Where is Isotretinoin used?

Isotretinoin is used for the treatment of severe acne. This is in a group of medications called retinoids which are derivatives of vitamin A. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.

How does Isotretinoin work?

Isotretinoin works by reducing the production of the skin’s natural oil which is called sebum. It blocks the sebaceous glands that stop the oil from flowing easily out and reasons to a sebum build-up under the skin. They feed on the sebum and create unused produce and fatty acids that annoy the sebaceous glands that make them inflamed and cause spots. 

This medication reduces the size and activity of the sebaceous glands in the skin which also lessens the amount of sebum that is produced. This stops the glands from becoming blocked. It means that the bacteria are less likely to thrive. It also decreases the inflammation in the skin. 

Your acne may get worse when you first start taking Isotretinoin. But, it usually starts to improve within 7 – 10 days of treatment. Most people discover that their acne clears up with a 16 – 24 week of treatment. You’re then likely to remain free of acne for a long time.

How is Isotretinoin taken?

The dosage is based on your condition and response to the treatment. This medication is to be taken exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor for the best result. Isotretinoin is usually taken twice a day for 15 to 20 weeks or as directed by your doctor. This drug may be taken with or without food. Take this medication with a full glass of water and do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking it.

Swallow the capsule as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, break, or chew it. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the products you use. Do not increase your dose, take this drug more often than prescribed, or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. If you missed a dose, call your doctor right away for instructions. Do not double the dosage to make up for the missed dose. 

What are the precautions in taking Isotretinoin?

  • This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outside.  
  • Isotretinoin can affect your night vision. You should not drive or use any machinery after dark until you are sure you can do it. 
  • While having this medication, avoid alcoholic beverages. It may increase the risk of raised cholesterol levels or developing liver problems. 
  • You must not take vitamin A supplements while you are taking this medication. It might cause a condition the same vitamin A overdose which may cause changes in the structure of the bone. 
  • Avoid using other conventional acne treatments. You can use non-irritant preparations on your skin if needed and it is fine to use moisturizers.