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5 Things You Need to Know About Accutane

5 Things You Need to Know About Accutane

1. Accutane and Acne

Accutane, or isotretinoin, is a retinoid, prescribed primarily for the treatment of nodular acne. It's prescribed only after antibiotics and other treatments for acne have failed. In prescribed dosages of 10, 20 or 40 mg, isotretinoin inhibits the sebaceous gland function and keratinization. This means that it reduces the amount of oil released by the oil glands, helping the skin to heal and renew.

2. Skip the Vitamin A

Accutane is the brand name for isotretinoin, which is a form of vitamin A. Doctors recommend that you don't take vitamin A while taking Accutane. Instead, get your vitamin A needs from healthy foods that you eat. Some of the animal-based foods with vitamin A are egg yolks, beef liver, fortified milk and cheddar cheese. Plant-based foods with Vitamin A include carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, sweet potato, apricots, broccoli and spinach. So, skip the vitamin A supplement for a while and just enjoy some healthy foods.

3. Accutane Causes Serious Birth Defects

While pregnant, taking Accutane causes serious birth defects, even fetal death, in any form for any length of time. In compliance with the iPledge program, doctors prescribing Accutane are required to counsel the patient, including the patient's family if the patient is a minor, on the warnings and side effects. The iPledge program is the program that Accutane markets under for the safety of the patients, doctors, pharmacies and laboratories involved in its distribution. For female of childbearing age, counseling is more extensive. Females receive brochures regarding the warnings of side effects and a release form acknowledging the warnings associated with Accutane. Females must have two blood tests, one at a iPledge-operated lab, to check for pregnancy before Accutane is dispensed. Once started, blood tests are monthly.

4. Team Up With Your Doctor

It's important to talk openly with your doctor about your medical history before taking Accutane. That's your job. Your doctor's job is to discuss openly with you all the possible side effects of Accutane so you know what to watch for. Some of the possible side effects of Accutane are forms of depression, sun sensitivity, clinical hepatitis, hearing impairments or inflammatory bowel disease. Also, Accutane can cause the triglyceride levels to elevate. Nursing mothers and diabetics should not take Accutane. Check with your doctor prescribing the Accutane before taking any other medications to avoid drug interaction problems. Team up with your doctor to discuss any questions you have while taking Accutane.

5. It All Clears Up at the End

After Accutane, patients should continue to see their doctor for follow up evaluations. After it's stopped, blood lipid profiles usually return to normal levels. Most importantly, the skin with nodular acne is clearer and much healthier. This can give a boost of self-confidence and a new outlook on life to many people.

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