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Isotretinoin

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Amnesteem®;ClaravisT;Sotret®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Accutane®;ClarusT;Isotrex®
    • Mexican Brand Names: Isoface;Isotrex;Neotrex;Roaccutan;Sotrexe
    • Pharmacologic Category: Acne Products;Retinoic Acid Derivative

    Uses
    • It is used to treat pimples (acne).
    • It is used to treat some cancers in children.
    • Isotretinoin lowers gland size in the skin.
    • It harms cancer cells causing their death.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • You will get a month's supply of this drug at a time.
    • Take this drug with food.
    • Swallow capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • Take with a full glass of water.
    • Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
    • If you are a woman of childbearing age, take 2 pregnancy tests before starting this drug and monthly while using this drug.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from light.
    • Protect from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Do not take if you are pregnant. Your doctor will talk about the bad effects before starting you on this drug. Use 2 helpful kinds of birth control 1 month before starting this drug and for 1 month after care ends. Pregnancy tests will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting and while taking this drug. If you get pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away. If you know all the facts and can follow how to take this drug you must sign a patient fact/consent form. Do not sign the form and do not take this drug if you do not know everything on the form.
    • This drug is only for patients in the iPLEDGE program.
    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.
    • Please read the medication guide.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to isotretinoin, vitamin A, or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are of childbearing age, but are not using 2 kinds of birth control or if you are planning to get pregnant during your care or within 6 months after care has ended.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • Do not donate blood while using this drug and for 1 month after stopping.
    • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor.
    • If you have an eating problem, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have mental illness, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have soft, brittle bones (osteoporosis), talk with your doctor.
    • Have a bone density test. Talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Avoid other sources of vitamin A.
    • Limit your drinking of wine, beer, or mixed drinks.
    • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
    • Avoid cosmetic skin care for at least 6 months after stopping drug.
    • If you are a woman of childbearing age, talk with your doctor about chance of pregnancy when taking this drug. You will also get a written paper talking about the bad effects if you get pregnant.
    • You must have 2 pregnancy tests that show you are not pregnant. You will need a pregnancy test every month in order to get more drugs.
    • Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust 1 month before care begins, during care, and for at least 1 month after care ends.
    • Do not use birth control pills that have a low dose of progesterone. They may not work well.
    • Do not breast-feed for 1 month after care ends.

    Side Effects

    • Very bad mental problems such as low mood (depression).
    • Belly pain.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Dry mouth. Good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help. See a dentist often.
    • Mouth irritation. Using a soft toothbrush or cotton swabs and rinsing the mouth may help.
    • Nose irritation.
    • Skin irritation.
    • Eye irritation.
    • Lowered night eyesight. Use care when driving or doing other tasks that call for clear eyesight. Keep work space well lit.
    • Sunburn.
    • Weak bones.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
    • Mean actions or thoughts of fighting.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very bad belly pain or bloody loose stools.
    • Very bad skin irritation.
    • Trouble swallowing.
    • Seizures.
    • Change in hearing.
    • More trips to the bathroom, more thirst, or weight loss.
    • Not able to eat.
    • Very bad muscle pain or weakness.
    • Sudden change in eyesight, eye pain, or irritation.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • Any rash.
    • For women, if you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
    • Read the package insert for more details.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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