Acne Treatments - Roaccutane
Accutane (or Roaccutane) for acne |
Roaccutane, known as Accutane in the US before 2009, is oral isotretinoin for the treatment of severe and persistent cystic acne. This serious drug should be the last resort after you've exhausted all other possible acne treatment options.
The reason why Accutane should be the last resort and why many people are hesitant to go on it is because Accutane has many side effects. Dryness of your facial skin, body skin, eyes, and lips is very common, as is an it-gets-worse-before-it-gets-better phase with your acne.
Accutane also makes you more sensitive to the sun and can cause thinning of the hair. More severe consequences include joint pain, impaired night vision, inflammatory bowel disease, and even depression. Women prescribed Accutane are also given a prescription for birth control pills because pregnancy and Accutane do not go hand in hand.
It's important to keep in mind that Accutane is not a "cure" for acne. Some people go on two or three courses of the drug and still have acne. But, it can definitely be a skin-saver for many people. For those who have never experienced severe, cystic acne before, it may be hard to understand why people turn to Accutane instead of other options, but when nothing else works, Accutane is the only thing left to try.
After most people finish their Accutane course, they are usually put on prescription retinoids to maintain their current skin condition and to help with post acne marks (Accutane does not fade red marks). During the course of the drug, treatment and progression is monitored very carefully by your dermatologist or medical practitioner.
In 2009, Roche Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Accutane, decided to discontinue and de-list Accutane from the US market. It is still sold in other countries, but under the name Roaccutane. However, you can still get generic oral isotretinoin in the US.
I have never been on Accutane before, but from friends who have been on it, it seems like Aquaphor and any 100% lanolin product is something that comes in handy to deal with all the dryness. Before going on Accutane, do as much research as possible about the drug to prepare yourself for what to expect. Lots of people share their experience on blogs and online forums. They are definitely worth checking out to get a feel of what you will be getting yourself into once you start taking oral isotretinoin.
Last updated: May 6, 2013
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