Isotretinoin: Treatment for severe acne
Our team of professionals and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well-being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics, which can be found on the side of each page. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you.
- Acanthosis nigricans
- Acne scars
- Actinic keratosis
- Alopecia areata
- Atopic dermatitis
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Botulinum toxin
- Chemical peel
- Contact dermatitis
- Dry skin
- Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Genital warts
- Hair loss
- Head lice
- Herpes simplex
- Hidradenitis suppurativa
- Ichthyosis vulgaris
- Keratosis pilaris
- Laser hair removal
As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.
Brand names: Absorica®, Accutane®, Amnesteem®, Claravis®, Myorisan®, Sotret®, and Zenatane™
Isotretinoin (eye-soh-tret-in-OH-in) is a prescription medicine for severe acne. This type of acne causes deep, painful cysts and nodules. These can be the size of a pencil eraser — or larger. As this acne clears, scars often appear.
Severe acne can be difficult to treat. When other treatments fail to clear the skin, isotretinoin may be an option. About 85% of patients see permanently clear skin after one course of treatment with isotretinoin.
Warning: You put your health at serious risk when you buy this medicine from an online site that does not require a prescription.
One course of treatment takes about 4 to 5 months. Sometimes, one course of treatment takes less time or a bit more time. Dermatologists tailor the treatment to each patient.
Due to possible side effects, your dermatologist can only prescribe this medicine if you:
- Enroll in iPLEDGE™, a program from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- See your dermatologist for follow-up visits.
- Sign forms that state you know the risks of taking isotretinoin.
Patients who can become pregnant must take a few extra precautions:
- Take required pregnancy tests before and while taking isotretinoin.
- Avoid getting pregnant.
Patient safety is a dermatologist’s first concern. If this medicine is an option for you, your dermatologist will talk with you about how to take this medicine safely and what you can expect. You and your dermatologist should jointly decide whether this medicine is right for you.
If isotretinoin is an appropriate treatment for you, you will be under close medical supervision while you take this medicine.