A 24-year-old member asked:
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is accutane safe for acne?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Peter Corrado
41 years experience Family Medicine
In selected patients: Accutane works for certain types of treatment resistant acne. However, it has significant side effects that limit its use. It causes serious birth defects so is not safe during pregnancy. It may causes problems with the skin, liver, muscles and vision. While not proven, it has also been linked to depression/suicidal thinking. You need a doc experienced with its use before starting accutane.
Answered on Jun 24, 2014
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2 comments
Dr. Donald Shenenberger
25 years experience Dermatology
While isotretinoin (Accutane) is a drug that requires close supervision and should snot be used for minor acne problems I consider it a life-changing treatment. Just as surgically removing a skin cancer can be life-changing isotretinoin can significantly improve not just a person's severe acne but his or her self-esteem. However, it should be frankly discussed with a patient.
Feb 28, 2012
Dr. Seema Patel
Dr. Seema Patel commented
27 years experience Holistic Medicine
Other options to consider outside of accutane are lasers to help with active acne and scars. They can add ALA for active acne.
Feb 23, 2012
Dr. Michelle Chambers
39 years experience Dermatology
Accutane: In 20 years of using Accutane the most common side effect i see in increased lipids and dry skin. The most serious potential side effect is birth defects. Patients are monitored for potential side effects on a monthly bases. With proper use and monitoring the drug is fairly safe and is the most effective treatment for severe acne with the potential for scarring.
Answered on Jun 24, 2014
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1 comment
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1 thank
Dr. Donald Shenenberger
25 years experience Dermatology
Next to surgically removing a skin cancer, isotretinoin is the other thing I am able to do to significantly improve someone's life. And while there certainly are side effects with the medicine, when monitored appropriately the medicine is safe to use in the right patient.
Mar 6, 2012

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