Dr. Sunil - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Sunil

Is Accutane Bad For You?

Also Known As: isotretinoin



Short answer

Accutane is indeed bad for you and is no longer available. It was discontinued by Roche, the manufacturer of the medicine, defending thousands of lawsuits involving severe reported side effects such as birth defects, Crohn's disease, miscariages, and suicidal thoughts.



Long answer

Accutane was discontinued after harmful responses were reported by a large number of users who had used the drug. Some common side effects seen from Accutane include joint pain, back pain, dizziness, drowsiness, nervousness, dryness of the face, peeling / cracking skin, itching, and rash.

A number of reports had also emerged concerning women, who had taken Accutane during their pregnancy, giving birth to children with serious birth defects. Consequently, the FDA advised women taking Accutane to avoid getting pregnant. Women taking Accutane and considering getting pregnant were also warned that the drug could cause miscarriage or premature births.

Back in 1998, another warning was issued by the FDA after a rise in concern that taking Accutane could lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. Accutane had debuted in 1982 and by 2000, the FDA had received over 400 cases involving people who had attempted suicide, were having suicidal thoughts or were suffering from depression after taking Accutane. Taking the drug resulted in the deaths of numerous people who committed suicide, either while taking it or after the cycle.

By June 2009, when Roche was no longer manufacturing Accutane, almost 1,000 lawsuits had been filed against the manufacturer. Cheaper and generic versions of Accutane are still available and are selling, such as Amnesteen and Claravis.

Possible short-term side effects

  • rash
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • nervousness
  • dryness of face
  • peeling / cracking skin
  • itchiness
  • joint pain
  • back pain

Possible long-term side effects

  • suicidal thoughts
  • depression
  • birth defects in babies
  • miscarriage
  • premature birth
  • kidney damage

Ingredients to be aware of

  • isotretinoin
  • beeswax
  • butylated hydroxyanisole
  • edetate disodium
  • hydrogenated soybean oil flakes
  • hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • soybean oil

Healthier alternatives

  • blue light therapy
  • vitamin b5
  • ipl photofacial
  • laser skin rejuvenation
  • chemical peel

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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