Acne Treatment Journal

Isotretinoin Anti-Acne Drug Information
Information about isotretinoin, a very powerful anti-acne medication, including it's side effects, usage guide, and results.

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Isotretinoin is a very powerful anti-acne medication derived from Vitamin A that is reserved for patients suffering from severe nodular and cystic acne.

Isotretinoin was created by Roche Pharmaceuticals, approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 1982, and sold under the brand name of "Accutane".

Then in 2002 the exclusive patent for isotretinoin held by Roche expired and shortly after a few medical companies released their own generic versions.

Some of the most well known generic isotretinoin pills include Sotret, Claravis, and Amnesteem.

In my experience, both Accutane and other generic isotretinoin medications work equally as well.


Isotretinoin works by effecting the parts of your body's DNA that control the size of your sebaceous glands and their sebum output level. After 14 days of taking isotretinoin, I had an initial breakout where my body began pushing out all the sebum in my hair follicles from the sebaceous glands. After that really bad 2 week initial breakout, my skin started to look great and I just had to suffer with dry eyes and lips.

Isotretinoin can be a very costly drug if your insurance doesn't cover the entire treatment. My first 2 months on Accutane cost me only forty dollars since my insurance covered it. Then the next four months, I had to pay about $530 per month for generic "Sotret" isotretinoin pills. It was the best money that I ever spent, because since completing my six month course of the drug, I haven't had a single inflammatory lesion or cystic acne nodule. I still get the occasional pimple on my face or neck but my skin is 1000 times better than it was before I took isotretinoin.

Isotretinoin can cause a variety of mild side effects including dry eyes, chapped lips, dry scalp, dandruff, decreased night vision, nausea, vomiting, headaches, muscle/bone aches, nosebleeds, hair loss, peeling, scaled skin, and increased sensitivity to the sun.  I only experienced a lot of the dryness side effects and a rash on the tops of my hands that looked like psoriasis while I took Accutane.

One of the most important major side effects of isotretinoin that you should be aware of is it's "teratogenicity" which is a fancy word for "causes birth defects". Any woman taking this "FDA Category X" medication should practice abstinence during the 5-6 month drug course, or use two forms of birth control.

Other things to look out for while taking isotretinoin include severe headaches, persistent abdominal cramps, feelings of depression, and swelling of the face or other body parts. If you experience any of these symptoms you should stop taking the pills and consult with your doctor or dermatologist.

Be sure to check out my Accutane Journal to read exactly what it was like to be on this life changing drug for 6 months. Isotretinoin was the anti-acne medication that finally eliminated all the nodules, cysts, papules, pustules, whiteheads and other blemishes that I had suffered from for years.

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