Accutane (also known as Isotretinoin), or Roaccutane as is also known in parts of the world, was discovered in 1979 when it was first given to patients with severe acne, most of whom reacted with dramatic and permanent clearing of their acne symptoms. It is a vitamin A derivative (13-cis-retinoic acid) which is administered orally in pill form, normally for 15-20 weeks (3.5-4.5 months). It was originally prescribed for people with severe acne that did not respond to other treatments, but has gained in popularity in the past 25 years and is prescribed more and more frequently for less severe acne.
Some people taking Accutane, including some who simultaneously took tetracycline, have experienced headache, nausea, and visual disturbances caused by increased pressure within the skull. See a doctor immediately if you have these symptoms; if the doctor finds swelling of the optic nerve at the back of your eye, you must stop taking Accutane at once and see a neurologist for further care. You should stop taking Accutane immediately if you have abdominal pain, bleeding from the rectum, or severe diarrhea. You may have an inflammatory disease of the bowel.
Accutane side effectsConjunctivitis (pinkeye), dry or fragile skin, dry or cracked lips, dry mouth, dry nose, itching, joint pains, nosebleed. Less common accutane side effects may include bowel inflammation and pain, chest pain, decreased night vision, decreased tolerance to contact lenses, delay in wound healing, depression, fatigue, headache, nausea, peeling palms or soles, rash, skin infections, stomach and intestinal discomfort, sunburn-sensitive skin, thinning hair, urinary discomfort, vision problems, vomiting.
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