Isotretinoin (By mouth)
Treats severe acne.
Antiacne, Dermatological Agent (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
Isotretinoin is used to treat severe, disfiguring nodular acne. It should be used only after other acne medicines have been tried and have failed to help the acne. Isotretinoin may also be used to treat other skin diseases as determined by your doctor.
Isotretinoin must not be used to treat women who are able to bear children unless other forms of treatment have been tried first and have failed. Isotretinoin must not be taken during pregnancy because it causes birth defects in humans. If you are able to bear children, it is very important that you read, understand, and follow the pregnancy warnings for isotretinoin.
This medicine is available only under a registered distribution program called the iPLEDGE™ program.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, isotretinoin is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Rosacea (red skin disorder of the face, usually of the nose and cheeks).
Thickened or patchy skin disorders, such as keratosis follicularis, palmoplantar keratoderma, lamellar ichthyosis, or pityriasis rubra pilaris.
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Liquid Filled Capsule
Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
Take Absorica® capsules with or without food. Other forms of isotretinoin, such as Accutane®, should be taken with food.
Swallow the capsule whole with a full glass (8 ounces) of water or other liquid. Do not crush, break, chew, or suck it.
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
Missed dose: Skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Some foods and medicines can affect how isotretinoin works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:Phenytoin, St John’s wort Steroid medicine (including dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone) Tetracycline antibiotics (including doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline) Vitamin A supplements
When Not To Use
It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy because it can cause serious birth defects. You must use 2 forms of birth control for 1 month before you start taking isotretinoin, for the entire time you are being treated, and for 1 month after you take your last dose. You will need to have a pregnancy test every month during your treatment and 1 month after treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you miss a period or become pregnant.
Do not breastfeed while you are taking this medicine and for 1 month after your last dose.
Tell your doctor if you have liver disease, asthma, bowel or digestion problems, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, a history of anorexia, or bone problems such as osteoporosis. Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression, or if you drink alcohol regularly. Tell your doctor if you had an allergic reaction to FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) or aspirin.
This medicine may cause the following problems:Depression, changes in mood or behavior Benign intracranial hypertension (increased pressure in the brain) Serious skin reactions Pancreatitis Liver problems Inflammatory bowel disease
This medicine may cause bone or muscle problems, including fractures. You may get hurt more easily or heal more slowly. If this medicine is for your child, tell the doctor if you think your child is not growing properly.
Do not donate blood while you use this medicine or for 1 month after your last dose.
This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
Do not use wax to remove hair or have any cosmetic procedures to smooth your skin (such as dermabrasion, laser) while you take this medicine and for 6 months after you stop it. Isotretinoin can increase your risk of scarring from these procedures.
Your acne may get worse for a short time before it starts to improve.
Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
Depression, unusual moods or behaviors, thought of hurting yourself or others
Sudden or severe headache, dizziness, faintness, problems with vision, speech, or walking
Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness, bloody urine
Vision changes, trouble seeing at night
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
Dry skin, eyes, lips, mouth, or nose
Heartburn (new or worsening), trouble swallowing or painful swallowing
Increase in thirst, change in how much or how often you urinate
Muscle, back, or joint pain (more likely in children)
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
Absorica, Accutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret, Zenatane
There may be other brand names for this medicine.