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Potential Side Effects of Isotretinoin


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Isotretinoin is a strong treatment method for people who may have already become desperate about ever getting rid of their severe acne. Around 70% of all patients who fully complete the treatment course were able to clear their face forever with no remission. However, such power comes at a high price, too. Isotretinoin (or generic Accutane) is characterized by several adverse side effects that can make the completion of the course impossible.

Undoubtedly, miscarriage and awful birth defects are the most dangerous side effects the drug has. That’s why according to the special program of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that distributes this drug women must not be pregnant during the whole period of the therapy.
According to FDA, women who agree on Isotretinoin treatment must be on two separate birth control forms for at least a month preceding the treatment, during the therapy, as well as for at least a month after the treatment terminates.

Some of the possible side effects of isotretinoin are:
Severely dry skin (can be followed by skin cracking and peeling);
The skin may very often become sensitive to the sunlight;
The drug causes dry secretion membranes;
Blurred vision (especially at night), nosebleeds, and hearing problems;
Thinning hair;
Numbness and fatigue.
Any of these side effects may lead to the drug discontinuation if the patient suffers strong discomfort. Further stronger side effect may be any of the following:
Headaches, hallucinations and aggression bursts;
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and rectal bleeding;
Pain in joints and bones;
Abdominal or chest pain.

Isotretinoin is also known for its ability to affect patient’s mood and behavioral patterns. It may force depression, psychosis, and suicide thoughts. Any changes in the patient’s mood or behavior must be immediately reported to the physician.

Isotretinoin is a very effective anti-acne medication that has a long history of non-inflammatory, inflammatory, and cystic acne treatment. In spite of its numerous side effects, many patients are left with no other viable option but Isotretinoin. Oftentimes, people are ready to go through many adverse side effects of the drug, just to clear their faces. That is especially true if all milder treatment methods proved ineffective.

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  • Posted On March 24, 2012
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