Say Goodbye to Frustrating Acne

Accutane is a trusted solution, and has been prescribed for a very long time. It works great and can offer life-changing results to patients who are tired of the presence of persistent acne. In fact, Accutane is so highly effective that many patients are excited to realize that it’s the last treatment they’ll ever need in their ongoing battle against frustrating acne. Interested in learning more about what Accutane can do for you? Check out our locations page and reach out to the Certified Dermatology location that’s right for you to set up your initial appointment today.

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Am I the Ideal Candidate?

When used properly, Accutane is a fantastic medication that can create life-changing results. This drug is metabolized by the liver, so we’ll need to perform lab tests before prescribing it, to ensure your liver is healthy enough for the medication. Once we ensure that you’re an ideal candidate, we’ll order more blood tests to be done once a month, throughout your treatment. 

This medication requires monthly visits to a Certified Dermatology office, and monthly blood tests to ensure we do not encounter any problems (which we rarely do). Occasionally, we see the patient’s cholesterol and triglycerides increase slightly, but this is never usually a significant problem.

Other Potential Side Effects

Another potentially concerning side effect of this medication is the potential for severe birth defects, should a patient become pregnant while on Accutane. Since this drug is passed through the placenta to the baby, it can affect organ development, making it essential that all female patients avoid pregnancy while taking this drug. 

Finally, it is worth noting that there is a possible link between this medication and the risk of depression or mood changes. At Certified Dermatology, we always speak with our patients and screen them for this potential side effect. We almost never see our patients experiencing major mood changes because of the drug.

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Important Safety Considerations

The most common side effect of this medication is dry skin that can appear anywhere on the body. The most common place is the lips: Dry, chapped lips happen to many of our patients. This should not be seen as a deal breaker, just something you need to know and prepare for. We recommend Aquaphor and vaseline to keep your lips moisturized and healthy. We also recommend the use of a gentle skin cleanser, such as Dove soap, or a soap-free cleanser (like CeraVe, Cetaphil, or Aveeno). Moisturizing is essential and should be performed once or twice a day.

Some patients may experience joint aches or body pains, especially if they are very active or physical. If this medication disrupts your day-to-day activities, we recommend mentioning this to your practitioner. Occasional headaches or blurry vision can also occur, but these are rare. Some patients may report bloody noses as a result of dryness in the nasal passages. Before you begin this medication, we’ll work with you to ensure that you’re aware of all the potential side effects and will answer any questions that you might have in the process.

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Protecting Your Skin

Isotretinoin is also a photo-sensitive medication and will make you more susceptible to sunburns when outdoors. It is very important to use SPF 30 or greater on any sun-exposed area when you are in the sun, even for just a few minutes. 

This medication is best absorbed when taken with food. When on this medication, you do not need to use any other acne product. You will not be taking any antibiotics or using any topical medications or medicated cleansers.

What Is iPLEDGE?

Now that you are on Isotretinoin, you need to know about the prescribing database known as iPLEDGE. iPLEDGE is an online registry for all Isotretinoin prescriptions. When you begin this medication, you’ll be given a booklet to read through and consent forms to sign. In the back of this booklet are three yellow cards with an identification number that is now unique to you. Every month when you visit our office, we will need to input information indicating you can receive this medication. 

When you go to the pharmacy to pick up your medication, you will need to bring one of these cards with you so that the pharmacist may be able to identify that you are eligible to receive this prescription. Female patients (and only female patients) will need to log in to the iPLEDGE program and answer a few simple questions ensuring that they know the risks involved as they relate to pregnancy and birth defects. Shortly after female patients are registered in iPLEDGE, they will receive a letter in the mail with login information that enables them to pick up their prescriptions. Ready to learn more? Reach out to Certified Dermatology at the location that’s most convenient for you and set up your initial appointment today.

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