Accutane (Isotretinoin)

Accutane (Isotretinoin)

Accutane is powerful prescription medication is highly effective at treating even the most stubborn adult acne. Accutane works from the inside out to dramatically reduce oil production, heal acne lesions, prevent new breakouts, and stop scarring. Over 80% of patients see lasting acne clearance after just one 4-5 month course. Accutane's active ingredient isotretinoin reduces oil gland size and activity. Less oil means less acne bacteria get trapped in pores. Isotretinoin also slows down skin cell turnover to allow pores to unclog and shrink. The final result is clear, smooth skin free of embarrassing acne.

256-bit encrypted connection

Reviewed by Olivia Irving, PhD, On February 20, 2024

Accutane (isotretinoin) is a medication for treating severe, scarring acne that has not responded to other treatments.

Generic Accutane Popular Offers

Avaliable Dosages:
40mg 30mg 20mg 10mg 5mg
60 pills 40mg
$217.81 $389.76
90 pills 40mg
$309.52 $585.00
60 pills 30mg
$167.54 $348.60
90 pills 30mg
$233.21 $522.90
90 pills 20mg
$164.40 $424.90
180 pills 10mg
$177.13 $266.80
10% discount and free shipping
View all offers
Home » Skincare » Accutane (Isotretinoin)

Accutane (isotretinoin) is a prescription oral medication used to treat severe acne that has not responded to other treatments. It is the strongest acne medication available and provides relief for even the most stubborn, painful breakouts.

Accutane works by reducing the size of the skin’s oil glands and limiting the amount of oil they produce. This helps pores open up and shrink. Less oil means less acne bacteria gets trapped inside pores to cause inflammation and acne lesions. Accutane also reduces acne by slowing down overactive skin cell production.

Sold as a capsule, Accutane contains a high dose of the active ingredient isotretinoin. This vitamin A derivative helps the skin renew itself more normally and reduces the risk of scarring from cystic acne. Accutane is a powerful medication that requires close supervision from a prescribing doctor.

Purchasing medications like Accutane online can be convenient, but it’s important to find your online pharmacy. Try an our online pharmacy, just place your order, double-check that you’ve entered your shipping address correctly. Choose the shipping option that works best for you. Our Canadian online pharmacy offer free standard shipping.

What Conditions is Accutane Used For?

Accutane is prescribed for severe, scarring forms of acne that cause pain, inflammation, and distress. It is most effective for severe nodular or cystic acne that has not responded positively to other treatments like over-the-counter products or oral antibiotics.

Some of the acne types that may be treated with Accutane include severe inflammatory acne with painful cysts and nodules that lead to extensive scarring or skin discoloration if left untreated. Accutane may also help in cases of acne that persist into adulthood or keep relapsing after a course of oral antibiotics. Even those with more moderate acne that has been unresponsive to topical medications like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, or antibiotics may benefit from Accutane.

Accutane is also sometimes prescribed for acne that causes significant psychological burdens like anxiety, depression, or reduced self-esteem. Severe acne can negatively impact mental health and quality of life. By treating the source, Accutane helps resolve both the physical and emotional pain of severe, cystic acne.

Overall, Accutane is only prescribed after other acne treatments have failed. It is not intended for mild acne cases. The high dosage makes it an ideal treatment for truly problematic acne that is widespread over large areas like the chest and back or that threatens to leave permanent scarring if left untreated.

How to Use Accutane (Isotretinoin)

Using Accutane properly is critical to see results. Accutane treatment requires close medical supervision given the strict dosing guidelines and potential side effects associated with this powerful acne medication.

Patients should always take Accutane with food, as this helps your body best absorb and tolerate the medication. Swallowing the capsule whole with water and food reduces stomach upset. Patients are also advised to follow their doctor’s exact dosage instructions closely rather than estimating or adjusting doses themselves. The typical Accutane dosage is 0.5 to 1 mg per kg of body weight, taken once or twice daily, but only a supervising physician can determine the ideal dosage and schedule.

A single course of Accutane usually lasts 4 to 5 months, but again, doctors determine the needed treatment length based on the severity of each patient’s acne presentation. Women who take Accutane must commit to using two forms of birth control simultaneously due to the risk of severe birth defects. Patients should not chew or open the Accutane capsules, but swallow them whole. Sharing medication with others is also extremely ill-advised, as each patient’s dosage and needs are unique.

Perhaps most critically, patients should report any severe or concerning side effects to their prescribing doctor right away. This includes vision changes, symptoms of depression or mood disturbance, digestive issues like bloody stool, or signs of liver damage. Doctors also need to monitor blood work regularly while a patient is on Accutane. Following all medical instructions closely leads to the safest and most successful course of Accutane possible.

Accutane Dosage

The dosage of Accutane (isotretinoin) is carefully determined by the prescribing physician based on the patient’s weight and severity of acne. Accutane comes in capsule form in typical strengths of 10mg, 20mg and 40mg. The common starting dose is 0.5 to 1.0 mg per kg of body weight per day. However, some patients with more severe acne may be started on 1.0 to 2.0mg per kg of body weight per day. Doctors often adjust the dosage over time based on effectiveness and tolerance.

Accutane is typically taken once or twice daily with food, as taking it with meals helps absorption. The cumulative dosage over a full course of treatment ranges widely from 120-150 mg/kg. This translates into a total dosage of approximately 16,000 – 20,000 mg over 16-20 weeks, on average. Some patients with very severe acne may go higher, to a cumulative dosage of 240-280 mg/kg over a 6 to 8 month period. Lower doses like this are sometimes used in a second course of Accutane if acne relapses after initial treatment.

Side Effects of Accutane (Isotretinoin)

Accutane is a powerful acne medication, so side effects are possible. Most are mild and manageable, but a few can be serious. Common side effects of Accutane include:

  • Dry skin and lips – Use moisturizer liberally. For chapped lips, use ointment like Aquaphor.
  • Increased sun sensitivity – Wear sunscreen daily and limit direct sun exposure.
  • Joint pain and muscle aches – Over-the-counter pain medication helps. These symptoms often subside with continued use.
  • Headaches and dry eyes – Drink plenty of water and use over-the-counter eyedrops as needed for relief.
  • Temporary hair thinning – Hair growth usually returns to normal after you stop taking Accutane.
  • Initial acne breakout – Within the first month, acne may worsen before it gets better. Stick with your treatment.

Rarer but serious side effects include vision changes, liver damage, high cholesterol, gastrointestinal issues like bloody stool, and depression/suicidal thoughts. Seek medical care if these occur. Accutane also causes severe birth defects, so strict contraceptive use is mandatory, even after stopping treatment.

While the list of potential side effects may seem alarming, rest assured most patients tolerate Accutane well under medical guidance. Stay in close contact with your prescribing doctor and report any concerning symptoms right away. The end result of clear, acne-free skin is well worth the temporary side effects for most Accutane users.

Tips for Adjusting to Life on Accutane

Starting a course of powerful acne medication like Isotretinoin can require some lifestyle adjustments. Patients will be prepared for success on Accutane by:

  • Having moisturizer, lip balm, sunscreen, and eye drops stocked up and ready to use. Dry skin and eyes are very common side effects.
  • Drinking plenty of extra water to stay hydrated in the face of dehydrating side effects like dry skin and headaches.
  • Taking the medication with food every time to minimize potential stomach upset. Fatty foods are ideal for absorption.
  • Carrying lubricating eyedrops to use throughout the day as needed for irritated, dry eyes.
  • Being ready to manage joint and muscle aches by using heating pads, warm showers, gentle stretches, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Using a humidifier at home and work to add needed moisture back into dry indoor air.
  • Getting required bloodwork done monthly and attending all scheduled doctor’s appointments to closely monitor progress and any side effects.
  • Following the dosing schedule consistently and exactly, even as side effects emerge. Stopping early reduces results.
  • Avoiding facials, waxing, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and other irritation to sensitive skin.
  • Boosting mood through regular exercise, social interaction, enjoyable hobbies, and therapy if needed.

With preparation and realistic expectations, patients can adjust smoothly to life on Accutane and complete treatment successfully.

What to Expect After a Course of Accutane

Finishing a 4-5 month course of Accutane treatment can significantly transform acne-prone skin. Patients can expect several outcomes:

  • Dramatically improved or fully cleared acne. Over 80% of patients see complete clearance of acne after one course of Accutane.
  • Smoother skin texture with reduced post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. Accutane helps normalize rapid skin cell turnover.
  • A dramatic reduction in oil production, leaving skin less oily and greasy. Sebum suppression continues after treatment stops.
  • For mild dryness-related side effects to resolve within a few weeks after the last Accutane dose.
  • For doctors to continue monitoring bloodwork and overall health for a period after Accutane ceases.
  • Potential need for a second course of Accutane if acne eventually relapses months later. Thankfully relapse occurs in a minority of patients.
  • A boost in self-confidence from having clear, glowing skin free from cystic lesions and scarring.
  • Continued need for sunscreen and gentle skincare while skin heals fully and adjusts to lower oil production.
  • Continued gradual improvement in acne scars and skin pigmentation over the next several months as healing continues.

With realistic expectations about the full course of treatment, potential need for additional courses, and timeline for seeing final results, patients can feel fully prepared to undergo Accutane therapy. Patience and consistency leads to successfully cleared skin.

Accutane (Isotretinoin)