Zenatane. All of the different brands work the same way and are retinoids that decrease the amount of oil the face produces.
Most dermatologists won’t prescribe Accutane until the patient has tried multiple types of acne treatments, including oral antibiotics and topical treatments like creams and cleansers. Accutane is commonly prescribed to teenagers, although the drug is often restricted to only certain doctors or patients with very severe cases.
Accutane is a pill that patients take daily for four to five months or until their severe acne has healed. Most brands should be taken with food. Because the drug is so strong, patients are required to get a new prescription each month. This allows the doctor to regularly check on their skin’s progress and stay on top of any potential side effects or issues. Each patient’s dosage is based on their age, weight, and response to the treatment.
What are the Results?
Accutane is powerful and can produce great results for all types of breakouts. Accutane is a fairly popular drug for people with stubborn acne that is producing scars or that hasn’t gone away for years despite multiple treatment options. Over two million people have taken Accutane or its generic counterparts. Many patients report seeing their acne worsen during the first few days of taking Accutane before it gets better. It can take up to two months before the skin starts to clear. About half of Accutane patients report that the treatment cures their acne so that they don’t have to do anything else for their acne. When it comes to treating severe acne, Accutane is widely considered the most effective option.
What are the Side Effects?
However, one of the reasons that Accutane is so effective is because it is very potent. There are numerous side effects that patients need to be aware of before they decide if it is the best treatment option for them. Common side effects include dry skin, nosebleeds, peeling skin, cracked or sore lips, and tiredness. Less common but more serious side effects include headaches, dizziness, nausea, seizures, and vision problems. Perhaps the most troubling potential side effect to many patients is the potential mental health issues, including some cases of depression being linked to taking Accutane. While this doesn’t occur in everyone, it is something to consider, especially if the patient has had depression or mental health issues in the past. Accutane can also lead to potential birth effects, which is why most patients are required to use two forms of birth control, and female patients often have to take monthly pregnancy tests.
Patients should be open and honest with their doctor when deciding to take Accutane. If you have a history of mental health problems, diabetes, eating disorders, or high blood fats, talk to your doctor. These conditions could potentially put you at a higher risk for serious side effects.
Accutane is a potent solution when it comes to treating severe and long-lasting acne. However, patients should carefully consider the tradeoffs and potential side effects before taking the drug. Talk to your dermatologist about your risks and potential rewards as you take the next step to clear, healthy skin.