What is isotretinoin?
Isotretinoin is a form of vitamin A. It reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, and helps your skin renew itself more quickly. Isotretinoin is used to treat severe nodular acne that has not responded to other treatments, including antibiotics.
What is the most important information I should know about isotretinoin?
Isotretinoin can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects. Never use isotretinoin if you are pregnant. Women of child-bearing potential must agree in writing to use two specific forms of birth control and have regular pregnancy tests before, during, and after taking isotretinoin. It is available only under a special program called iPLEDGE. It is dangerous to try and purchase isotretinoin on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. Do not take vitamin supplements containing vitamin A while you are taking isotretinoin. Do not donate blood while taking isotretinoin and for at least 30 days after you stop taking it.
How should I take isotretinoin?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Each prescription of isotretinoin must be filled within 7 days of the date it was prescribed by your doctor. You will receive no more than a 30-day supply of isotretinoin at one time. Always take isotretinoin with a full glass of water to prevent the capsule from melting in your esophagus (food pipe), causing irritation. Do not chew or suck on the capsule. Swallow it as quickly as possible. Take isotretinoin with food or milk. Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your acne may seem to get worse at first, but should then begin to improve.To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly. Never share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What should I avoid while taking isotretinoin?
Do not take vitamin supplements containing vitamin A while you are taking isotretinoin. Do not donate blood while taking isotretinoin and for at least 30 days after you stop taking it. Donated blood that is later given to pregnant woman could lead to birth defects in her baby if the blood contains any level of isotretinoin. Do not use wax hair removers or have dermabrasion or laser skin treatments while you are taking isotretinoin and for at least 6 months after you stop taking it. Scarring may result.Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Isotretinoin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Isotretinoin may impair your vision, especially at night. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to see clearly.