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Medication: Accutane (Isotretinoin)
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Acne treatment with Accutane (Isotretinoin), Results and consequences

When external means and cosmetic procedures are powerless in the fight against acne, doctors prescribe treatment with Accutane. The drug has been sold in pharmacies for more than 30 years. During this time, it fulfilled the dream of hundreds of people to obtain clear skin. However, does Accutane really get rid of pimples forever? We will talk about the actions, contraindications and side effects of the drug.
Accutane is an isotretinoin-based drug for systemic treatment of acne. It belongs to the group of retinoids, which implies a connection with Vitamin A. It is important to prescribe the drug only in severe forms of acne when other therapies have not helped.

How does Accutane work?

The mechanism of action of the substance is not fully understood, however, the positive effect is due to the removal of inflammation, suppression of the sebaceous glands, and reduction of their size. Reduction of the production of sebum eliminates the environment for the reproduction of bacteria Propionibacterium acnes which is the main provocateur of the inflammatory process on the skin.

Does Accutane help to get rid of acne forever?

Most patients do not need re-treatment, just one course. Sometimes, its duration stretches for six months due to small dosages. Doses are selected individually and adjusted during treatment, depending on the side effects.

Relapse can occur for different reasons. In this case, the patient took a similar course, but not earlier than 8 weeks after the end of the first course.

Contraindications to the reception of Accutane

This graph includes a few items: pregnancy and lactation, liver failure, hypervitaminosis A, hyperlipidemia (elevated blood lipid levels), sensitivity to components, age up to 12 years, and co-administration with tetracycline. It also included less categorical diseases: diabetes, obesity, depression in the patient’s history. However, each point is extremely important, failure to comply with any of them can have serious consequences.

Accutane and pregnancy

Pregnancy or its planning is an absolute contraindication to the use of isotretinoin. Accutane has a strong teratogenic effect, that is, it disrupts embryonic development, provokes anomalies and birth defects from the central nervous system, heart and large vessels.
Some doctors refuse to prescribe the drug to women of childbearing age. Others do so only in severe cases resistant to other treatments. If a woman becomes pregnant during treatment or within a month after it, the pregnancy is most often interrupted for medical reasons.
Therefore, isotretinoin therapy is prescribed only in the presence of a fresh negative pregnancy test and after informing about the need for at least 2 methods of contraception, one of which is a barrier.
It is safe to get pregnant 2 months after the course.

Side effects of Accutane

The most common side effects: dry skin and mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat, mouth, vagina). Therefore, the doctor prescribes moisturizing eye drops, nose ointment, nourishing creams. These “side effects” take place after the course.
The number of rashes may increase on the first days of reception. It occurs for 10 days.
A person taking Accutane may experience pain in muscles and joints, nausea, diarrhea, visual and hearing impairment, depression, or increased pressure.

Women are not recommended to do hair removal with wax or sugar during treatment and within 6 months after it, as the skin can exfoliate.
The most severe side effects are intestinal inflammation, hemorrhoidal diarrhea, arthritis, seizures, systemic infections. These effects are rare, but the possibility of their occurrence is not excluded.

Depending on the severity of the side effects, the doctor will either reduce the dose of the drug or completely cancel it. However, not all consequences disappear after cancellation. The patient requires the examination and observation by a specialist on the profile of the disease.

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