Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a prescription medication used to treat severe inflamed, cystic acne. Adults and teens who are thinking about taking isotretinoin should consider and exhaust all alternatives before deciding on Accutane. Potentially serious side effects can occur short term but also long term from the usage of this drug. That’s why it’s important to understand the side before embarking on Accutane treatment.
Although Accutane works most of the time, there are instances where patients will have to take several times rounds of the drug to get results. Sometimes it may not work at all. Listed here are some potential short term side effects: excessive dryness of the skin, lips and the mucous membrane, fragile skin, skin peeling, rash, dry mouth and nose, nosebleeds, headaches, increased sensitivity to sunlight, dry eyes, eye irritation, conjunctivitis, flushing, itching, impetigo and muscle pain. Accutane use can also lead to mild to severe acne flare ups instead of curing the acne. Hair thinning or hair loss on the other hand, is one of the most commonly reported side effects.
Apart from the side effect mentioned above, Accutane has some potentially serious long-term side effects that may last 1 year, 10 years, or 30 years… who knows? Severe Accutane long-term side effects that have been reported include decreased night vision, aggressive behavior, depression and suicidal thoughts, psychosis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, joint pain and tenderness of the bones, cataracts, corneal scars, hepatitis, blood in urine, pancreatitis, decreased pigmentation of the skin, glomerulonephritis, jaundice and liver damage, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems, decreased density of the bones, fluid retention, gum inflammation, bleeding gums, rectal bleeding, ringing in the ear, high blood triglycerides, erectile dysfunction in men and seizures.
None of these side effects sound very fun. Actually, they sound pretty scary. There are topical acne treatments that can control the inflammatory, cystic acne that Accutane is prescribed for. In fact, inflammatory, cystic acne responds very well to the right topical treatments. So if you’re concerned about Accutane’s side effects, give us a call. We can answer any questions you may have concerning our treatment protocols, and discuss with you our successful alternative. Remember the only side effect you’ll get from working with an Acne Specialist may be some dry skin.