Accutane Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Accutane?
A: Accutane is by far the most popular and effective medications used for treating moderate to severe forms of acne. Accutane is known as the last resort and is often used in cases when all other acne treatments have failed.
Q: Is Accutane available under other brand names and are they as effective?
A: Yes, there are some generic variations available as an alternative to Accutane produced by Roche such as Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret, Isotane, Oratane, and Decutan. They all contain the same active ingredient isotretinoin and share the same effectiveness against acne.
Q: How does Accutane work?
A: Accutane contains the main active element isotretinoin, which is a retinoid - a form of Vitamin A that is naturally found in the body in small doses. When there's a higher dose of this substance, it is known to help against the main causes of acne breakouts. These causes include increased sebum production in the skin, bacterial activity and hormonal changes. Accutane helps normalize the functioning of oil glands in the skin, reducing the amount of sebum produced by the pores and eliminating the main factor, which contributes to the formation of acne. Without excessive oil amounts there's much less risk of bacterial inflammation in the skin. This means that Accutane actually helps fight the cause, not the effect of acne like most other anti-acne solutions.
Q: Who can use Accutane?
A: Because Accutane treatment is quite costly and has numerous possible side effects it is only recommended to be used when all other treatments have failed. Accutane is a very potent medication and is prescribed only in the most severe cases when nothing else can help. For less serious acne problems it is recommended to use topical solutions or antibiotics, depending on your doctor's prescription.
Q: Who should avoid taking Accutane?
A: Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the near future should avoid taking Accutane. The drug is known to affect the development of the fetus and may cause different birth defects such as mental disorders, heart development problems, malformation of ears, eyes and the face.
In order to assure that pregnancy won't take place during the course of Accutane it is highly recommended to use two forms of birth control at the same time when having sexual activity. Nursing mothers should also avoid taking Accutane as it is known to pass through breast milk and affect the development of the newborn. Consult with your doctor regarding the use of Accutane during breastfeeding.