The biggest revolution in the realm of oral acne medication had been introduced with the implication of Accutane or isotetrinoin. This unique drug is endowed with the power to permanently cure severe cases of acne. Although typically the duration of each treatment session extends up to five months or more, a desirable remission could be achieved in 85% of severe acne cases which is undoubtedly a promising outcome. This revolutionary drug can work as a wonder in treating the most stubborn and severe cases of acne where other drugs and/or remedial measures have already failed. Unfortunately there are a few cases where this drug does not work or takes more than one prolonged sessions to provide complete cure.
How Accutane Heals Acne?
Although as per common belief and even scientifically recognized facts there is no permanent cure for acne as yet, but this ground breaking drug has an immense potential to gain control over acne if applied with persistence and through prolonged sessions. It directly attacks the existing lesions with profound impact on the root cause of acne formation by:
- Diminishing the level of sebum production
- Decreasing the Propionibacterium acnes growth
- Reducing inflammation, thereby minimizing the chances of permanent scarring
During initial application, the acne conditions might worsen which apparently seems like a failure of the medicine. Surprisingly, it is followed by a magical improvement.
What Accutane or Isotetrinoin is?
This innovative FDA approved medicine belongs to the class of drugs called Retinoid. It is a kind of natural derivative of vitamin A. That is why vitamin A intake is largely prohibited while one is undergoing isotetrionoin treatment course, so as to avoid a surplus of vitamin A in the patient’s body which might be detrimental. Substances that are enriched with vitamin A or beta-carotene should also be avoided due to the same obvious reasons. Isotetrinoin should essentially be consumed under strict medical supervision of some skilled skin specialist who apart from being an acne expert, must also be knowledgeable to implicate blood tests and medications for curing the side effects as well.
Warning about hazards concerning pregnancy
Pregnancy is the most risky and vulnerable condition for consumption of accutane. In 1982, this drug had been introduced with a warning label once again by FDA that it should not be used by pregnant women. The delicacy of this matter has to be critically taken into account in order to avoid future detriments. Intake of this drug by a pregnant woman can result into serious congenital deformities and other abnormalities of the unborn child and even miscarriages. Though these birth defects are not always inevitable at every instance, but the risk prevails there and it is quite probable.
Steps have also been taken to promote pregnancy prevention measures during any medication course using isotetrinoin. Sexually active women are suggested to use more reliable, if possible more than one, birth control measures in order to avoid any risk of being pregnant during the treatment session. The safest measures are to conduct two negative pregnancy tests before starting the treatment procedure. Even after stopping the medicine, one must leave a one month gap before getting pregnant.
Side Effects of Accutane
Despite being an unparalleled boon in the area of successful acne medication, this drug has been marked as a high-risk drug due to a number of side effects generated by its implications. This is why the use of this drug is usually limited only to the severe cases of acne outburst. However, since the disasters caused by it are not lethal, people often tend to disregard the side effects and resort to this one and only assured acne medication.
The major side effects caused by isotetrinoin are:
- Chapped lips
- Dry skin and itching
- Dry nose and even occasional bleeding
- Eye irritation
- Serious psychological side effects like depression
- Rare instances of suicidal tendency
There might be instances of a few minor side effects as well. Though their occurrences are rare, but the risk always exists there. Out of these minor side effects, the most remarkable ones are temporary hair fall, joint and muscle ache, rashes, digestive and urinary problems, headache, and even fatigue.
All the above side effects are linked to the usage of isotetrinoin and therefore they are likely to disappear once the medicine is discontinued or properly taken as per physician’s advice.