Accutane is a powerful medication prescribed to treat severe, difficult to control acne.
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To cure a couple of pimples that appear on the face, you can always use antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ointments. If the dermatological disease occurs in a particularly severe form, and the acne has spread very much on the skin, simple means for external use will no longer be enough. In such situations, dermatologists prescribe their patients strong drugs for oral administration, one of these drugs is Accutane for acne.
What is Accutane ?
Until the end, the principle of operation of Accutane is not established, but doctors attribute this to the suppression of sebum production and reducing the size of gums with the help of the main active substance isotretinoin. It is proved that isotretinoin has an antiseptic effect.
Also, isotretinoin things the stratum corneum of the epidermis to more easily penetrate deep into the affected area. Because Accutane suppresses the release of sebum by reducing the sebaceous glands themselves, this reduces the migration of bacteria in the ducts. And since the stratum corneum is thinned, the sebum has an exit to the outside, which does not cause blockage of the pores and eventually pimples.
Acne and severe body rashes are common problems for men and women of all ages that prevent them from living a full life.
The drug Accutane is a powerful internal remedy for acne only for severe forms of acne. It can be drunk exclusively as prescribed by a dermatologist strictly at the specified doses. Accutane for acne can be prescribed initially if other types of treatment did not help, and the form of acne is extremely severe. The drug has a lot of side effects and only 50% are completely cured of acne when taking Accutane.
Composition and principle of operation
The main component of Accutane is isotretinoin. This substance has antiseptic properties, suppresses the activity of the sebaceous glands, and also contributes to the thinning of the keratinized skin layer. The drug quickly penetrates the subcutaneous tissue and begins its active action. Treatment of acne with Roaccutane does not give instant results, but it allows you to eliminate rashes and prevent their further appearance. Strong medicine is available in the form of tablets (capsules), you can only use it as prescribed by a doctor.
Composition of the drug and medicinal properties
The drug uses isotretinoin as the main substance, as well as soy, soybean oil, yellow beeswax, white gelatin, starch as auxiliary.
Medicinal properties are shown in the fact that Accutane:
- reduces the stratum corneum of the epidermis;
- reduces skin inflammation;
- it has an antiseptic effect;
- deactivates and reduces sebaceous glands;
- prevents the appearance of bacteria and inflammation inside the body.
Thanks to all these properties of the drug, the number of pimples on the skin are significantly reduced, and new pimples do not appear. The drug is prescribed for severe acne, acne, for the treatment of acne on the face and body, when other forms of treatment and drugs have not had the necessary effect.
Acne treatment with Accutane
Accutane for acne, again, is prescribed only by a doctor and, preferably, a dermatologist. For mild to moderate forms of acne, do not immediately start with Accutane. Its effectiveness is not always justified: the number of side effects exceeds the ability to have a clean face. Only half of those treated for acne with Accutane completely got rid of them. The rest did not get rid at all or after stopping the use of the drug received an aggressive relapse.
We will not prescribe doses here, because they can only be prescribed by a doctor specifically for your condition. But it is sold in pharmacies in a dosage of 10 mg and 20 mg. On average, acne treatment with Accutane lasts from 4 months to 6 months. Long-term use of the drug is not recommended. The entire duration of treatment should be monitored by your doctor. Often, in the first days of treatment, there is a sharp exacerbation of acne, and after stopping treatment, the skin condition may not improve. Accutane is taken as capsules during meals. You must take a General blood test and other tests prescribed by your doctor every month. If you find any side effects, immediately inform your doctor.
Interaction of Accutane with other drugs and procedures
Do not combine Accutane with vitamin A, hypervitaminosis may occur. Do not use it with tetracyclines and contraceptives containing progesterone.
Due to the thinning of the stratum corneum of the skin, you can not stay in the sun or use sunscreens with a high level of SPF. During treatment and for 1 year after treatment, epilation, surgical and cosmetic procedures, laser interventions, and dermabrasion are prohibited. This is associated with a high risk of scarring and age spots.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should never treat acne with Accutane because this directly affects the fetus. Before prescribing treatment, the doctor forces you to do a pregnancy test twice. During treatment with Accutane, you must strictly adhere to contraceptives, otherwise the child may not be born.
Side effects of Accutane
Accutane from acne has many terrifying side effects that have a chance to occur when using the drug. They are described in detail in the instructions of the drug, and here we will describe the most common.
There is another similar drug RoAccutane. It has appeared on the USA market recently since 2010 and has fewer side effects, although it is also based on isotretinoin, a smaller amount of isotretinoin passes through the blood, and the amount of active substances is the same as with Accutane. But we have a separate article about this drug.
Taking Accutane is not safe and should only be carried out under the constant supervision of a specialist since there is a high probability of side effects:
- appearance of rash and dermatitis;
- increased sweating;
- joint and muscle pain;
- spasms in the bronchi;
- depressive States, nervousness, apathy;
- nausea, vomiting;
- vision and hearing impairment;
- deformation of the fetus;
- dry skin, peeling skin, lips;
- hair loss;
- fever chills;
- hepatitis in a reversible form;
- intestinal inflammation and bleeding;
- depression of immunity;
- hoarseness of voice;
- increase the level of cholesterol and sugar;
- high temperature;
- dryness of the mucous membranes;
- swelling of the face;
- difficulty breathing;
- abdominal pain, colic, bloating;
- blackened stool, blood in the stool, in the urine;
- loss of concentration, fatigue, sleepiness;
- sudden weight loss or increase;
- rashes, mouth ulcers, or other changes;
- increase sensitivity to light;
- loss of appetite;
- sleep and nutrition disorders;
- heart rate increases;
- infections with infectious diseases;
- suicidal tendencies;
- closeness, constraint;
- reduction of red blood cells and white blood cells;
- changes in platelet levels;
- increases acne, especially at the beginning of medication;
- acute Leccese;
- blood clotting, which can lead to a stroke;
- allergic to contact lenses;
- intracranial pressure;
- internal bleeding;
- noise or ringing in the ears;
- jaundice of the skin;
- ocular corneal turbidity;
If side effects occur, you need to urgently consult a doctor or call an ambulance, since in isolated cases death is probable.
Dry skin, mucosa, increased body temperature, nausea, vomiting, visual impairment, changes in the oral cavity, rash, itching, headaches – the most common side effects of the drug and occur in a third of patients taking Accutane.
Dr. Wendy Evans-Uhegbu is a graduate of The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, with experience in Connected Health, Medical Technology, Clinical Research, Medical Education, Medical Communications, and Web Design/Development. She is a part of the Medics Abroad team with the role of Chief Communications Officer. She is also a Medical Writer at 3D4 Medical and runs a Medical Communications and Children’s books company (ODR Integrated Services/ ODR Books). She is the author of the newly published children’s book series “The Things Around Me”.