What is isotretinoin?

Isotretinoin is used to treat severe forms of acne that does not respond to other therapy.

What is isotretinoin?

The Isotretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A . It reduces the sebum production of the skin and changes its composition. Furthermore, it prevents excessive keratinization of the skin, preventing hair follicles from being blocked.

How is Isotretinoin taken?

Isotretinoin can be administered orally (generally in the form of capsules) or, in less severe cases, topically (in the form of products to be applied directly to the skin).

Some types for oral use may require intake on a full stomach .

Side effects of Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is a teratogen: it is capable of causing fetal malformations . It should not be taken during pregnancy, while breastfeeding or if you are trying to have a baby. In addition, it can cause sudden drops in night vision, intolerance to the use of contact lenses, chapped lips, increase sensitivity to the sun, weaken bones and affect the blood glucose content.

Other possible side effects include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry eyes
  • dry mouth
  • skin dryness
  • dry nose and nose bleeding
  • headache
  • temporary worsening of acne

It is important to contact a doctor immediately if the use of isotretinoin triggers:

  • rash
  • urticaria
  • itch
  • breathing difficulties
  • feeling of tightness in the chest
  • swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
  • increase in unwanted hair
  • bleeding, redness or swelling of the gums
  • bone pain
  • changes in the amount of urine produced
  • chest pain
  • dark urine
  • painful or difficult swallowing
  • excessive thirst
  • fainting
  • fast heart beat
  • hearing problems or annoying hearing problems
  • joint or back pain
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • nausea
  • solar burns
  • psychological or psychiatric problems
  • bruising or red spots on arms or legs
  • flaking, red skin, swelling of the skin or blisters
  • convulsions
  • severe headaches
  • shortness of breath
  • gastric pain or sensitivity
  • suicidal instinct
  • swollen glands
  • eye pressure, nausea, vomiting, vision problems
  • fever, chills or sore throat
  • symptoms of a stroke
  • severe stomach or back pain, sometimes combined with nausea or vomiting
  • severe gastrointestinal symptoms
  • sense of tightness in the lungs
  • bleeding
  • changes in voice
  • yellowish discolouration of the skin

Warnings on the use of Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin may impair your ability to drive or operate dangerous machinery, especially when taken together with alcoholic beverages or other medicines. Furthermore, it can compromise the effectiveness of the so-called contraceptive “mini pill”.

Isotretinoin must not be taken with Tetracyclines or vitamin A-derived drugs. It is also important to inform your doctor before starting treatment:

  • of any allergies to the active substance, its excipients, other drugs or any food
  • of the medicines, phytotherapy and supplements taken, in particular drugs that can weaken the bones (for example corticosteroids or anticonvulsants), Tetracyclines, Hypericum, drugs derived from vitamin A or a contraceptive pill based only on progestins (minipill);
  • if you suffer (or have suffered) or have a family history of mental problems or mood disorders , asthma , diabetes, cholesterol or high triglycerides, heart disease, liver problems, osteoporosis or other bone problems, nutrition, hearing problems, gastrointestinal or pancreas disorders or irregular menstrual cycle;
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding .

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