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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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Cruisin after week 6
Reviewed on July 11, 2015

I'm a 20 yr old dude. Always had both oily and acne prone skin. Month 1 was brutal with a bad IB lasting a few days. Now have oiless moisturized skin in week 6 already. No other product can compare to accutane (I used epiduo for several years). Worrying about my skin is completely obsolete now. Safe and effective when taken with a fatty meal, although I do binge drink occasionally on it (hangovers possibly a little worse). Take this with a large fatty meal and your dose will be more absorbed with faster results (almonds, avacado, eggs). A lot of things are bad for you such as accutane but atleast this one counts for something.


Stick with it!!
Reviewed on June 13, 2015

Until aged 19 I never had any problems with my skin. However when I started university I started to break out slowly and within a year had a full face of cystic acne. I tried many different treatments (none of which made any difference) and finally my doctor referred me to start isotretinoin. For the first four months I felt like there was no change however after that, my skin seemed to clear up extremely quickly (almost in a matter of weeks). I found it easy to copy with the dryness with intense facial moisturising in the night and the morning every day from the beginning of the treatment. I also kept lip balm on me at all times and applied regularly. Of course I still suffered from slightly dry skin and lips but it was easy to cope with and SO WORTH IT. Towards the last month or so of treatment I also found I had a stiff back and hips but again, it was easy to cope with and so worth it. I would highly recommend this treatment to anyone suffering. My self confidence was knocked for so long and I am finally (after about three years) able to leave the house without make up on. I suffered no depression of any sort but instead continued to feel better and better throughout the treatment as my skin improved. Stick with it, it is not a miracle drug and needs time to work!

Only a bandaid fix
Reviewed on June 12, 2015

So if you're a female and you suffer from hormonal acne like me, nothing will ever 'cure' your acne. The best you can do is manage it. Accutane works by drying up the oil glands and shedding the skin cells quicker. But, it isn't the be all to end all for a lot of people. For many it has been shown to cure their acne, but it depends what kind of acne you have. If you suffer from adult hormonal acne chances are this won't work for you. The best option is to go on Diane 35, and even that has side effects. Plus, Accutane is really bad for your health so unless you have tried everything else, including birth control, then try it. I've been on it 3 times. The only thing that has ever kept my acne at bay is Diane 35 and Proactiv, used together. But that's me just managing my acne, not trying to cure it. Remember, there is no cure, as you can't cure your hormones.

accutane nice but not so nice :D
Reviewed on June 11, 2015

1 whole year of 2 pills per day recommanded micro dose that my doctors gave me to prevent side effect and 2 months after finishing everything went back to how it used to be first 1 pimple then 4-10 cysts and all that good stuff so for me it was not worth it i lost a year of my life putting my body in danger liver all organs all thoose nasty side effects for nothing...a doctor told me this has 85% rate of success of getting rid of acne for life i guess i was one of the 15% :( hope it works for others maybe with full dosage

I don't know how other people are able to take it for so long
Reviewed on June 9, 2015

Roaccutane is one of the worst medication I've ever been on. Within half an hour after taking the first 20mg Isotretinoin, I became extremely irritable and had uncontrollable anger and snapped at my mom for no reason. On the second day, I started getting severely depressed and cried in middle of the day for no reason. I also became extremely fatigued and I could only run for 20 minutes on the treadmill when I normally run for 50 minutes. I also started having memory problems and I couldn't even remember the 4 digit number that I always use at work. I felt not right being on Roaccutane and I felt like I was dying inside. Because of these side effects, I eventually quit on Day 5 and I didn't quit because of the horror stories I've read online, I quit since I couldn't handle the side effects any longer. On the contrary, I'm currently on SSRIs after the depression caused by Roaccutane. And there are just as many horror stories from SSRIs but I'm still taking it because the side effects are nowhere near as horrible as Roaccutane.

by n1990c on 08/20/2015 22:44
There is no way you could have felt any effects within half an hour, or even the first couple of days. Definitely no way you could have developed depression from 5 days of 20mg pills. Sounds like a combination of hypochondria and some other personal issues that needed addressing before treatment. Good luck
Accutane is a miracle!!!
Reviewed on June 5, 2015

I am a 25 year old female who has suffered from acne since I was 15. Before I turned 20, my acne was quite mild, and I could easily treat it with benzoyl peroxide. However, after I turned 20, I started to develop those deep, painful, inflammatory cysts that would take weeks to go away. Benzoyl peroxide didn't seem to work so effectively as before, and I have tried all kinds of OTC acne treatments, antibiotics, even herbal tea... The sad thing is, none of these seem to improve my acne. For the past five years, my self-esteem was down to the lowest point. I wouldn't go anywhere without my makeup on, even just for grocery shopping. I would spend more than an hour to work on my makeup just to cover those f***ing pimples. I turned down my friends' invitations for trips or any kinds of outdoor activities, because I was afraid that the strong sunlight would expose the horrible bumps on my face, and then they just gonna keep asking what the hell was going on on my face (Maybe they are just cared about me, but when you are already worried about your acne even in your dream, you just want them to stop asking, and pretend that there is nothing wrong with your face)...

Anyway, I was finally recommended to a dermatologist by a friend who has suffered from severe acne for 10 years. I know accutane is the solution after I saw the dramatic improvement on my friend's face. It's like she was born with such great skin. You could never link that to a face which is covered with pimples, scars, and large pores.

So back to my story. In the 1st month, my face broke out like hell. I remember I was on this blog all the time reading reviews about accutane, and lots of people did experience an initial breakout from this medicine. I guess things have to get worse before they get better right? But the breakout was so so so horrible that I didn't even want my own parents to see my face. I basically just stayed in my room as much as I could. (Because my acne was caused by deeply clogged pores, so I was told not to wear any makeup while I was on accutane, I will talk about this in a bit.)

In the 2nd month, the breakout finally stopped, the number of pimples on my face decreased from 30+ to around 15. In the 3rd and 4th month, the number of pimples kept decreasing dramatically on my face, and my face was much smoother and softer than before. Now I just started my 5th month treatment. But basically, I only have a couple of tiny little pimples on my face, and the scars have faded a lot as well. I might need to keep on taking this drug for another 2 months or so, just to make sure those clogged pores are entirely cleared out.

As for side effects, mine were just dry lips, dry hair, and occasional joint/muscle pain, but they didn't bother me that much. But your skin will be super sensitive when you're on this drug, so it's very important for you to avoid sunburn or any strong topical treatment, otherwise you may end up with a red, itchy and swollen face.

As I have mentioned, my cystic acne was developed from deeply clogged pores. From my derm's opinion, these clogged pores can be the result of my excessive use of makeup. I kinda agree with him, 'cause the cysts started almost a few months after I started applying full makeup. I used lots of different makeup brands for the past five years, from high end brands like Dior, Estee Lauder, Giorgio Armani to drugstore brands like L'oreal and Clinique. I also tried lots of skincare products that claimed they would improve my skin texture, brighten my acne marks, etc. ... But I didn't see any major improvement on my skin after so many attempts, or at least, the result was only temporary. With more pimples that I got, I tended to apply more foundation to my face, and I ended up with more clogged pores. Then these nasty clogged pores would turn to cysts, and I used more makeup to cover...The whole process just repeated over and over...

So for the past few months, I took my derm's advice and completely stayed away from makeup, changed my entire skincare regime, and also stayed away from unhealthy food. Although my face is not flawless at this moment, but it has improved so much compared to what it used to be. And I can feel quite normal and confident when I walk on the streets now, because I don't have to worry whether people may stare at my face and wonder what the hell is wrong with this woman...

by ellisgs on 07/27/2015 22:51
This was a very good review. My 19 yrs old granddaughter has suffered with severe acne for 7 years. She is now beginning her 3rd month on acutane so we are looking forward to seeing some great results. The other day an older man asked her if she would mind if he asked her a personal question and she said sure. He then asked her what happened to her face. She explained and he wished her well. She handled it with such grace as she is such a great person. Can't wait for her face to become as beautiful as she is from the inside out.
Hefty Price to Pay for Pimples
Reviewed on June 5, 2015

This drug destroys lives. The dermatologist selling this stuff may tell you that all of the side effects are only temporary. Pure BS. Many people have suffered and many more people will continue to suffer because of this drug. Sure, it may get rid of your acne, or it may not. You may be left with all kinds of damage to your body. You may not make the connection right away or ever. The side effects may show up during your course, or weeks, or months, or even years after your treatment is over. You may think, wow, this is weird, I feel like I am still taking the drug years after stopping it. Acne does not cause harm to your body. It won't cause your skin to be permanently dry, or your hair to be brittle and fall out like crazy. Acne won't cause you to have no energy to walk up a flight of stairs. It won't cause infertility, digestive problems, or joint pain. Acne won't cause Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. It won’t cause you to have to have your intestines surgically removed. Acne won’t cause your body to start attacking itself. It won’t cause you to have low to no libido. Acne won’t cause erectile dysfunction or decreased genital sensitivity. It won't cause you to age prematurely. Acne won’t cause you to spend thousands of dollars going from doctor to doctor because you are wondering why your body is breaking down. After taking this drug, you won't care about acne anymore. It will be the least of your worries and not because it got rid of your acne. It will be the least of your worries because it got rid of your healthy life in an instant. Boom! Gone, just like that. You will wish you could go back in time and punch the dermatologist for ever mentioning this drug to you. You will be wondering what have I done to my body and my brain. You will be wondering what is next. Will I ever get out of this? It is plain and simple. Don’t kill your body by taking this drug. You will regret it if you do.

by FreeKnickers on 07/20/2015 18:15
You've taken Accutane? What's your story?
Very effective for clearing severe acne, but not a long term fix for me
Reviewed on May 29, 2015

I'm 22 years old now (female) and have been struggling with acne since I was 13. It got to a point where I was severely depressed over the state of my skin and didn't want to leave the house. My confidence was very badly affected and I still suffer with the crippling self consciousness that acne induces. I do still have acne now, but I would like to say first and foremost that does not mean that this drug doesn't work - Accutane works, it really works. I had cystic acne in almost every pore in my face and all over my neck and back - I simply felt terrible about myself. Now I have a clear back, but I do still struggle with hormonal acne - I am hoping to go back on Dianette and I will also be getting laser treatment on my face for the hyperpigmentation caused by my acne.

I took 40mg for 6 months alongside Dianette (the contraceptive pill) and I also took (and still take) daily B vitamins and cod liver oil. The first month was very difficult as it is common to experience a flare up in your skin when you first start taking Accutane, in other words, it gets worse before it gets better. That is exactly what happened, alongside very dry lips. However with the use of a brand of moisturiser called Cetaphil, plus a good lip balm, and persevering with a good skincare regime, all my acne cleared up wonderfully within 6 months. I had baby soft, smooth, and clear skin, I was so delighted to feel normal again - i.e not look in the mirror and feel horrified at my reflection.

Long story short, my skin became spotty again fairly soon after stopping it but I would like to be clear that this was probably due to one of the following factors 1) I entered a depressive episode and wasn't taking good care of my skin, 2) I was under a great deal of stress, 3) I started taking the drug lithium which is known to cause acne, 4) I switched to a contraceptive pill (Gedarel) that aggravated my acne and skin inflammation issues. Despite this, I don't regret using Accutane, it is a very effective drug and if you maintain a good skin care regime and a healthy diet, it should stop it from returning. Be careful with contraceptive pills, I have personally found that the only one that doesn't aggravate my skin massively is Dianette. Dianette blocks the effects of androgens in the body which is why I feel it was particularly effective for my severe hormonal acne.

Had to stop after 2 months.
Reviewed on May 29, 2015

I used it for two months. But had to stop as it caused me severe anxiety (I have no past history of this), as well as insomnia, kidney pain and other very unpleasant side effects like constipation and pain during sex. My skin was starting to get much clearer but it just wasn't worth the effects for me, I felt like I was losing my mind and I still don't feel 'normal', my digestive system is messed up and I'm constantly getting infections. Think carefully before going on it, I didn't and my acne was only mild. I would only consider going on this if it really is a last resort.

7 months after
Reviewed on May 27, 2015

I took 50mg for 6 months, I've now been off it for seven months

I started out with mild, but persistent inflammatory acne

Took me about 4 months to clear completely, and I had horrendously bad break outs.

Side effects: nerve problems, anal tearing, dry skin, back pain (I took fish oil and aquafor for these, and they mostly all went away or were more manageable)

After I stopped the drug, all my side effects completely went away. Unfortunately, my acne also started coming back slowly but surely. It's not nearly as bad as it was before I took it though, so I would recommend it to people that have tried all the different retinoids without success. Expect your acne to get better, and for you to clear completely while on the drug, but don't expect any miracles after you stop taking it. This is not a cure for most people. Don't freak out too much about all the accutane "horror stories." In my experience, they sucked but didn't stay around forever.

I still have mild, but persistent inflammatory acne. At least it's better though.