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Acne, Accutane and You

By: La Hunter


Accutane, is a brand name for Isotretinoin which, is a chemical compound that is derived from vitamin A. It causes a reduction in the amount of oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands, allowing blocked skin pores to clear and shed dead skin cells, readily.

Isotretinoin is a powerful drug, prescribed to treat only the most severe cases of nodular or cystic acne. It is, nearly always, only prescribed after all other medications have failed to produce favorable results. Accutane is also used to treat serious skin cancers.

When taken as prescribed, Accutane provides noticeable results after three or four weeks, and the majority of cases are completely resolved after taking a four month course, although six month treatments are not uncommon. A small percentage of patients do have recurring bouts of acne, however the outbreaks are less severe and more easily managed.

The downside of taking this medication is that it can have some very serious side effects, particularly if certain requirements are not fulfilled, or dosage instructions are not strictly followed.

Before undertaking a course of Accutane, fertile women must register in the iPLEDGE distribution program. Patients must sign an agreement to use two methods of birth control, as well as, undergo required pregnancy testing before, and during the course of the treatment. The drug is prescribed on a monthly basis and a pregnancy test is mandatory before the next script is issued.

In the past, Isotretinoin has been responsible for major birth defects among women who have taken the drug whilst pregnant. A number of these cases has resulted in the premature death of the newborn. Should a woman fall pregnant while undergoing Accutane treatment, she may be called upon to undergo an abortion.

People taking Accutane, suffer from chapped lips and dry, itchy skin, which are mild side effects that are offset by the benefit of being rid of acne. However, there are other more dangerous side effects of the drug that can have disastrous results if allowed to go unchecked.

People using Accutane should immediately consult their doctor when they first experience any unusual symptoms, such as dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, peeling skin, aching joints, impaired senses, hallucinations, depression and suicidal tendencies, to name just a few. Patients should not expose their skin to the sun, should not take any vitamin A supplements and, must not donate blood. They would also be well advised not to drive or operate machinery.

Hair loss and psychological problems can become long term side effects, depending upon the strength of the Accutane used, as well as the term of the treatment. Your dermatologist, must discuss with you the nasty side effects that are associated with the use of isotretinoin, and provide you with a list of the most common effects and behavioral changes that may occur. All these matters must be thoroughly discussed and carefully considered before you agree to undergo Isotretinoin treatment.

Many successful lawsuits have been made against pharmaceutical companies in the past for negligently supplying Isotretinoin, which is marketed under several brand names, including Accutane. If you are suffering any permanent damage from the use of this compound, there are many law firms available that specialize in Accutane legal action, where you can seek professional advice about any concerns that you may have.

If Isotretinoin is recommended to you, be really conscious of the dangers involved in taking this drug, it is pretty scary stuff.

La Hunter
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