Accutane
DESCRIPTION

Accutane is a form of vitamin A, commonly used to treat severe cystic acne. This is to be given only if any other medication has proven not to show any positive result.

How it works

Accutane is a retinoid;retinoids are chemical compounds that are vitamers of vitamin A. Retinoids have several important functions around your body such as the growth of bone tissue and even play a role in vision.

Isotretinoin (accutane) induces apoptosis in various cells of the body. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, meaning several biochemical changes occur causing the cell to eventually die. In this case, cell death occurs in the sebaceous cells. Sebaceous glands secrete sebum, which is an oily extract that eventually causes acne.

Another study shows the production of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin in the cell, which in turn reduces sebum production. In short, Accutane decreases the sebum output of the sebaceous glands.

Uses

Isotretinoin is an oral drug to be taken mainly to treat severe cases of acne and sometimes prevent certain types of skin cancers. Severe untreated acne can cause permanent scarring.

Dosage

This is to be administered orally, or sometimes even applied to the skin. Take accutane as prescribed by your doctor. You will receive only a 30 day supply of Accutane at one specific time.

The recommended dosage range for Accutane ranges from 0.5 mg to 1.0 mg a day. This is to be given in two divided doses with food, for 15 to 20 weeks. It’s vital that Accutane is taken with food as failure to do so will result in less absorption.

Side effects

Some of the common side effects documented are;

Joint pains
Signs of eye inflammation
Dry lips and mouth
Nosebleeds
Thinning of hair
Difficulty in moving
Sleep problems

Some of the rare side effects are;

Bleeding of the gums
Changes in behavior
Mental depression
Vomiting
Rectal bleeding
Chest pains
Bloody urine

The incidence is not known for some of the side effects listed above.

Precautions

Before taking this medication, let your doctor know if you are allergic to it or any other medication, especially vitamin A related drugs. This medication may include inactive ingredients which could result in allergic reactions.

Medical history such as diabetes, psychiatric disorders, family history of high blood fats, eating disorders, liver disease, alcohol abuse, asthma, bone disorders, obesity have to be documented and informed to your doctor or pharmacist beforehand.

Do not donate blood while administering Accutane. Do not take any sort of vitamin supplements containing vitamin A.

Avoid using wax hair removers or laser treatments while you’re on Accutane, and wait 6 months after you’re done to restart.

Self-care

Accutane is strictly not to be used by pregnant women as this could cause severe birth defects to the unborn baby, even if it’s for short periods of time. Several birth defects have been documented, ranging from abnormalities in the face to affecting the cardiovascular system. It is not known whether Accutane passes through breast milk, however it’s advisable to avoid this while you are nursing.

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