Accutane Side Effect


Generic Name:


Brand Names:
Accutane, Amnesteem, Sotret, Claravis

Accutane Description:
Accutane is a medication primarily prescribed for the treatment of severe acne.

On June 29, 2009, Roche Pharmaceuticals pulled the drug from the market due to numerous personal injury lawsuits and business costs. Isotretinoin, is still available in generic form under different brand names in the U.S.A. for the treatment of acne.

5,000 personal injury lawsuits have been filed against Roche Pharmaceuticals, alleging that Accutane caused serious side effects. Accutane lawsuits have been filed against the company due to adverse reactions to Accutane including suicide, psychiatric side effects, and various gastrointestinal disorders. If you have serious side effects following the use of Accutane, you may have legal options to seek financial compensation to cover the cost of medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

Accutane Side Effects:
The the following serious side effects are associated with Accutane use:

Suicidal thoughts
health complications
Gastrointestinal disorders
Birth defects
Liver damage
Allergic reaction to isotretinoin
Gastrointestinal disorders
Severe depression
For more information, see our Accutane side effects page.

Accutane Uses:
Accutane is primarily prescribed for the treatment and management of acne. Since there are high risks of side effects, this is often not the first course of treatment explored for acne patients, and topical cleansers and creams will likely be utilized first. If these options are unsuccessful, Accutane may be prescribed, due to its ability to clear up severe forms of acne including acne vulgaris, acne conglobate, and acne fulminant.

While Accutane can be prescribed to treat any severe form of acne, it is most often prescribed to treat a specific form of acne called recalcitrant nodular acne. This type of acne often proves to be resistant to other forms of treatment, making Accutane a final option for many to achieve clearer skin. As a retinoid, Accutane reduces the amount of sebum in the skin (a combination of oil and dead skin cells, which often clog pores) and dries out oil. It also reduces the size of sebaceous glands, clearing current acne and preventing the formation of new blemishes. By maintaining a “dry” environment on the skin, new acne bacteria are unlikely to appear and develop into pimples, cysts, or nodules.

Accutane is also used to treat certain cancers, including brain cancer and pancreatic cancer. The medication is used as a chemotherapy drug and works by targeting cells that divide rapidly. However, the medication works throughout the entire body and can kill cells other than cancer cells.

Accutane has also been utilized to treat Harlequin-type ichthyosis. This condition is very rare and causes the skin to present plating that is almost like armor soon after birth. It can cause death very early in life, making treatment with drugs like Accutane vital.

Accutane Interactions:
The following medications should be avoided when taking Accutane, as negative interactions are likely:

Seizure medications
St. John’s Wort
Tetracycline antibiotics, including demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Brodspec, Sumycin, Tetracap)
Vitamin A supplements
It is also important for a patient to inform a doctor of the use of any additional medications, supplements, or herbal products before using Accutane to avoid any complications or adverse reactions.

Accutane Dosage Information:

Accutane is administered orally in the form of a pill, usually in the amount of 0.5 to 1.0mg/kg/day. This dosage is split into a twice-daily regimen and must be taken with a meal. A typical round of medication lasts between 15 and 20 weeks. It is not advised that the medication be given as a once-daily dose, as this can introduce too much of the drug into the system at one time.

Missing a Dose:

If a dose of Accutane is missed, a patient should skip the missed dose and take Accutane at the next regularly scheduled time. Additional medication should not be taken to compensate for the missed dose.


If too much Accutane is taken, it is important for a patient to seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an overdose include vomiting, stomach aches, headache, dizziness, swelling of the lips, a tingling sensation underneath the skin, and impaired balance and coordination.

Accutane FDA Approval:
May 7, 1982

Accutane Recall/Black Box Warning Information:
The FDA requires a Black Box warning on all isotretinoin products, including Accutane, to warn of the potential hazards that could affect unborn children. Accutane has been shown to cause severe birth defects, including mental retardation and visual or auditory impairment, and it may result in death.