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April 30 , 2020

What are the Most Important Things about Accutane to Treat Severe Acne?

Accutane can be used to treat a serious type of acne that cannot be obtained with the help of other treatments (including antibiotics).

However, Accutane can cause serious side effects. Before you start using Accutane, please discuss with your doctor how serious your acne is, the potential benefits of Accutane, and the possible side effects to determine whether Accutane is right for you. Your doctor will ask you to read and sign one or more forms to show that you understand some serious risks of Accutane.

Possible serious side effects of taking Accutane are:

# Birth defects. If pregnant women take Accutane, it may cause birth defects (deformed babies). It can also lead to miscarriage (loss of the baby before birth), premature birth, or death of the baby. If you are pregnant or plan to take Accutane during pregnancy, please do not take Accutane.

Do not get pregnant within 1 month after stopping taking Accutane. In addition, if you become pregnant while taking Accutane, please stop taking it immediately and call your doctor.

# Mental problems and suicide. Some patients become depressed or have other serious mental problems when taking Accutane or shortly after stopping Accutane. Symptoms of these problems include sadness, "anxiety" or empty feelings, irritability, anger, loss of interest in social or physical activity, too much or too little sleep, changes in weight or appetite, decreased school or work performance, or Concentrate on trouble.

Some patients taking Accutane have thought of harming themselves or terminating their lives (suicidal thoughts). Some people try to end their lives. Some people have already ended their lives. There are reports that some of them did not appear depressed. No one knows whether Accutane caused these behaviors, or even if the person did not take Accutane, it would not happen.

Important warnings for females taking Accutane:

Do not get pregnant while taking Accutane or within 1 month of stopping Accutane. Even taking Accutane for a short period of time can cause serious birth defects in babies who take Accutane for pregnant women. If you are pregnant while taking Accutane, the risk of the baby deforming or dying is very high. Taking Accutane will also increase the chance of miscarriage and premature delivery.

Unless there is evidence that female patients have performed 2 negative pregnancy tests, female patients will not receive the first dose of Accutane. When your doctor decides to prescribe Accutane, the first test must be performed. The second pregnancy test must be performed within the first 5 days of the menstrual period, that is, before starting treatment with Accutane, or as directed by the doctor.

Every month of treatment, the urine or serum pregnancy test must be negative. Unless there is evidence that a female pregnancy test is negative, female patients can no longer take Accutane.

The yellow self-adhesive Accutane qualification sticker on the prescription shows the pharmacist that your doctor is qualified for Accutane.

When taking Accutane, effective birth control measures must be used. Before you start taking Accutane, you must use at least two effective birth control methods for at least 1 month, and you must stop taking Accutane for 1 month before taking Accutane.

You can discuss effective birth control methods with your doctor, or you can discuss birth control methods with another doctor or family planning expert for free. Your doctor can arrange this free visit, which will be paid by the manufacturer.

You must use two separate effective methods of contraception, because any method, including birth control pills and sterilization methods, will fail. You have two reasons not to use two effective birth control methods:

  1. You have removed the uterus by surgery (hysterectomy).
  2. You can be absolutely sure that you will not have sexual contact with men before, during, and within 1 month of Accutane treatment.

If you have not used two effective birth control methods for sexual activity at any time, are pregnant, or missed your menstrual period, please stop using Accutane and call your doctor immediately.

Stop using Accutane and tell your provider right away if you:

  • Start to feel sad or cry
  • Lose interest in activities you once liked
  • Too much sleep or difficulty sleeping
  • More irritable than usual
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Inattention
  • Withdraw from friends or family
  • Feeling no energy
  • Feeling worthless or inappropriate
  • Start thinking about hurting yourself or committing suicide

Who should we not take Accutane?

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or get pregnant during Accutane treatment, do not take Accutane. Accutane can cause serious birth defects. All women should read the "What are the important warnings for women taking Accutane" section. Do not take it unless you fully understand its possible risks and are willing to follow all the instructions in this "Guide to Medication."

Tell your physician if you or your family members have any mental problems, asthma, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis (bone loss), weak bones, anorexia nervosa, or any other important health issues.

Tell your doctor about any food or drug allergies you have had in the past. These questions do not necessarily mean that you cannot take Accutane, but your doctor needs this information to discuss whether Accutane is right for you.

How should I take Accutane?

  • You can only get Accutane for up to 30 days at a time to ensure that you contact your doctor every month to discuss side effects.
  • Your prescription should have a special yellow self-adhesive label. The sticker is yellow. If your yellow self-adhesive label is not in your prescription, please call your doctor. Unless the pharmacy has a yellow self-adhesive label, it should not fill your prescription.
  • The amount of Accutane you take is specially selected for you and may change during the treatment.
  • Unless otherwise notified by your doctor, you will eat Accutane meals twice a day. Swallow Accutane capsules with a full glass of liquid. This will help prevent the medicine in the capsule from stimulating the inner wall of the esophagus (the connection between the mouth and stomach).
  • If you miss an Accutane dose, just skip the dose. Do not take 2 doses next time.
  • You should return to the doctor as directed to ensure that you have no signs of serious side effects. Because some serious side effects of Accutane will be shown in blood tests, some of these visits may involve blood tests (for female patients, monthly visits should always include urine or serum pregnancy tests).

What should I avoid while taking Accutane?

Don't get pregnant while taking Accutane. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking the Accutane, her baby can suffer severe brain and heart defects.

Don’t give blood while taking Accutane and for 1 month after stopping Accutane. If a pregnant person donates your blood from you, her child may be exposed to Accutane and may have a congenital defect.

Don’t take vitamin A supplements. High doses of vitamin A have many of the same side effects as Accutane. Taken together, they may increase your chance of side effects.

Don’t have any cosmetic procedures to smooth your skin, like waxing, dermabrasion, or laser procedures, while you are using Accutane and for at least 6 months after you stop. can increase the chance of scarring from these surgeries. Ask your doctor for advice on when plastic surgery can be performed.

Avoid sunlight and ultraviolet rays as much as possible. The tanning machine uses ultraviolet light. Accutane can make your skin more sensitive to light.

Don’t use birth control pills that don’t contain estrogen ("Minipills"). When you take Accutane, they may not work. If you are not sure which type to use, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you plan to take other medicines or herbal products, please consult your doctor. This is especially important for patients using birth control pills and other hormone-type birth control pills, because if you take certain medicines or herbal products, the birth control pills may not work effectively. If you are currently taking Accutane orally or injecting corticosteroids or anticonvulsant (seizures) drugs, you should also talk to your doctor. These drugs may weaken your bones.

Do not take Accutane with antibiotics unless you talk to a doctor. For some antibiotics, you may have to stop taking Accutane until the end of antibiotic treatment. The use of two drugs together can increase the chance of increasing brain stress.

What are the possible side effects of Accutane?

Serious brain problems. Retinoic acid can increase stress in the brain. This can lead to permanent blindness or, in rare cases, death. If you notice any of the following signs of increased cerebral pressure, stop taking Accutane and call your doctor immediately: severe headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. In addition, some patients taking retinoic acid have seizures (convulsions) or stroke.

Abdomen problems. Some symptoms may mean that your internal organs have been damaged. These organs include the liver, pancreas, intestine, and esophagus (the connection between mouth and stomach). If your organs are damaged, even if you stop taking Accutane, they may not get better.

If you experience severe stomach, chest, or intestinal pain, difficulty swallowing or swallowing, new or worsening heartburn, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or dark urine, stop taking Accutane and call your doctor.

Bone and muscle problems. Retinoic acid may affect bones, muscles, and ligaments and cause joint or muscle pain. Tell your doctor if you plan to perform strenuous physical exercise during treatment with Accutane. Tell your doctor if you have pain, especially back pain or joint pain. There are reports that some patients have acne growth retardation after taking retinoic acid as directed. There are also reports that after taking Accutane to treat acne as directed, bones will break, or fracture healing will decrease.

No one knows whether taking Accutane to treat acne will affect your bones. If your bones are broken, please inform your service provider that you are taking Accutane. Muscle weakness with or without pain may be a sign of severe muscle damage. If this happens, stop taking Accutane and call your doctor immediately.

Hearing problems. Some people taking Accutane have hearing problems. Hearing loss may be permanent. If the hearing loss or tinnitus worsens, stop using Accutane and call your doctor.

Vision problems. When taking Accutane, you may suddenly lose your ability to be invisible in the dark, so driving at night may be dangerous. This condition usually disappears after you stop taking Accutane, but it may be permanent. Other serious eye reactions may occur. If you have any pain or persistent problems with your eyesight or dry eyes, stop taking Accutane, and call your doctor immediately.

Lipid problems. Many people who take retinoic acid have high levels of cholesterol and other fats in their blood. This may be a serious problem. Return to your doctor for a blood test to check your blood lipids and get the treatment you need. These problems usually disappear after Accutane treatment.

Allergic reactions. In some people, retinoic acid may cause severe allergic reactions. If you have hives, swelling of the face or mouth, or difficulty breathing, stop taking Accutane immediately and get emergency care immediately. If you have a fever, a rash, erythema, or bruises on your legs, stop taking Accutane and call your doctor.

Signs of other possibly serious problems. Retinoic acid may cause other problems. Tell your doctor if you have difficulty breathing (shortness of breath), syncope, very thirst or urinate, feel weak, swollen legs, twitching, slurred speech, difficulty moving, or any other serious or abnormal problems. Frequent urination and thirst may be signs of blood sugar problems.

Serious permanent problems rarely occur. However, because the above symptoms may be a sign of serious problems, if you experience these symptoms, stop taking Accutane and call your doctor. If left untreated, it may cause serious health problems. Even if these problems are resolved, they may not be eliminated after you stop taking Accutane.

The less serious side effects of Accutane are:

  • Dry skin,
  • Chapped lips,
  • Dry eyes and nose that may lead to nosebleeds.

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