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Accutane

What is Accutane

Accutane is a form of vitamin A. It decreases the amount of sebum (oil) that is released by the sebaceous (oil) glands, and it increases that rate at which the skin renews itself.

Accutane is used to treat severe nodular acne that has not responded to other treatments, including antibiotics.

Accutane may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Accutane

Accutane is a medication taken to treat severe nodular acne that has not been helped by other treatments, including antibiotics. However, Accutane can cause serious side effects. Before starting treatment with Accutane, discuss with your doctor how bad the acne is, the possible benefits of Accutane, and the possible side effects. Your doctor will ask you to read and sign a form indicating that you understand the serious risks associated with Accutane therapy.

Do not take Accutane if you are pregnant or if you could become pregnant during treatment or for one month after you stop taking Accutane. Accutane is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that Accutane is known to cause severe birth defects in an unborn baby. It can also cause miscarriage, premature birth, or death of the baby. You must take a pregnancy test and have negative results when you and your doctor decide that Accutane may be beneficial for your condition. You must have a second pregnancy test with negative results during the first 5 days of the menstrual period right before you start taking Accutane. Two reliable forms of birth control must be used at the same time (unless abstinence is the chosen method of birth control or if you have undergone a hysterectomy) for one month before starting treatment with Accutane, during treatment with Accutane, and for at least 1 month following the end of treatment. You will also be asked to take a pregnancy test on a monthly basis. Your doctor will discuss with you and provide for you a video and written information regarding choices for birth control, possible causes for birth control failure, and the importance of using birth control while taking Accutane. If you become pregnant, stop using birth control, or miss your menstrual period, immediately stop taking Accutane and notify your doctor.

Some patients have experienced depression (including feelings of sadness, irritability, unusual tiredness, trouble concentrating, and loss of appetite) and suicidal thoughts and/or behavior during, and soon after stopping, treatment with Accutane. Notify your doctor immediately if you begin to experience signs of depression or if you begin to have thoughts about taking your own life during or shortly following treatment with Accutane.

Do not take vitamin supplements containing vitamin A during treatment with Accutane. This could cause increased side effects.

Do not donate blood while taking Accutane and for at least 1 month following the end of treatment. Blood donated while taking Accutane may be given to a pregnant woman and be harmful to her baby.

Do not use wax hair removal systems or have any skin resurfacing procedures (such as dermabrasion or laser treatment) performed while taking Accutane and for six months following treatment due to the possibility of scarring.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or UV rays while taking Accutane. Accutane may increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight and a severe sunburn could result.

Use caution when driving a vehicle at night. Accutane can cause decreased night vision. The onset of decreased night vision may be sudden.

Take all of the Accutane that has been prescribed for you even if your symptoms start to improve. The acne may seem to get worse at the start of therapy, but should then begin to improve. For the best results, finish all of the medication that has been prescribed. You may require more than one course of therapy with Accutane.

What you should find out before taking Accutane

Before taking Accutane, tell your doctor if you have:
- a personal or family history of mental problems including depression, suicidal behavior, or psychosis (loss of contact with reality, hearing voices, or seeing things that are not there);
- diabetes;
- asthma;
- heart disease;
- osteoporosis (bone loss) or weak bones;
- anorexia nervosa;
- high cholesterol or triglyceride levels (types of fat) in the blood; or
- liver disease.

You may not be able to take Accutane, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Do not take Accutane if you are pregnant or if you could become pregnant during treatment or for one month after you stop taking Accutane. Accutane is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that Accutane is known to cause severe birth defects in an unborn baby. It can also cause miscarriage, premature birth, or death of the baby. You must take a pregnancy test and have negative results when you and your doctor decide that Accutane may be beneficial for your condition. You must have a second pregnancy test with negative results during the first 5 days of the menstrual period right before you start taking Accutane. Two reliable forms of birth control must be used at the same time (unless abstinence is the chosen method of birth control or if you have undergone a hysterectomy) for one month before starting treatment with Accutane, during treatment with Accutane, and for at least 1 month following the end of treatment. You will also be asked to take a pregnancy test on a monthly basis. Your doctor will discuss with you and provide for you a video and written information regarding choices for birth control, possible causes for birth control failure, and the importance of using birth control while taking Accutane. If you become pregnant, stop using birth control, or miss your menstrual period, immediately stop taking Accutane and notify your doctor.

It is not known whether Accutane passes into breast milk. Do not take Accutane without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. How should take Accutane?

Take Accutane exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Accutane is a medication taken to treat severe nodular acne that has not been helped by other treatments, including antibiotics. However, Accutane can cause serious side effects. Before starting treatment with Accutane, discuss with your doctor how bad the acne is, the possible benefits of Accutane and the possible side effects. Your doctor will ask you to read and sign a form indicating that you understand the serious risks associated with Accutane therapy.

You will get no more than a 30-day supply of Accutane at a time. Your prescription should have a special yellow self-adhesive sticker attached to it. If your prescription does not have this yellow sticker, call your doctor. The pharmacy should not fill the prescription without this sticker.

Take each dose of Accutane with a full glass of water. This will help prevent the medication inside the capsule from irritating the lining of the esophagus. For the same reason, do not chew or suck on the capsule.

Take Accutane twice a day with food or milk to get the best results from this medication, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Take all of the Accutane that has been prescribed for you even if your symptoms start to improve. The acne may seem to get worse at the start of therapy, but should then begin to improve. For the best results, finish all of the medication that has been prescribed. You may require more than one course of therapy with Accutane.

Your doctor may perform blood tests during treatment with Accutane to monitor side effects from this medication.

Due to the serious side effects that may occur with the use of this medication, do not share it with anyone else.

Store Accutane at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an Accutane overdose include vomiting, abdominal pain, flushing of the face, inflammation of the lips, headache, dizziness, and clumsiness.

Avoid while taking Accutane

Do not take vitamin supplements containing vitamin A during treatment with Accutane. This could cause increased side effects.

Do not donate blood while taking Accutane and for at least 1 month following the end of treatment. Blood donated while taking Accutane may be given to a pregnant woman and be harmful to her baby.

Do not use wax hair removal systems or have any skin resurfacing procedures (such as dermabrasion or laser treatment) performed while taking Accutane and for six months following treatment due to the possibility of scarring.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or UV rays while taking Accutane. Accutane may increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight and a severe sunburn could result.

Use caution when driving a vehicle at night. Accutane can cause decreased night vision. The onset of decreased night vision may be sudden.

Possible side effects of Accutane

Stop taking Accutane and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- changes in vision, blurred vision, or decreased vision (especially at night);
- painful or constant dryness of the eyes;
- depression including feelings of sadness, crying spells, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, unusual tiredness, trouble concentrating, loss of appetite, and/or suicidal thoughts or other mental problems;
- stomach, chest, or bowel pain;
- rectal bleeding, or severe or bloody diarrhea;
- difficulty or pain when swallowing;
- new or worsening heartburn;
- yellowing of the skin or eyes or persistently dark urine;
- severe headache or dizziness;
- seizures;
- nausea and vomiting;
- joint or muscle pain or bone problems;
- hearing problems or hearing loss;
- trouble breathing;
- fainting;
- increased thirst or urination;
- slurred speech or problems moving;
- leg swelling;
- increased levels of cholesterol or triglyceride (types of fat) in your blood (detected by blood tests).
Other, less serious side effects are more likely to occur. Continue to take Accutane and talk to your doctor if you experience
- inflammation, dryness, or cracking of the lips;
- dry skin, dry mouth, dry or bleeding nose, dryness of the eyes and/or difficulty wearing contact lenses;
- itching; or
- increased sensitivity of the skin to the sun.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Accutane

Do not take any of the following medicines while taking Accutane:
- vitamin supplements containing vitamin A; or
- a tetracycline antibiotic such as tetracycline (Sumycin, Achromycin, Panmycin, Robitet, others), minocycline (Minocin, Dynacin, Vectrin), doxycycline (Doryx, Monodox, Vibramycin, Vibra-Tabs), demeclocycline (Declomycin), or troleandomycin (TAO).

Taking any of the drugs listed above during treatment with Accutane may be dangerous.

Before taking Accutane, tell your doctor if you are taking carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Epitol). You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Do not use other acne medications unless otherwise directed by your doctor. They may interfere with the treatment or increase irritation of the skin.

Do not take birth control pills that do not contain estrogen ("minipills") during treatment with Accutane. They may not work while taking Accutane.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Accutane. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

All prescription drugs:

A
abilify accupril accutane acetaminophen aciphex actifed actonel actos acyclovir adalat adderall adipex advair advil albuterol alesse aleve allegra allopurinol amaryl ambien amiodarone amitriptyline amoxicillin amoxil amphetamine anacin aprazolam aricept asacol aspirin atenolol ativan atorvastatin atrovent augmentin avandia avapro avastin avelox azmacort
B
baclofen
bactrim bactroban baycol benadryl bextra biaxin boniva bontril buspar buspirone
C
caduet campral camptosar capoten captopril cardizem cardura carisoprodol casodex catapress cefzil celebrex celexa cellcept cephalexin cialis cipro ciprodex clarinex claritin climara clindamycin clonazepam clonidine codeine codeprex combivent combivir concerta copaxone coreg coricidin cotrim coumadin cozaar crestor cubicin cyclobenzaprine cymbalta
D
darvocet demerol depakote desogen detrol dextromethorphan diazepam diclofenac didrex diflucan digoxin dilantin diltiazem dimetapp diovan diprivan ditropan doxazosin doxycycline drixoral duragesic dyazide
E
effexor elavil elocon eloxatin emend enalapril enbrel endocet engerix-b entex epogen epzicom erbitux ertaczo ery-tab erythromycin estradiol evista 
F
fabrazyme famotidine fazaclo fenofibrate fioricet fiorinal flexeril flomax flonase flovent fluoxetine fosamax fosrenol furosemide  
G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
macrobid magnevist meclizine medroxyprogesterone meridia metformin methadone methamphetamine methotrexate methylphenidate methylprednisolone metoclopramide metoprolol metronidazole miacalcin minocycline mobic monopril morphine motrin myfortic  
N
naproxen nasacort nasonex natrecor neulasta neupogen neurontin nexium nifedipine nitrofurantoin norco nortriptyline norvasc  
O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
paraplatin patanol paxil pegasys penicillin pepcid percocet percodan percogesic phendimetrazine phenergan phentermine phenytoin plavix plendil potassium pravachol prednisone premarin prempro prevacid prilosec prinivil procrit promethazine propecia propofol propoxyphene propranolol protonix proventil provigil prozac pseudoephedrine pulmicort  
R
ranitidine rebetol reglan relafen relpax remeron remicade renagel renova rhinocort riomet risperdal risperidone ritalin rituxan rocephin rogaine roxicet  
S
sanctura seasonale sensipar serevent seroquel serzone singulair skelaxin soma somavert sonata spiriva spironolactone strattera striant sustiva synagis synthroid 
T
tamoxifen tavist taxol taxotere tegretol temazepam tenormin tenuate tequin terazosin tetracycline tiazac tindamax titralac tobradex topamax toprol tramadol trazodone triamcinolone triaminic triamterene tricor trileptal trimox triphasil trizivir truvada tylenol 
U
ultane ultracet ultram uroxatral
V
valium valtrex vaniqa vasotec velcade verapamil viagra vicodin vicoprofen vidaza viracept viread vytorin  
W
warfarin wellbutrin  
X
xalatan xanax xenical xifaxan xolair xopenex xyrem  
Y
yasmin 
Z
zanaflex zantac zavesca zelnorm zemplar zerit zestoretic zestril zetia ziac zithromax zocor zofran zoladex zoloft zometa zorbtive zosyn zovirax zyrtec zyvox