Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Overall rating: 3.9 / 5
(based on 1857 reviews)

Recommended by 86% of visitors

Average price: $76.09



Most helpful review

By Jordan, Columbia, SC on 12/29/2012

I've had sever cystic acne for over 15 years. My face would hurt and throb in pain just sitting there. Believe me when I say I have tried everything from Proactive, Retin A, Doxycycline , a whole bunch of very painful yet ineffective zit zapping facial treatments, just to name a few. Not to mention, I probably went through about 10 different dermatologists just trying to find something that would work. Accutane was my absolute last resort. It took me 15 years to talk myself into it and it was a pain in the butt while I was on it (super dry skin, eyes, and lips that felt like they would fall off). Seriously, I would forget my keys or phone different places, but I learned very quickly not to forget my chapstick. But after about the third month, my face was almost completely clear. After 15 years of hell, and it only took 3 months on Accutane for my face to clear up. I couldn't believe it! I understand Accutane is not for everyone. I am just so thankful that it worked for me..

Pros:
  • cleared sever cystic acne completely
  • changed my life
Cons:
  • very drying
  • dry eyes
  • dry skin
  • dry nose
  • annoying blood tests

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful

Ingredients

Active Ingredients:
Isotretinoin in 10-mg, 20-mg and 40-mg soft gelatin capsules.

Inactive Ingredients:
Beeswax, butylated hydroxyanisole, edetate disodium, hydrogenated Soybean oil">soybean oil
flakes, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and Soybean oil">soybean oil. Gelatin capsules contain glycerin and parabens (methyl and propyl), with the following dye systems: 10 mg - iron oxide (red) and titanium dioxide; 20 mg - FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Blue No. 1, and titanium dioxide; 40 mg - FD&C Yellow No. 6, D&C Yellow No. 10, and titanium dioxide.

Items marked with red have tested a 3 or above (out of 5) in comedogenic (pore-clogging) testing.

The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.

Where to buy

Acne.org is not associated with this product. All proceeds from links go toward Acne.org maintenance.

[The prices listed above may change at any time and in some cases do not include shipping.]


Member reviews

         
member avatar
“The most misunderstood medication ever”
By on

I'm documenting my Accutane log with the sole purpose of helping those who are confused about taking this oft-feared, oft-revered medication. Read my in-depth experience here (link below). I'll be updating it regularly. You can also ask me as many questions as you want on that forum and i'll be glad to help. Here's the link:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/338796-my-accutane-log-30mg-daily/

  • for a few months
  • I recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“It worked very quickly with no side affects”
By on

It cleared my skin quickly. I was in my 40's when I finally got the nerve to try Accutane actually I had been going to the dr since I was 12 years old for acne and no one even recommended it. the reason I did not give it 5 stars was because I did not get to complete my treatments, and this was because I was forced to join a membership, and under this membership you have to call in and I was never able to call in reach anyone. Now I had to take pregnancy test although I was in my 40's have been going through early menopause and had my tubes tied. it was ridiculous. as a result I never got to complete my treatments eventually my skin begin to break out again. in fact I thought they took accutane off the market, because of the problems associated with it with other women. I still need to use it, and I will try again as soon as I find a dermatologist

Pros

  • Cleared my skin quickly
  • No side affects
  • My shoulders, back and chest cleared up permanently

Cons

  • Had the prescriptions and could not get them filled to complete treatment
  • Taking pregnancy test when my tubes are tied
  • for a few months
  • I recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“Changed my skin forever”
By on

I had very bad acne starting around the 9th grade. I went on multiple prescriptions of creams, gels, lotions only to discover nothing will cure my acne. I became a very self-conscience high schooler, attending classes everyday embarrassed of my skin. My doctor finally suggested Accutane, but that followed with harsh side effects. I began taking Accutane in grade 10. The first symptom I noticed was dryness. I have always had oily skin and hair, and after taking Accutane I became very dry. Drinking 8 glasses AND more of water a day is a MUST on Accutane. It became pretty severe dryness, to the point where my facial skin was peeling. Lips cracking, hair dryness (which I wasn't complaining about, I could go a week without washing it!) and skin peeling were the major side effects for me. The peeling became very embarrassing, I would have to put coats of Vaseline on my face. After about two months my face was flawless, no pimple in sight. After I discontinued use of Accutane, my skin completely transformed for the better. Now I still do get the odd break out from time to time, mainly hormonal. But if I had not taken Accutane, today my skin would have been disastrous.

Pros

  • Cured severe acne permanently

Cons

  • Dryness
  • Dehydration
  • for a few months
  • I recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“Horrific drug.”
By on

I was prescribed claravis for very mild acne and it essentially wrecked my life. Thinned out my skin, I have wrinkles 3 years later at 20. Thinned hair, rosacea, pale skin, rectal bleeding, still dry years later . I was a normal person before accutane. Now my life will never be the same. I honestly can not emphasize how life altering (for the absolute worst) this drug was. It is possibly the most sad thing in the world to thing how different my life would have been had i just not gone to a dermatologist. Derms should be the absolute lowest paid doctors. Unless theyre performing surgery they are ignorant, ignorant people with little skill.

IF YOU are reading this, just think for 2 seconds. Look at all the one stars you see. You dont see that with anything else. When you go to buy a tv if there were 30% 1 stars you would quickly look to another tv where there were only maybe 2 or 3. Just look at all the severe side effects that you could endure. Avoid it. Dont take this drug.

Pros

  • Temporarily clear face

Cons

  • Hairloss
  • Wrecked skin
  • Premature aging
  • for a few months
  • I do not recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“Destroyed my life”
By on

Took accutane for 6 months when I was 17, was relatively fine during treatment suffering only the usual sides. 2 months post treatment I noticed severe lower back pain, over the last 9 years this pain has spread to every joint and fibre in my body, I i also suffer chronic dry skin, eyes, lips and scalp. I've also suffered severe stomach pains and ibs symptoms, intense pressure headaches, sexual problems and countless bouts of inflammation all over my body. I literally did not have a single one of these problems before commencing accutane.

Pros

  • Skin looked good for 6 months

Cons

  • Severe joint and muscle pain
  • Chronic dryness and inflammation
  • Photophobia, pressure headaches, sexual problems, the list goes on.
  • for a few months
  • $ 80
  • I do not recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“Not worth the risk!”
By on

Taking accutane was a huge mistake for me. It gave me chapped lips and made my back super stiff. 6 years later my back problems are continuing to get worse to the point where I'm now basically disabled. For the first 4 years it was bearable, but last two years have been downright miserable. I've had a multitude of tests and imaging done and my doctors can't seem to find a cause for why my back keeps getting stiffer. I highly suspect accutane is responsible for the long term health problems I'm now enduring. The doc I'm seeing now agrees that it's a possibility. Before I took accutane I was pretty athletic, but these days all i can handle is a 15-30 min walk. I'm having extreme difficulty bending, sitting, twisting, my mobility has gone down the drain and my upper body/ torso/ spine feels super compressed. I took accutane when I was 20, I'm only 26 now but my body feels like it's 70, don't take this drug, the risks far outweigh the rewards.

Pros

  • It might clear your skin

Cons

  • Taking it was the worst decision I've ever made
  • Long term side effects can be life altering
  • I would much rather have acne than this
  • I do not recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“30 s were a miserable time. My skin is beautiful again.”
By on

I had mild acne in my teens and 20s. I usually suffered from one mildly annoying pimple every few weeks. In my 30s, after rounds of retinoids, antibiotics, oral and topical treatments my skin became a horror show. No derm would prescribe Accutane to me. I.e. I was married and of child- bearing age. Too risky. It wouldn't work for hormonal acne. What a crock! I finally found a derm that would. I love my doctor for listening to me and agreeing that indeed I had to live in my own skin.

The first 6 months were really bad. In the last two months 7 & 8 I saw improvement. The second round three months later for 3 months really did the trick. I was having surgery so I had to quit early on my second round. It slows healing and I had to go off 6 months before my surgery. Now it's been 3 months since my surgery and I just got my first real pimple. I'm not hesitating to go on a low dose straight off. I'm going to wait until my scars are completely healed from surgery then start again. I have two months left but it will take at least two months to get my first prescription because I am female. It's ridiculous. And it costs a lot of money as my insurance doesn't cover all of the pregnancy testing which costs like 90 a month.

The side effects suck. I had dry lips, headaches, and joint pain.

But I no longer dread leaving the house, going to work, or even to yoga. I was so mortified of my days. I am no longer ashamed. This drug saved me.

Pros

  • Self Esteem, Self Worth
  • Happiness
  • Being able to go without makeup.

Cons

  • Skin will get worse before it gets better.
  • The hoops and monthly pregnancy testing.
  • The infuriating packaging. It's impossible to open the blister packs without shears.
  • for more than a year
  • $ 130
  • I recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“A "Cure" but with horrible side effects”
By on

Accutane can be considered a cure for some (at least for those who actually works for) but for those of us that have run courses of accutane and have not seen a cure you WILL be left with horrible side effects. I took accutane almost 3 years ago and still to this day have nasty side effects that came with this drug. Unless you have tried changing your diet, lifestyle and absolutley nothing works then I would give accutane a shot. Even still I'm not sure if the side effects of this drug weigh out the pros of having less acne.

Pros

  • Clears acne for some
  • Slim chances of remission
  • Only take if you have tried everything else

Cons

  • Life threatening side effects
  • Not sure how its legal to be honest
  • Side effects that last even after you take the drug
  • for about a month
  • I do not recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“Long journey, but worth it.”
By on

Since I was 13 I have been breaking out, but as soon as I turned 17, it went from only a couple pimples to mild/severe cystic acne. I had tried any product you could name, and the effects were always good on my skin and acne for a few weeks or so, but then it was as if my skin was immune to it afterwards. When I chose to take the plunge with Accutane, I did my research and took care of myself as best I could since I've been on it. I am now starting my 5th month on it now, and especially in the last month my skin has changed dramatically... and yes, because Accutane makes your skin super dry and sensitive there has left some scarring from previous acne, but all but a couple pimples have been banished from my face now, giving me a much clearer appearance. Without Accutane, my face wouldn't be continuing to get better as it still is today, and I look forward to finishing my last month of it and moving onto treating my scars in the future. My advice for hopeful Accutane users is to keep at it, don't give up hope and keep your head straight because your acne will gradually begin to fade away, and along with that your confidence will begin to grow again. Do not use any harmful acids on your face, use only gentle washes e.g. Cetaphil and moisturise your face, lips and use eye drops, because they DO get dry!

Best of luck to future Accutane users!

Pros

  • Cleared 70-80% of acne on face and chest
  • Accutane combined with Vitamin E cream removed redness and a few scars a LOT faster
  • No oily skin

Cons

  • Dry eyes, face and constent cracked lips
  • The medication can make you feel sick at times and quite lazy
  • Recommended not to drink due to your liver already taking a good kicking
  • for a few months
  • $ 70
  • I recommend using this product/treatment.





member avatar
“So far, so good!”
By on

I first got acne in my early teens, 13-14 years old. My older brother had it badly and tried all sorts of things before he finally got on an oral antibiotic that helped him. I used topicals like Differin through my teen years, and my acne eventually subsided to a few here and there. It got much better in the summer when I was outdoors more, and sometimes I'd go for months at a time with no creams at all. When I graduated college, my acne began to come back. Like I said, I always had a few here and there, but nothing that made me too self-conscious. Oily skin is genetic in my family, so I simply accepted that I'd always have a few breakouts. But it got to the point where I'd have several on my face at once, and I started to get a lot of the cystic kind. I began going back to my dermatologist and she got me on Solodyn, which was an oral antibiotic. It worked wonders and my face cleared up in a matter of months to the point I literally had no breakouts aside from one every week or two. I would have gladly stayed on this, but my dermatologist told me 1) It would never actually cure my acne, so if I wanted to stay clear-skinned, I was going to have to continue to take this pill daily. Not a huge deal, but an annoyance none the less. More importantly to me, it was an antibiotic which can have an adverse affect on birth control. This can be said of all antibiotics taken alongside birth control, and I just didn't like that risk. After 6 months on Solodyn, I ran out and decided to see if my acne was still bad or if finally at age 23, it would subside. It came back worse than ever, almost an entirely different kind of acne. It was cystic and red and many of them would hurt. My cheeks and jawline were covered almost nonstop, regardless of what I did. I had enough and went back to my dermatologist, where she told me I was a prime candidate for Accutane.

I was hoping for another oral medication that wasn't an antibiotic, but apparently nothing like that exists yet. When she gave me the iPledge booklet and told me all the risks and possible side-effects that come along with Accutane, I was obviously a bit afraid. I went home right away and read the entire booklet. Most of it stated the same side-effects that come with almost every medication, even simple over the counter cold medicines. But some of the bigger ones, like depression and the onset of colitis really scared me. It seems a bit ridiculous to risk your most vital internal organs to clear up your face, something that has no direct effect on your health. Obviously, the other risk women have to worry about is the horrible birth defects that can result if you get pregnant while on Accutane. My family was split on the medication, but I ultimately decided I wanted to try it. With the requirements of the pregnancy tests and blood work monthly just to get the refill, I figured my doctor would stop me on the medication immediately if it was having adverse effects on my health, and I'd recognize if I was feeling differently as well and would stop if I felt like the medication was making me feel different.

I have been on the medication for a month now and am glad I decided to give it a try. I'm on Absorica, which is one of the more recent versions of Accutane. It is supposed to be one of the more efficient kinds because you take it twice daily with a meal and it is supposed to react with the fat in your meal to do it's work. My face is not yet completely cleared up, but as I said, I've only been on it for a month. I have 3-4 zits now compared to the way they covered my cheeks and jawline before. I've also noticed that my skin in general looks more even and less splotchy. It's definitely not the best time of the year to be on it, with the winter weather making the drying out conditions even worse on my face, but I think it's a small price to pay if the Accutane ends up doing it's job in the long run. I know I have to be on it for at least 4 months and usually longer, and I'm looking forward to the end results. For anyone considering the jump to Accutane who is a little nervous, I would suggest carefully considering the possible side-effects and thinking about your current medical history. If you already have a lot going on, it might not be the best for you. But if you're relatively healthy and familiar with your body and how you typically feel, I'd say to go for it and just carefully monitor how you feel while on it. It will definitely help your acne, so long as the rest of you feels good while doing so!

Pros

  • already seeing results after a month of usage
  • cheap with insurance

Cons

  • dry face and lips (lots of peeling)
  • remember to take it with a meal twice daily
  • for about a month
  • $ 10
  • I recommend using this product/treatment.