Accutane, also called Isotretinoin is used to treat severe acne that cannot be cured with other medications. Your doctor may also use Accutane to treat other skin diseases.
Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies you have whether it is to medication or food, preservatives, or dyes. Also, tell your doctor of any other medications you are taking, including vitamins and supplements, and any medical conditions you may have.
It is extremely important that all women who are able to get pregnant take extreme measures to avoid pregnancy while on this medication. Accutane has been known to cause birth defects in humans, and pregnancy is to be avoided. You will be tested monthly while taking Accutane to be sure you are not pregnant.
It is very important that you take this medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to. If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. Do NOT double doses.
During the first 3 weeks, your acne may seem to get worse. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve within one to two months. Accutane may cause a decrease in night vision, or dryness of the eyes, mouth, and nose. Your skin will be more prone to sunburn, dryness, or irritation, especially during the first 2 or 3 weeks of treatment. Accutane may cause bone or muscle problems, including joint pain, muscle pain or stiffness, or difficulty moving.
See your doctor immediately if you feel suicidal or violent toward yourself or other people; have back pain; bleeding or inflammation of gums; blurred vision or other changes in vision; severe diarrhea; rectal bleeding; or yellow eyes or skin.
Isotretinoin, a retinoid, is available as Accutane in 10-mg, 20-mg and 40-mg soft gelatin capsules for oral administration. Each capsule contains beeswax, butylated hydroxyanisole, edetate disodium, hydrogenated soybean oil flakes, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and soybean oil. Gelatin capsules contain glycerin and parabens (methyl and propyl), with the following dye systems: 10 mg ¾ iron oxide (red) and titanium dioxide; 20 mg ¾ FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Blue No. 1, and titanium dioxide; 40 mg ¾ FD&C Yellow No. 6, D&C Yellow No. 10, and titanium dioxide.
Chemically, isotretinoin is 13-cis-retinoic acid and is related to both retinoic acid and retinol (vitamin A). It is a yellow to orange crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 300.44.
The structural formula is: