Oral Retinoid
2786 Reviews
Oral Retinoid
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
Note: Use with EXTREME CAUTION: Causes severe birth defects and fetal death.
Oral Retinoid
Side Effects
Oral Retinoid
Acne.org’s Real World Take
The nuclear option. It works reliably and provides long-term remission of acne, and even severe acne, in about ⅔ of people who properly take an adequate dosage. However, it permanently and irreversibly changes the skin and the body forever and users may experience long-term side effects for the rest of their lives. It’ll nuke it, but there is no going back.
Oral Retinoid
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist? Make an appointment to get this medication. Don't have a dermatologist? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find one.
Read All About Isotretinoin (Accutane®)
Compare To Other Treatments

Used Isotretinoin (Accutane®)? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
April 11, 2024
Product used:
Dangerous and useless for hormonal acne
It helped somewhat while I was using it, but the acne never fully went away. Upon stopping the medication, the acne eventually came back full force.
November 28, 2023
Product used:
Isotretinoin removes blackheads on nose that won't go with other products/hydrafacials. MIRACLE
Isotretinoin is the nose blackheads ELIMINATOR 👃 It really really helped removing the BLACKHEADS on my nose, before using isotretinoin I tried so much products nose strips, exfoliaters it won't work and also got couple hydrafacials but still didn't get the desired results. and most importantly is that after a hyrofacial session by couple weeks the blackheads came back on my nose because my skin is oily. Isotretinoin is the BEST thing happened to me seriously, the feeling of not having a ton of oil on my skin is awesome.17011884246882826830132912712473.jpg17011884726176556427612173808920.jpg
September 4, 2023
Really think before taking
It worked for 5 years. My skin looked amazing but then I had the worst outbreak. It was the dreaded pizza face. My acne was worse than before going on Accutane. And they don’t tell you that after Accutane, acne doesn’t heal smoothly. The acne left deep deep scars. Deep pits that no cream will ever take care of. And men be careful, my ex got erectile dysfunction after using Accutane in his 20s.
January 3, 2023
Magical stuff but might need to take it multiple times
Oratane worked like magic for me, my extreme oily skin would dry up within days of starting this treatment, and every last tiny pimple would disappear for an almost unbelievably clear skin. However, I had to go on it multiple times over ten years due to my persistent acne, which comes back when I’m off it. I went on a longer course third time round of 1.5 years, my dermatologist thought this might work to stop it returning. Ironically, when coming off it after all that time it returned sooner than usual, almost right away. So I’m a bit at a loss.. I might have to be on it for the rest of my life. Except when I am trying to get pregnant this year, and throughout pregnancy.. so I am already unfortunately stressing about the 1 year of acne torture I’m about to ensue.
November 28, 2022
Accutane cured my severe acne of 10+ years
I’ve had stubborn and severe acne for 10 years . Unfortunately, my acne came along when I first started college at age 18 . I tried a multitude of topical ointments such as benzoyl peroxide, Retin A , all kinds of antibiotics, AHA+ , topical tretinoin , proactiv , drinking high amounts of water , you name it. My mistake was waiting so many years before trying Accutane or (isotretinoin) . This is the best option . I wish I would’ve taken at age 18 or 19 , it would’ve saved me from all these post acne scars from trying to treat acne with all these topical lotions . Please , I really recommend trying accutane for that acne that seems to never go away. All the side effects were easily manageable. In fact , I loved that it made my skin not oily anymore whatsoever while I was in the treatment. There’s generic accutane if you don’t have insurance but trust me , it’s worth the investment instead of wasting thousands on lotions . Accutane was my cure for my severe and consistent acne. I definitely recommend starting your treatment around September or fall time that way you’re not in the sun too much. I started my treatment around the end of August.
October 19, 2022
Harsh side effects but AMAZING RESULTS. highly recommend.

Ok so from agent 14-20 I probably tried every product on the planet. 12 years ago I finally tried the acne.org regimen and it was life changing. Worked almost immediately. I praise Dan and acne.org so much for this product. The ONLY negative was a few times here and there I would be on a trip and ran out of product, or forgot it and would basically have a panic attack. I would almost always break out if I didn?t do it twice a day religiously. It does work like magic however the whole process is quite long and to do it twice a day takes a lot of time. Every time I would forget and get a break out, that breakout would scar (as I got older this got more common) Finally I decided to try accutane so I wouldn?t risk any more scars. It was intense. Very try lips, very thirsty always, but all in all from a few days after trying it, to this day maybe 8 years later I haven?t had any breakouts. This pill is magic and honestly if going back in time they would?ve told me the pill takes 10 years off my life to trade for the perfect skin I have now, I?d probably still do it. I know that sounds crazy but it really was Magic. For those wondering I still (12 years later) use the acne.org cleanser. :) 

August 29, 2022
I've tried every acne medication under the sun!

I am so thankful that I eventually tried Accutane (Qacne365). Literally tried everything before this and am so glad I did! I had horrible acne even some cystic acne that was so painful ever since I can remember. Started Accutane and aside from the extremely dry skin and I even got a rash sometimes, the side effects are tolerable and it cleared my skin up 100%! I started it when I was 22 years old. I took 6 months of it and my face was officially clear. It’s been almost two years now and I haven’t had a zit. NOT ONE. My skin went back to normal and not dry. Highly recommended! It’s hard while on it, but the results are so worth it.

September 9, 2021

I'm 17 I'm a BOY and started Accutane when I was about 15 This medicine is very effective in a positive way it helped clear my face full of acne in about 4 months but I did not get to finish the whole 6 months because insurance canceled while I was on Accutane MYORISAN brand 20mg I had no bad side affects accept for chapped lips which is very common and that was it.

        One year later I'm going back on Accutane to finish up and clear up my face completely I still have a good amount of acne. Now this brand of Accutane I'm taking is called AMNEAL 20 mg the first day I start taking it I feel normal, The second day I have a little chest pain for a couple minutes but feel normal, The third day I wake up around 4:30am I then took the pill about 5:00am Then left to work at 5:20am while I was on the road My vision started to blur and I thought it was because I was just tired and it felt like if you were to look into a light bulb and then look away that's what I was seeing I didn't want to believe it was the medicine THEN MY HEAD felt like there was a tight band around it but I just thought it was my Bennie but no it wasn't. I'm finally at work at 6:20 I get out of my truck and walk around I feel a bad headache and then feel like throwing up and then eventually throw up stomach acid so I'm thinking it was because I didn't eat anything with my Accutane so I then go to Panera Bread on my way there at a intersection I just had to get out of my truck and start throwing up nothing except water and coffee and the pain started to continue luckily none was there finally get to Panera bread order a breakfast sandwich and left to go in the back of the building parking lot to throw up rolling on the floor and just waiting to die I didn't want to go to the hospital because I didn't think they could do much finally I feel a little better so then I go back in to Panera and eat my breakfast sandwich and felt a little bit better and then a couple hours latter I feel like I'm going back to normal so I am not sure whether its the reason I didn't eat or an allergic reaction I'm going to take another pill with food and see what happens. 

February 4, 2021
Excellent, but only if you take it short-term

Accutane was the only thing that ever gave me clear skin, and that feeling was just great. My lifestyle and diet could be a mess and it kept my skin clear. If nothing works, I'd say just go for it.

However, I recommend everyone to only go on it short term, which is the usual duration recommended by your skin doctor, I would presume a year max is probably still ok, but only based on my own experience

Otherwise, unless you are that special few (of whom i'm so envious of), you will start to see all the side effects appear.

Accutane past a few months started messing with my stomach and bowel movements. Still nothing that is crazy so I stayed on it.  Then I started getting back pains. Still, nah clear skin is sooooooo much more important. A year passed and I find myself losing hair. Ok, that got me worried but no way was I going off accutane. By then I was already taking a dosage that is lesser, because  without a completely valid reason, no sane doctor will allow you to take the full dosage for past a certain duration, which can range from 4-8 months depending on the doctor and how much you can take per day.

Sad to say, the lesser dosage did not keep me clear, but still, I chose to continue taking it even for that 80% clear skin. That's just how persistent I was.

By 1.5 years, the hairloss was quite a concern I had to start on minoxidil. Minoxidil did great until I realized I landed myself in deeper shit because once you stop minoxidil, the hair that grew back will very likely go as well. So I had no choice but to stay on minoxidil. But that is another story altogether.

Even with all that, I continued on accutane as I continue getting more stomach problems.

One fine day, I decided I have had enough and I stopped. And though that was the start of a lot of the side effects lessening in intensity (they never go away completely), a while later I got hit with an autoimmune disorder which destroyed my life and when I did a search, I realized that accutane has a possibility of causing auto immune problems. Oh, if only I knew about it earlier...btw an autoimmune illness is medically incurable. And though I can't say for sure accutane is the cause for it, I can't say for sure it isn't.

Therefore, now. I always tell people, it is ok to take accutane, as a matter of fact, please do take it if you really want to and need to. But never take it long term (and past the recommended cumulative dosage), you will wreck your body in horrifying ways. We all want clear skin, but never do it at the loss of the healthy functioning of another body part.

December 20, 2020
Please try!

I never write reviews but I decided to write this as if it can help one person on deciding to use this ill be happy.. before starting accutane I was so worried about it due to reading the horror stories, but with my cyctic acne taking over my life I would of tried anything. I would sit up every night and read the reviews and sometimes not being able to sleep till 4am. When I finally decided to start, the nurse was explaining all the bad side effects (obviously they have to) and I started to have a panic attack. I was so scared of these that I didnt want to even start the accutane! After calming down I started my course, and with starting to see a difference in around 6 weeks I was so happy! Its been 6 months from starting and its one of the best things I have ever done, my confidence is finally coming back after suffering with acne for 10 years. So if anyone is considering this I would certainly recommend. Dry lips and low moods are something I experienced, but with healthy diet and exercise, I was able to over come them. I hope this helps someone today who is feeling low about themselves and their acne and know there is hope :)

Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.