Accutane side effects

Accutane is a type of oral medication used in the treatment of acne. It is essentially a form of Vitamin A and causes reduction in the oil released by glands of the skin. As a result, acne is kept under control and the skin is able to renew itself much faster. In general it is prescribed only in cases of severe acne such as nodular acne (hard, long bumps beneath the surface of the skin). The usage of Accutane, however, is known to have several side effects, some of which can be devastating. It is highly recommended that before usage, these side effects be thoroughly understood. Due to these side effects, Accutane is prescribed as sort of a last resort after other antibiotics and acne medications have been tried with no success.

Accutane causes shrinkage of the sebaceous glands (that secrete oil), thereby acting as a cure for acne. However, there is a flip side to this. By shrinking glands, extreme dryness of the mucous glands and skin occurs and this is one of the Accutane side effects. Many have complained of their skin peeling or flaking, chapped lips and the insides of nostrils and eyes feeling dry. To avoid this side effect, use of a good moisturizer daily is a must. It must be kept in mind that the moisturizer must be noncomedogenic so that the pores don’t get clogged. Petroleum jelly may be used inside the nostrils to reduce the feeling of dryness.

Perhaps the most infamous of all Accutane side effects are depression and suicide. Accutane consumption is known to cause suicidal tendencies and psychosis in some people. Even though this doesn’t happen to a majority of people using the drug and occurrence of suicide is pretty rare, it is vital to be very cautious of mood and behavior while taking the medication. Any abnormal signs such as feelings of sadness, irritation, lack of concentration or hallucinations must be reported immediately to the doctor.

Consumption of Accutane is strictly prohibited for pregnant women and must never be prescribed to them. This is because Accutane has profound side effects on the growing fetus. Even if taken once during pregnancy, severe birth defects are most likely to occur. For this reason, women who have the potential to bear child are advised to take pregnancy tests regularly while using Accutane. They also have to use some form of birth control medication before, during and immediately after the period of treatment. A patient who is on Accutane must immediately inform a doctor in the event of unprotected sex.

Accutane is known to make the skin very sensitive to light and sun rays. This is also known as photosensitivity of the skin. To combat this Accutane side effect, a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 must be used daily before stepping outdoors. Tanning under the sun, in tanning salons or booths is a big no-no for those under treatment. The other minor Accutane side effects include problems with night vision, headaches, nausea, chest and abdominal pain, pain while swallowing, fatigue, thinning hair and bone/joint pains.

The level of triglyceride in the blood must be checked before a patient is prescribed Accutane and also during the course of treatment. This is because Accutane consumption has some control over triglyceride levels. High triglyceride may cause various kinds of heart diseases. Accutane side effects also include liver damage that can be diagnosed by symptoms of weight and appetite loss, nausea and jaundice. Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems may occur as side effects of Accutane. Some people experience menstrual problems, muscle pain and other skin conditions or allergies. To be able to take Accutane, a person must first register under a program known as iPledge, declaring that they are fully aware and understand the dangers of Accutane and also agreeing to use birth control measures as specified by the program.

Last updated on May 9th, 2010 and filed under Drugs and Medications. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Accutane side effects”

  1. Daisy says:

    Indeed, there are pros and cons in every thing and this applies to Accutane. It is effective, which is a good thing, but its side effects weigh more over the advantages. I guess we should look for an alternative to Accutane and we should not compromise our health so that our acne problems will be addressed.

Comments are closed