How Effective is Isotretinoin for Acne?


The prospect of having your face literally dotted with whitehead and blackhead pimples would be the most unpleasant, embarrassing and annoying experience that anyone can face and there’s no doubt you’ve also gone through that agony. It’s only natural then that you will try to find the most effective remedy and ask: How effective is Isotretinoin for acne? The answer is that Isotretinoin is very effective especially against severe acne.

Getting to know isotretinoin capsules

Whenever there’s a breakout of acne you will often that isotretinoin is the most positive treatment for it especially if the breakout proves to be very severe in the mid and later stages.

Generally speaking, the drug is highly effective in preventing acute scarring for sufferers who have a severe breakout of acne.

Treatment usually takes 16 to 20 weeks (4 to 5 months) during which 90% of all patients treated witness their acne to disappear completely or very nearly totally eliminated.

However, the treatment needs to be applied as directed so it’s essential that if you want to be well prepared, you must have ready contact with your doctor or online pharmacist.

It would be to your advantage if you know everything about isotretinoin drug treatment so that you are familiar with its main features, qualities, potency, doses, how to use it and so on.

We will try in this article to provide the basic information about this drug treatment and you doctor and/or pharmacist will take care of the more technical information on the drug.

The isotrentinoin capsule

The major feature of isotretinoin is its capsule form which is taken orally and has been proven to be a highly effective treatment against very severe acne.

On the flip side, because of its high potency, it attaches rather serious side effects and hence the reason why it has to be given under prescription and supervised by a doctor who deals with using the drug.

Another known feature of Isotrentinoin is its generic status with brand names of Roaccutane and Rizuderm.

Main facts about isotretinoin capsules

  • Prior to actually taking isotretinoin, you will be given a blood test followed by more blood tests during the course of your treatment.
  • It’s possible that during your treatment your skin will become extra dry and will not be sun friendly so it you’d be wise to have some moisturizers for your skin available as well as lip cream for your lips to help prevent them from cracking.
  • Women are reminded to avoid getting pregnant while they’re taking isotretinoin capsules and at least a month after the treatment has ended, Why? Because isotretinoin can do harm to the fetus while it’s still in its mother’s womb. As a reminder on this aspect women taking the capsules will be given a card.
  • If you succumb to a feeling of depression or have an inclination to do harm to yourself while being treated with isotretinoin, stop taking your capsules and report the matter to your doctor right away.
  • Once ingested, isotretinoin capsules will begin their work in your body after a week or 10 days. Cases show that the drug is very effective, with 4 out of 5 people treated having totally clear skin after about 4 months of prescribed treatment.

Can anyone take isotretinoin capsules?

The taking of isotretinoin makes no distinction between teenagers and adults who suffer from very severe acne, meaning that both age groups can take the drug treatment.

However care should be exercised not to provide isotretinoin capsules to children below 12 years or before they reach puberty.

It’s also useful to know that isotretinoin capsules should not be given to some people and if you want to know who these people are, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.

To be absolutely sure that isotretinoin capsules are safe for you to take, you should make sure that your doctor knows your pertinent medical history. Honestly tell him if you:

  • Are suffering from Crohn’s disease or if you have ulcerative colitis.
  • Used to suffer from mental illness such as depression
  • Suffer from high vitamin A levels
  • Are either breastfeeding,
  • Are pregnant or suspect that you with child
  • Have high cholesterol levels or other fats in your blood
  • Are allergic to isotretinoin or other medicines
  • Have kidney or liver disease

Another potency aspect of taking isotretinoin capsules is their propensity to raise blood sugar levels. This is a serious situation to be in if you already have diabetes.

It’s therefore very important that you inform your doctor of your condition before you actually begin your treatment using isotretinoin capsules.

Isotretinoin and its side effects

Similar to all other drug medications, isotretinoin also has its own side effects but the good news is that some people are immune to them and in most cases, all the side effects disappear once the treatment stops.

Isotretinoin has two types of side effects, the serious and not so serious or common side effects

Serious side effects

The serious side effects of isotretinoin are extremely rare as they occur in 1 out of every 1,000 people and if you succumb to any of them immediately contact your doctor. They include:

  • Sudden blurring of the eyesight that gets worse at night
  • The occurrence of depression or other mental conditions which can trigger mood changes or suicidal thoughts and may cause feelings of anxiety, aggression and violence.
  • A stubborn headache that simply refuses to go away
  • Acute stomach pain that may cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting indicating a serious condition known as pancreatitis
  • Yellow coloured skin or yellow whites of your eyes, urinating complications and fatigue all betray kidney or liver problems
  • Weak muscles that cause difficulty in moving legs and arms, swollen, bruised and painful body areas or dark urine discharge (pee).
  • Bloody diarrhea which may indicate bleeding of intestines or stomach.
  • Serious skin rash with blisters and peeling usually accompanied by infections of the eyes, ulcers, headaches and fever.

Not so serious side effects

Some of the more common side effects of isotretinoin can include:

  • Headaches and aches and pains all over the body
  • Skin sensitivity to the sunlight
  • Dry eyes
  • parched throat
  • Dry nose sometimes with nosebleeds

Bottom line

It is clear from what has been discussed in the article that there are many things to know and learn about this efficacious drug treatment. More important and useful to know are the serious side effects that may appear when you start taking isotretinoin capsules and the actions you need to take to protect yourself against them. It’s also comforting to know that usually, the side effects of the drug on the body dissipate once the treatment is stopped.

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