Isotretinoin is a drug used in treating severe cystic acne- also known as nodular acne- that does not respond to other treatments including clindamycin or benzoyl peroxide that is applied to the skin. It belongs to the class referred to as retinoids. Isotretinoin works by decreasing the production of facial oil (sebum). Very high amounts of sebum can lead to severe acne. If left untreated, severe acne may result in permanent scarring. Isotretinoin works by slowing down the production of various substances that result acne.
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Isotretinoin is a retinoid that is used to decrease oil production by the sebaceous glands as well as increase skin regrowth for people with severe acne. Isotretinoin is usually used only when alternative acne treatment, such as antibiotic topical creams or ointments, have previously failed to clear up skin. Below you will find the uses for isotretinoin.
Before starting isotretinoin, ensure that you read the medication guide that is provided by your doctor. The medication comes in the form of capsules.Swallow the capsules as a whole. Do not crush or chew them. Most forms of isotretinoin should be taken with meals. It is important to take your medication precisely as prescribed by your doctor. Below you will find a typical dosage of isotretinoin.
- Adults and teens over 12: 0.5-1 mg per kilogram of body weight, decided by your doctor
- The dose is to be split in half and taken twice a day
Isotretinoin Side Effects
Like any other drug, isotretinoin may cause side effects. You should contact your doctor if you suffer any severe side effects. Below you will find a list of common side effects. Note that not all possible side effects are listed here.
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums
- Cold symptoms
- Loss of hair
- Changes in skin color
- Red and cracked lips
- Pain stomach
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Vision problems
- Muscle weakness
Like any drug, isotretinoin may interact with other drugs. Drug Interactions may change the method in which your medication works or increase your risk for serious side effects. Below you will find a list of drugs that may interact with isotretinoin. Note the list does not contain all possible interactions.