Accutane is a medication used to treat severe acne called recalcitrant nodular acne. Accutane is only prescribed with other treatments, such as ointments and other facial regimens do not work. Accutane works by reducing the production of specific substances that generally cause pimple formation. It is also used to treat certain skin conditions and some types of cancer.
Accutane, also called Isotretinoin, is a pill that is taken orally usually twice a day during mealtime. The medication should only be used as prescribed, and any discrepancies should be resolved with a doctor or pharmacist. As always, be sure to swallow the capsule fully with a large glass of water. The pill should not be chewed or sucked on.
Because of the risks of accutane, the prescribing doctor generally starts the patient on an average dose and then adjusts higher or lower doses depending on the improvement or side effects that might occur. As with any medication, it might take many weeks or months to experience the full effects of accutane. It is common for patients to have more severe acne at the beginning of treatment. This of course is normal and seen in many patients before the full affect of accutane takes place.
It is important to know that women taking accutane must not take while pregnant or who may become pregnant. There is a large risk that accutane can cause premature delivery, loss of pregnancy, die recently after birth, or to be born with physical mutations and abnormalities.
In response to this high risk, a program called iPLEDGE was created to ensure that women taking accutane do not become pregnant and those already experiencing a pregnancy do not take accutane. Anyone seeking a prescription cannot and will not obtain one until registered with iPLEDGE. Once fully registered, the patient must obtain a prescription from a doctor registered with iPLEDGE filled at a pharmacy registered as well. This is to fully ensure that all patients, male or female, know of the potential risks associated with accutane.
Once entered into the iPLEDGE program, the patient must adhere to all cautions risk bodily harm or losing the prescription. Patients must have blood work drawn every so often to measure the level of metabolites in the body; levels too high might pose a threat to the patient. Even with the risks of accutane, the medication proves to be effective in frustrated patients that literally have tired every remedy for their acne.
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