Page 5 of Accutane (isotretinoin) reviews

3.9/5 - 1911 reviews
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
273 reviews
2 star
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107 reviews


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

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Patience is key
Reviewed on June 6, 2014

I am on week 4 of 16 taking 40mg and 60mg on alternate days. I have mild/moderate but extremely persistent acne on my face and back. It takes 4 weeks for the drug to completely get in to your system and I have read a number of reviews that have said by week 8 you will start seeing improvements. In my experience the first 2-3 weeks were great, skin was quite dry but really clear and smooth. Week 4 the acne has come back and looks quite aggressive. I cant bring myself to go to work or out socially without make up on but I have switched to a thinner foundation (was using doublewear for the coverage!) and mineral powders which aren't as heavy on my skin. I use Cetaphil to clean my face morning and night which i think is great but it isnt a spot treatment so am also using garnier spot roll on treatment with salicylic acid before bed. Also using a L'Occitaine shea butter moisturiser under my make up. Around my chin and nose is extremely dry and my lips are so flaky all the time I am going through so much vaseline and 8 hour cream! Am going on holiday in 3 weeks and taking p20, factor 30 and 50. and a hat!! not worth the risk burning my skin in the sun at this stage. Am praying by the time i come back from hols my skin will start looking good again. Will post again after 8 weeks with an update

Reviewed on June 6, 2014

I took Accutane when I was a teenager to clear up my acne and for the most part, it worked. In my teens and twenties, I thought the drug was effective and had only moderate temporary side effects. A word of caution though, you might not be aware of all the side effects of Accutane until well after you've taken it. Personally, I didn't know the full magnitude of the damage it did to me until I was in my thirties. Knowing the damage Accutane did to me and knowing the sheer amount of law suits actively going on against the manufacturer of Accutance, I have to question how accurate the published research is on this drug. From my experience, I would not trust the manufacturers pamphlet list of side effects, or just your Doctors word. If you do want to take this drug, do your own research and make sure you are taking it fully informed.

by clearsoon66 on 07/05/2014 20:15
Hi you wrote that you didn't realise the damaged it did until your thirties. Can you give some examples of the damage it caused?
Helpful, but not a cure for acne
Reviewed on June 2, 2014

I have suffered from acne since I was about 10 years old. After trying many drugstore remedies and topical treatments/antibiotics from my dermatologist I decided to begin a 6 month cycle of accutane (summer-winter of 2010). I suffered dryness of my skin and lips, but it was manageable with aquaphor and cerave moisturizing cream. Because my skin's oil production ceased, I noticed improvement in the appearance of blackheads on my nose and chin and painful cystic acne breakouts on the entire surface of my face and back. However, during the end of the cycle, I became depressed and my personality and mood changed dramatically. I was always sad and I couldn't explainn why. A few months after I stopped taking accutane I noticed the depression subsided and I started to feel normal again. My skin stayed somewhat clear for a few months after taking accutane, but I still experienced breakouts-just not as severe as before. I still see a dermatologist and have been prescribed a number of topical treatments since taking accutane such as:

tazorac gel (0.05% and 0.1%)-helped keep my acne under control, but I still experienced breakouts and blackheads

duac gel-used to spot treat pimples in the morning-helped somewhat

solodyn (minocycline)- for 3 months this past fall; helped clear my skin, but acne returned after the cycle ended

I am currently taking lo lo estrin birth control and using finacea gel in the morning and ziana at night. I started using both topical gels a few days ago, so I have yet to see results, but I am hoping for a relief to my acne once and for all.

Overall, I would recommend accutane to those suffering from acne who cannot find relief from any other type of treatment. However, the side effects are dangerous. Even though my acne was not completely healed from the use of accutane, it has improved my skin greatly and has made me more receptive to the use of topical treatments and antibiotics.

best decision ever!
Reviewed on June 1, 2014

Since you are reading this comment, you are most likely an acne sufferer like myself. You know the lack of self esteem and humiliation this disease cause. I am a 24 years old female with hereditary acne.

I've been suffering for the last 8 years with cystic acne and tried literally EVERYTHING. you name the products, gels, antibiotics, supplements, home remedies. I didn't count but more than 20 different so called "solution".

I was crazy scared about Accutane but agreed on taking it since i was miserable.


I am on month 4 (6 month course) with 40 mg a day, and i couldn't be happier. my skin is clear, smooth, and for the first time god know how long, I stopped putting on any make up.

of course it depends on your metabolism but the side effects are totally overrated. Yes you do feel dryness but it was a great change since my oily skin used to disgust me, but nothing a good moisturizer and eye drops can't fix. I have some back, knee and feet pain when i stand up too long or workout but nothing unbearable. Nothing is worse than the fear of accidently seeing myself on the mirror.

I did not have any initial breakouts, i have only got better day from day. I am anxiously waiting for the final results but trust me when i say , as a very deeply acne sufferer, i honestly can not recommend this enough. If you are scared, just go for it.

This drug changed my life. hope this review change yours.

Reluctant to try it but my skin is clear now
Reviewed on May 25, 2014

I was very reluctant to go on a course of isotretinoin because I tend to be very careful and natural in my lifestyle and healthcare choices. I am a 26 year old female and though I'd had pimples here and there as a teenager (treated with topical clindamycin) last year out of nowhere I had a severe cystic acne breakout. I was on doxycycline for a while, topical tretinoin made things even worse. I kept putting off my dermatologist's urging to use accutane because of the potential side effects. In retrospect, I wish I had done my course sooner because as it is I'm left with hypertropic scarring. I finished my course of myorisan (sp?) four months ago and my skin is returning to more or less pre-cystic acne state (aside from some scarring). My side effects included very dry lips and skin (I used Aveeno's petrolatum ointment all over my face at night, it's not clean and it makes your face sticky but you wake up without flakes of dry skin...), a very achy lower back (my derm. recommended I take costochondroitin, used for arthritis, and this helped somewhat, constipation (just keep drinking as much water as you can...) and generally feeling tired. It wasn't pleasant but my skin is clear now.

I am writing this just because I think I prioritized doing things naturally over my mental well-being. I was very depressed because of my skin and felt bad because I thought that I should be able to fix it if I could just figure out what it was I was eating or doing that was causing the problem. If you can solve your skin woes naturally by all means, do it. But I just want to put out there for anyone who might need to hear it that it's okay to just get rid of the acne and then go back to taking care of yourself naturally.

20 year old Accutane experience (2 years later)
Reviewed on May 8, 2014

Abstract: Bad cystic acne. Accutane treatment starts (2012). Acne gets worse. It feels like torture, but I stay the course. Accutane ends. Acne about 95% clear. Acne gradually reappears during post-Accutane months. Side-effects of Accutane do not persist 2 years later. Acne now at about 75% of what it used to be. Accutane does its job at a price.

Re-occuring and stubborn cystic acne on nose, foreheard, cheeks, and chin. No products work, benzoyl perozide 5% as topical cream worked for a month or so. Doctor recommended I go on a course of 40mg Accutane for 6 months. Started in May 2012.

I have mild eczema and dry skin. My skin gradually got drier and drier. The acne got worse in the initial months, but about 95% of acne was gone. It was a miracle, but it came at a price. About mid summer, there was a point where my eyes would crust in the morning from dryness and rubbing during sleep. There would be dry patches of skin on foreheard, near the joints (underside). I was itchy all the time. I was so tempted to stop at that it was near unbearable. It was self-inflicted torture to put it in plain terms.

2 years later, I don't have any side effects that have resulted from Accutane. My acne is back, but it is not as bad. I'd say it was 75% of what it was before...which is still saddening, but could be worse. I have considered another course of Accutane...but honestly, the torture is not certainly worth the temporary fix for me. I am exploring less intensive treatments now.

All in all, YES it does clear your acne. It will suck. Enjoy :)

Miracle drug
Reviewed on May 8, 2014

cleared my severe acne in just 3 months!!! worth the money and i didn't really have the side effects

Fantastic results!
Reviewed on May 7, 2014

I am in my mid-20's and suffered with acne since mid-teens. I had tried doxy, minocycline and before that, different types of contraceptive pill and whilst it did slightly improve it, I still had acne. After finally having enough, I bit the bullet and started with Accutane. I started 2 weeks 10mg, then 20mg, then 30mg and then a month and half on 40mg. My cholestorol did increase whilst taking 40mg and my Dr was concerned with the rate of the increase so I am not back down to 30mg. Dr was not concerned with the levels, just the rate of increase.

Side effects: Usual dry lips, eyes and skin but all only moderate and easily managed. Hair is less greasy so no need to wash everyday - yeay!

Cons: I am in month 5 and I am completely clear of acne but do have slight red tinge to my cheeks and nose. I have read this will go after the course. I have also experienced tiny beads of sweat on nose, upper lip and eyebrows. It's not a listed side effect so not 100% it's related but thought I would mention it.

Overall, I have had a positive experience and I'm glad I took the plunge and started treatment.

Worst decision I've ever made
Reviewed on April 25, 2014

Accutane was the worst decision I have ever made. I completed the full treatment and everything seemed fine. My skin was clear for the first time in 10 years. A few months into treatment I noticed some darker, longer hairs on my chin and around my navel. I didn't think anything of it because I had dealt with the occasional stray hair before and it was not one of the side effects I was ever asked or warned about. I had really only heard of accutane causing alopecia. If I had made the connection between accutane and the hair growth at the time, I would have stopped taking the drug immediately. About two months after completing treatment my acne began to return along with excess hair all over my body. Literally all of my body hair began to become longer and thicker. Back, chest, stomach, legs, arms, chin, eyebrows, pubic, even around my temples. Just everywhere. I have now been off accutane for five months and not only is my acne as bad as it was before, but now I also have to deal with hirsutism. As a 21 year old woman in a society obsessed with hairlessness, this is the last thing that I want to have to worry about. I have never hated my skin more than I do right now. Along with those side effects, I also have a few wrinkles on my forehead that I'm guessing were caused from lack of oil and it destroyed the the hair on my head. I used to have shiny, healthy hair that has been reduced to a frizzy, dry mess. I wish I could go back before I ever took accutane. If you are a woman and even somewhat struggle with body hair, please do not take accutane. It will ruin your self-esteem like it ruined mine.

Great so far, three weeks in
Reviewed on April 18, 2014

I dont mind feeling the effects of accutane (the dryness) as atleast I can tell its actually doing something...Unlike doxycyline you dont really know if its working and may waste 2 months waiting around like I did for it to do nothing.

Three weeks in to accutane and I WOULD be clear by now but I picked some tiny little bumps on my skin and the top layer broke leaving me 3 or 4 scabs :( I cant blame accutane, only myself for that. So this drug works fast on my mild but persistent acne. I feel much better using this medication knowing it has such a high success rate!