Accutane is a form of vitamin A. It reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, and helps your skin renew itself more quickly.
Accutane is used to treat severe nodular acne. It is usually given after other acne medicines or antibiotics have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.
Do not take vitamin supplements containing vitamin A while you are taking Accutane.
Do not donate blood while taking Accutane and for at least 30 days after you stop taking it. Donated blood that is later given to pregnant woman could lead to birth defects in her baby if the blood contains any level of Accutane.
Do not use wax hair removers or have dermabrasion or laser skin treatments while you are taking Accutane and for at least 6 months after you stop taking it. Scarring may result.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Accutane can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Accutane may impair your vision, especially at night. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to see clearly.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Accutane: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Accutane and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- depressed mood, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, crying spells, aggression or agitation, changes in behavior, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- blurred vision, sudden and severe headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with vomiting;
- hearing problems, hearing loss, or ringing in your ears;
- seizure (convulsions);
- severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
- loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding, black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, purple spots under your skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
- severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
- joint stiffness, bone pain or fracture.
Less serious Accutane side effects may include:
- joint pain, back pain;
- feeling dizzy, drowsy, or nervous;
- dryness of the lips, mouth, nose, or skin; or
- cracking or peeling skin, itching, rash, changes in your fingernails or toenails.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.