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Accutane (isotretinoin)
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Brand: Accutane

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Accutane (isotretinoin)


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.

Accutane (isotretinoin)

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Accutane (isotretinoin)

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Don't risk it
Reviewed on May 2, 2016

I was on accutane 10mg for 3 weeks. (I'm female, 5'3 and around 126 pounds) Then got moved up to 20mg which I have been taking for a month. My dermatologist appointment is tomorrow,and I'm telling her I'm not taking this medication anymore.

I know this is a very low dose to be on, but my side effects show just how harsh this drug is. I have SEVERE abdominal pain 3-4 times a day with back pain and nausea. I'm so worried, I have no idea what it is but I've never ever had stomach problems before and it's a coincidence how this comes up when I get on accutane..

I have researched this side effect and it's supposedly rare,which doesn't make me feel any better. No amount of clear skin is worth the pain I'm in at the moment. It's a shame because my skin was starting to look like it was improving, but I can't spend every morning dreading the day ahead of me knowing I'll be in agonising pain.

I know what it's like to read the bad reviews on accutane and just think of the clear skin you'll have so you use the whole "it won't happen to me" but honestly, if I could go back a couple of months and someone told me this is what was going to happen, no way would I of taken it. I know accutane has helped so many people clear their skin but many of those same people get health issues years and years later.

This drug should be banned, I wish I never considered it.

Update: I told my dermatologist and she didn't seem shocked at all. She suggested moving me back down to 10mg but didn't seem concerned about the worrying side effects I'm having. I've stopped the medication and I'm going to my family doctor to hopefully get some tests done to put my mind at ease, or potentially find out what's gone wrong. Biggest regret of my life.

Last update: I've had 3 doctors and 2 surgeons examine my stomach. I've had blood tests, and even an ultrasound, but nothing is showing up. I've been off of accutane for almost a month and the pain is still awful. My dermatologist still insists it was not the drug that caused this, but doctors think otherwise. My digestive system has also been effected horribly by this drug, as well as the back pain and nausea continuing..

by danluna97 on 05/31/2016 01:17
I ended up with the same fate. Went to Doctors over and over again in till i got a endoscopy done. I would recommend getting one. Got on antacids back in 2011 and to this day I still have to take them sometimes. Still experience stomach pain sometimes. I know this dosent happened to everyone but I would just be careful you can potentially ruin your stomach. Worst decision I ever made in my life.
by M1997 on 06/26/2016 20:53
I hadn't seen anyone else on here experiencing the same side effect so I assumed I was a very rare case, it was honestly the most pain I've ever been in in my life,and that's on one of the lowest doses! My digestive system seems to have improved but I'm the same where I still get stomach pains and bad back pain every now and again, and I've been off of the drug for almost 2 months. It has helped so many people but in my opinion it's just not worth it, I've been eating dairy free since coming off of accutane and my skin has cleared up like 90% already, I'd recommend giving that a try to anyone before considering going on accutane!!
by dou on 06/27/2016 13:27
How's ur acne after a month?
by researcher on 07/03/2016 10:28
Very common story. thanks for sharing.
Accutane has changed my life- for the better! <3
Reviewed on May 18, 2016

Well where can I start? I had acne since I was about 14 and it lasted me all through high school (fun). I am now 20. I was so embarrassed because it was getting so bad it got to the point where I started getting some cystic pimples!. Finally, I visited my dermatologist in 2014, who helped clear my acne with topicals but the acne returned, and she immediately suggested Accutane because she knew how long I struggled and how much the antibiotics and topicals weren't working. All I can say is that 6 months on Accutane was soo worth it because my skin was soooooo clear I got so many compliments and people were asking me what I been using!. I could eat what I wanted and not worry about getting terrible pimples. I did have to stop after one month because my liver couldn't take the drug I guess it was too strong at first, but after going on a healthy high-fat diet of eating salmon, avocado, etc. My liver was fine and I got back on Accutane. Also, I did notice my hair was falling out a lot more and got thinner :( but having clear skin is totally worth it Lol. These were the only bad side effects I experienced tbh. 2 years later and my skin is stillll clear and going strong! I am so happy! I have this confidence now that I never had before tbh. I realized that I shouldn't care what people think even if my acne does return. Now I only get like tiny pimples once a month if I eat too unhealthy or because of my period, which I don't mind. If you are scared of going on Accutane and are reading through reviews and watching videos before you take the plunge please take my advice and go for it!! I survived and so will you!. You have nothing to lose even if it does not work for you. THANK YOU ACCUTANE, I LOVE YOU! <3 LOL

Btw, I was on 40mg once a day for 6 months

Very strong drug, but does the job!!!
Reviewed on May 18, 2016

I have just finished my first month on accutane. The symptoms I have had include: fatigue (like seriously exhausted ALL the time!!), some nausea, a little grouchy (due to fatigue I think), dry lips, dry nose, dry skin, random rashes that pop up and go away overnight after moisturising, sensitivity to the sun, dry scalp, little head aches here and there, a bit of an achy body and if I don't drink enough water my chest hurts due to dehydration. But all of these effects are so small. I travelled to London from Australia on this drug and got a blood nose, not sure if from the plane or the drug, probably the drug lol. But my skin is amazing!!!!!!!! I had an initial break out that was 2 giant pimples and after that my skin just got clearer and clearer. I've only been on the drug a month and I've gone from 30 pimples to 2. I still have redness and scarring but I am feeling positive in time they will go also. If you are unsure whether or not to go on this drug, just do it! I didn't want to take it because I was scared off from everyone's negativity towards it, but really the positives outweigh the negatives. It is a very strong drug-yes, but you are only on it for 3-6 months and then you are free from acne!! 3-6 months of dry skin and feeling weird with an end result of clear skin is much better then never ending depression because of acne. Take the risk, take accutane, but listen to your body, if the drug is too strong for you-stop. but give it a go I'm telling you it works! xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Accutane two months in
Reviewed on May 15, 2016

Hi, I've just started on Accutane in April I started my first month on 20mg and now I've got up too 40mg not really seen much of a difference if anything my skin has more spots and bumps under my skin :( and I'm suffering from dry lips and inside of my nose is dry too. I hope I see an improvement in my skin after these 6 months and the spots that have came out now will they stay till the end because I can't take any more bumps on my skin? I've been using clinque anti blemish moisturiser it's brill for the dry patches and cetaphil cleanser as its gentle on my face and so my skin doesn't flake too much and blistex for my lips it really does help.. If there is anymore tips to help me along this Accutane journey please let me know. And another question I take my tablets at ten clock every night but sometimes I'm ten or 15 minutes late taking them but I read you have to take them on time will it affect my treatment if I'm late by 15 minutes. Many thanks Melissa

Reviewed on April 28, 2016

Was on accutane 3 times! all the right amount of doses, but every time i got off the pill, my acne would come back worse! some people don't get it back, but i wasted so much money. what a scam.

Why did I wait so long?
Reviewed on April 25, 2016

I am a 30-year old female who has had bad cystic acne for well over 15 years. I thought Accutane was a last resort for only the worst cases, and I only had it on my chin. I was fed up with trying everything and went to like my 5th derm. She talked about Isotretinoin and I was on board! It took a little getting used to to be seen monthly and filling out the stuff online through iPledge. The first month was kind of bad getting used to the chapped lips (use Aquaphor) and very sensitive skin to the sun (ALWAYS apply sun screen and avoid too much time in the sun). My derm advised me to not drink and I probably did too much towards the end and I would often get sick, so be easy on your liver! By months 2-5 I was loving the results and how non-oily my skin and hair was. I finished after 6 months and I could not be happier and I wonder why I didn't do this 10 years ago and save the heartache over the years. Plus in most cases, you only need to do this once. Be patient, follow your derm's instructions, and do it.

Love it! Week 6 and a HUGE HUGE difference!
Reviewed on April 19, 2016

Just fantastic.

im on 60mg a day for 20weeks. Currently on week 6. Amazing difference!

Side effects so far;

Excessive heavy nosebleeds (slowing now)

Dry skin/rashes (on my arms weirdly)

Mega dry lips (Highly recommend 1% Hydrocortisone cream for stings and rashes- Miracle when you're desperate!)

Dry itchy scalp

Moody/anxiety- a little between weeks 3-4 (now ok)

Had initial flare up of spots on week two, lasted around 10 days, now literally haven't has a new spot since! My skin seems to be peeling like a snake, be on guard with a good moisturiser, tons of lip balm and Vaseline. Stick it up your nose before you go to sleep, gross yes, but you'll thank me for that advice! Any form of Lippy or lip-gloss makes mine ten times worse, so I going with practical over pretty for 20 weeks.

Ive had terrible skin since I was 15, im now 31. I battled to get this med, and it comes with more warnings than an explosive ship. But its SO SO SO WORTH IT!!!!! Week 6, my skin is already better than its looked in my WHOLE adult life!

I can deal with the dry skin etc, the moodiness, a bleeding nose, and scratching my head all day long like I have nits, because my skin is already dramatically different!!! I cant wait to see what I look like by September!

SO seriously, the side effects are a little unpleasant. But isn't having acne day in day out more unpleasant?! I think so. My confidence has been rock bottom for so long. Im always wearing make up. But now im so nearly at the stage by wk6 of going make up free!!!!!!!! Mega life win that will be!

Just a word of advise- DONT try and squeeze spots once you've got going with this medication. Literally all they skin comes off around it and you are left with a huge red patch if red raw skin. Especially around my nose I found, literally it make the skin lift off under pressure. Just leave the spot, it will be gone tomorrow!They vanish the night!

Go for it, you wont regret it!! ( I ignore all the ' this ruined my life reviews'). Make your own mind up. The side effects are gritty, but I cant say living with acne has been much fun so i'll take this one!

Don't delay trying this
Reviewed on April 19, 2016

Best thing to happen to me EVER

Prior to this drug: depression, hated my skin. Avoided all social interaction (as much as I could). Held back on relationships. Didn't bother sitting in certain lighting. Didn't go swimming, sauna, gym etc as I didn't want to be seen without make up. Didn't even open my front door as I couldn't handle the acne on my face.

Accutane period- 7 to 9 odd months of Accutane. I would say it got worse before it got better. This was last resort for me but I was at the end of my tether and NEEDED relief as the acne was cystic, painful, red and unfortunately leaving me with A LOT of scars :(

First few months was hard. Spots kept appearing. Skin hurt.

Month 4-5 turning point in my skin. Clearer, better, brighter complexion. Friends and family noticed the difference and commented on how great it was.

Month 6-9 up and down good and bad skin days. More good than bad. Towards he end it was great. Skin improved and improved even some of the scars filled up. LOVED the drug.

Side effects: dry hair. Dry eyes. That's it nothing else

Positive side effects- have my confidence back. I'm a new person. I can go out with my friends now. I don't hold back in reltionships. I DO have a lot of scarring but I literally do not care (sometimes) as I have been through the sh*t and back with my skin. I am no longer depressed!

One year on; 2016- I do get the odd spots here and there. The acne has DRAMATICALLY reduced. It is not acne anymore it is a few spots mostly around my period. No biggie. I no longer get depressed about this life goes on!

Scars - It does bother me. I have become great at concealing my scars with makeup. You can see them but only if your at a 40 cm distance from my face. So not bad. I will be getting treatment in the near future around 1.5-2 year time.

Bottom line: try the drug. It is close to a miracle. Your depression days will be gone and you can finally feel at peace with your face.


There IS light at the end of the tunnel (cliche but true)

Rough 6 months but *so* worth it.
Reviewed on April 18, 2016

I'm a 26 year old female who has struggled with acne for 10 years. I suffered from grade 4 acne on my face and back. It had been 2 years with my dermo trialing every topical acne cream out there, only to result in a bright red flaming peeling face that felt like I had shards of glass in my face every time I used one of these creams. Finally, she recommended Accutane. I did a lot of my research, and although hesitant, it was my last resort.

I am just 2 weeks away from finishing a 6 month course of Accutane for the first time... and I must say, it was the best decision I've ever made. I started at 30mg for a month, then moved to 40mg x 2 weeks, 60mg x 2 weeks and 80mg for the rest of the treatment.

The side effects are pretty awful, but tolerable.

Chapstick is your best friend. As well as Vaseline. That stuff is ideal for shoving up your nose when it's dry and bleeding. Never be without Chapstick or you'll regret it for days to come.

My joints suffered a lot - knees, wrists, ankles, hips. As someone who loves high intensity work outs, I had to slow it down around months 4-5 as my joints and muscles were suffering too much.

I fatigued very easily - naps were my best friend, and on my days off, it would be easy for me to sleep 12-14hrs.

Lots of headaches and back pain, which resolved with Advil as my dermo didn't recommend Tylenol.

My appetite decreased substantially (however I gained 15lbs... this is most likely due to the fact that I was drinking 4+ litres of water a day, not working out as much and eating sweets/dairy since I hadn't had them in ages). I'm fairly certain the weight will fall off when I'm off the meds.

Never be without a water bottle. You will always be thirsty. Avoid saunas, hot tubs and hot yoga (I learned that one the hard way)

I still drank as much beer as I normally would and my liver enzymes never suffered (although I've always been an incredibly healthy person so I'm sure that helped) but the hangovers were an absolute nightmare.

Make sure to throw on the SPF when out in the sun - even if it's for a short while. I burnt after an hour of being outside which never happens to me.

If you wear contacts, I strongly advise investing in a pair of glasses you'll be comfortable in for the duration of treatment. I only wear contacts for special events and that's about it, since the dryness is too much after about 6 hours.

I never had any mood issues - other then being grumpy due to being in pain or too tired. My stomach was never an issue outside of the decreased appetite.

Overall, I definitely recommend this! I no longer wear foundation or make up EVER other then mascara. My back is scarred, but cleared up nicely. My make up routine went from 30 minutes to 3 minutes. I wash with charcoal soap or oatmeal soap twice a day, and in the morning put on Andalou Naturals Brightening Renewal Cream (it has a tint to it, as well as SPF 30) and in the evening, after cleansing, I throw shea butter on my face and call it a night. Other then mascara, these are the only things to go on my face now! A huge change from the mountains of cover up, foundation and creams I would put on my face (and back) to try and hide my acne.

The best moment was my most recent check up at my dermos when the nurse looked at me, looked at my history, and looked at me again and said "Uh... it says here you're in for grade 4 acne on your face. I think they got it wrong...You have amazing skin" Nope. That's just what 6 months of Accutane does :) Her jaw hit the floor. The side effects are well worth it - especially if you were as depressed as I was, crying over your acne and dreading waking up and looking in the mirror every day.

The side effects are awful!
Reviewed on April 16, 2016

In 2008, I took Accutane for 7 months, 3 pills/day, After 2 months, my skin was indeed clear, but it was incredibly dry, red and irritated. So my dermatologist reccomended Bioderma Sensibio moisturizer while taking Accutane. It did saved me a bit but I had to apply it like 3-4 times a day. Now, the side effects were awful... I was anxious, aggressive with people around me, angry, depressed and I became an antisocial kind of person. After stopping it, my face was great..for almost 4 months. Then I started breaking out again, badly.

I really think that the dosage & time are really important. For instance, my bestfriend took only 1 pill/day for 1 year and she is acne-free for almost 8 years now :)

And if you have hormonal acne(jawline and chin), Accutane is not a long-term solution.