Accutane treats severe acne that forms a knot underneath the skin. This acne must have defied other medications, including antibiotics, before resorting to Accutane. This medication belongs to the family of retinoids (vitamin A). Its potency lies in its ability to decrease the sebum (facial oil) that a patient’s skin produces.
Dosage and Duration of Treatment
Before commencing treatment using Accutane, it’s important to study the medication guide or leaflet that your pharmacist will provide. Ensure to sign the consent form, and don’t hesitate to express any concerns about the therapy.
More importantly, endeavor to request refill seven days before exhausting the last supply. A physician will never prescribe a dosage lasting above 30 days at once.
Most Accutane brands are ingested with food. However, if the leaflet says so, consume on an empty stomach. Don’t crush Isotretinoin pills. Swallow them whole with enough water. Avoid lying down immediately consuming the medication.
The physician will prescribe Accutane based on the patient’s weight, age, and whether they are responding to treatment or not.
Adults and children who are up to 12 years should consume a maximum of two mg/ kg. This can last between 15 to 20 weeks. Patients can consume a maintenance dose of about 0.25 to 0.5 mg/ kg twice daily.
After commencing treatment with Isotretinoin, the changes won’t be obvious. The acne may become worse, but that shouldn’t bother you. Within the first or second month, the effects of the drug will become noticeable.
If the acne returns two months after the patient has discontinued medication, the physician will recommend another round of therapy. Ensure you don’t ingest more than the recommended dosage.
Patients should take note of these precautions before consuming Accutane:
- Inform your physician if you have vitamin A allergies or react to ingredients like soybeans and peanuts.
- Inform the physician about any history of these medical conditions in your family:
- Bone disorder
- Alcohol abuse
- Liver problems
- Mood swings and anxiety
- High dietary fat
- Avoid donating blood when consuming Accutane as it can result in birth defects if the blood is transfused into a pregnant woman.
- Avoid dermabrasion or waxing to prevent scarring.
- Avoid sunlight exposure to prevent sunburns.
- Avoid driving, especially at night, as this drug could impair your vision.
- Avoid sports that require contact or high impact like basketball and football. Such sports might increase your chances of bone problems.
- Before ingesting Accutane, doctors must request at least two pregnancy tests from females to confirm that they aren’t pregnant.
- Contact the physician if you become pregnant while ingesting Accutane.
- This drug can harm a fetus. Therefore, pregnant women must avoid handling the medicine.
- Don’t breastfeed when consuming Accutane.
- Doctors should never administer Accutane to children who are less than twelve years old.
Certain Accutane side effects don’t require medical attention. They will disappear once the patient’s body adjusts to the recommended dosage. These include:
- Dry lips
- Stomach upset
- Flaky skin
- Swollen eyelids
- Blurry vision
- Mild headache
Patients should consult a physician immediately they notice any of the following side effects:
- Joint pain
- Bleeding nose
- Eye inflammation
- Skin infection
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Fever that refuses to go away
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts
Discontinue Accutane and contact a physician if you observe the following:
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty in seeing or hearing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pain in the upper part of the stomach
- Lack of appetite
- Dark-colored urine
- Sleep problems
- Pain in the thoracic region
Skip any missed doses. Avoid ingesting double amounts in one day.
If a patient consumes an overdose of Accutane, contact a doctor immediately or the Poison Control team in your locality. Symptoms of Isotretinoin overdose are:
- Swollen lips
- Lack of coordination
A laboratory specialist will conduct specific tests on the patient to monitor whether there are side effects. These tests include WBC count, liver function, triglycerides, eye examination, and pregnancy.
These drugs will interact with Isotretinoin:
Patients must inform the physician if they are consuming herbal mixtures and supplements. Isotretinoin interacts with alcohol. Therefore, avoid consuming alcoholic drinks and foods containing alcohol.