Accutane is one of the more aggressive types of treatment for acne and is often asked for when patients with severe acne visit their dermatologist. It is often asked if there are any side effects, and this is for good reason as it has led to many problems.

accutane risks and side effectsThe use of Accutane, a prescription pill, began in the early 1980’s and soon become one of the most prescribed treatments for acne later in the decade. This came with risk, however, as it was not fully understood how this pill works, and there were many side effects such as birth defects. The problem grew large enough and severe enough that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to send out letters of warning to doctors to alert them to the risks of prescribing this pill.

Ingredients of Accutane

Isotretinoin, the scientific name for Accutane, is a derivative of Vitamin A. The concentration of this vitamin in this drug is so high to the point of being toxin on the body in some cases. The reason for the use of this vitamin is because it constricts the sebaceous glands, which excrete oils through your skin. When this oil production is slowed down many skin issues such as acne are lessened as the pores are no longer clogged from this output through the skin’s layers and bacteria is unable to breed.

This is not an overnight treatment, rather it can take several months for the drug to take effect. Most cases see the best results after six months of continued use, as the chemical makeup of the skin is fundamentally changed.

side effects of accutane acne treatment

While it works wonders on acne, is Accutane worth the side effects?

Issues with Accutane

The biggest issue with Accutane is that it is an oral drug (pill form), as opposed to a topical eye serum like the others I review on this site. Because of this, the drug is distributed all around the body rather than just the area of skin where a serum is applied. Your liver, muscles and other organs receive the drug which can lead to side effects. All parts of your body are effected by the antibacterial properties indiscriminately, which is not a positive effect for some of your vital organs.

The Danger of Accutane

When this drug first came on the market it was considered a miracle drug to clear up acne problems and was prescribed widely by dermatologists. It only took a few yeas for the side effects to be seen and became too much for patients to deal with and led to fewer prescriptions. Some reported migraines, liver damage and muscle pain from taking this drug. While it may clear up acne, it can also lead to dry, red eyes that are in need of lubrication relief.

Aside from the effects on the user, it also is believed that it led to birth defects in pregnant women. Many miscarriages and birth defects were reported in individuals who took this drug while pregnant due to its toxic high concentration.

With all this in mind, it is better to be safe than sorry and use a topical cream or another kind of treatment before going with Accutane to clear up your acne.