Acne Treatment- Isotretinoin

What Is Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is a retinoid. That means that it is derived from Vitamin A. The chemical name of Isotretinoin is 13-cis retinoic acid. Isotretinoin is a very effective drug for acne. It is normally prescribed for severe acne when other therapies fail. Isotretinoin should be taken very carefully because it can produce birth defects in fetus. While taking Isotretinoin, you should be always in contact with your doctor and report any side effect. You should also discuss about any possible pregnancy with your doctor if you are sexually active. Isotretinoin generally gives relief in severe acne and is a drug of choice for acne patients who may have lost hope about cure of their acne.


Isotretinoin is prescribed for acne treatment. Isotretinoin works in treating acne by shrinking the sebaceous glands and reducing sebum production. Isotretinoin is anti-inflammatory and removes comedones. The treated skin is dry and inhibits the growth of acne bacteria. Isotretinoin is prescribed in case of severe acne, scarring acne, moderate acne that is not responding to other medication and every case of acne where doctor feels that Isotretinoin should be prescribed to get rid of acne. Isotretinoin may also be used for some other conditions that include- folliculitis, seborrhoea, chloracne and other diseases that look like acne.

The dosage of Isotretinoin will depend upon the severity of acne, body weight, other treatments being used at the same time etc. Your doctor is the best person to decide about the dose. Normally the treatment begins with small dose and as body adjusts to Isotretinoin the does is increased. Doctors also monitor the cure during this period and if they find that patient is not responding, they may stop the therapy. As Isotretinoin needs fat to help its absorption in body, it is taken after food. Please follow your doctors advise about these.

Side Effects- The common side effects of Isotretinoin are dry mouth, dry nose, thinning of hair, fatigue, dry skin, red itchy eyes, sore lips etc. If you experience any other side effects such as muscle aches, difficult walking, depression vomiting etc. please talk to your doctor immediately. Please discuss about side effects with your doctor before beginning of the treatment with Isotretinoin and report any expected or unexpected side effect immediately. Please note that you may not be able to wear your contact lenses for some time in the beginning of treatment with Isotretinoin. You are also not supposed to donate any blood while you are taking Isotretinoin and for one month after you stop taking it. Please talk about dos and do not with your doctor. You also must tell your doctor about any medicine or Vitamins that you are taking. You are not supposed to take any medicines without consulting your doctor while taking Isotretinoin.

Isotretinoin and Pregnancy

Isotretinoin can cause serious defects in the fetus. Therefore you should inform your doctor if you are pregnant. You should also tell your doctor if you plant to become pregnant or breast-feeding. You have to test yourself for pregnancy before you begin Isotretinoin and continue getting tested while taking Isotretinoin. Your doctor will explain the details to you. If you get pregnant while taking Isotretinoin you should stop taking it and call your doctor immediately. You must adopt two reliable methods of birth control for one month before taking Isotretinoin, continue while taking Isotretinoin and till after one month of stopping Isotretinoin. You should talk to your gynecologist and dermatologist in detail before taking Isotretinoin.

This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.