Accutane is a prescribed medication used for treating serious forms of acne that haven’t responded well to other treatments such as nodular acne and cystic acne.
What is Acne?
Acne is formed when excess oils clog skin pores and cause a build-up to occur. If left alone, they, in turn, manifest themselves into pimples. This is only the beginning.
Sometimes, these pimples can turn into nodules, which are often painful and remain on the skin for a longer period of time. Over that time, the nodules can turn into cysts, which often require draining by a physician.
This type of acne can persist for weeks, or sometimes, even months, and is one of the most severe types. If the treatment you have sought isn’t responding, you might consider Accutane as a possible treatment. There are, however, some things you should know before making the decision to take this medication.
There are literally hundreds of topical solutions available over the counter. Many times they work. If your acne is of the severe nature and doesn’t respond to an over the counter topical solution, it may be you need to talk with your doctor about a prescribed treatment. One such prescribed treatment is called Accutane.
Accutane Side Effects
Accutane has been found to be effective in treating more severe types of acne, but can have serious side effects. Before taking this drug, your pharmacist will most likely ask you to read and sign a form stating you understand the possible side effects. You can only begin treatment after verifying you understand and agree to them.
Thinking of starting a family any time soon? One of the most serious possible side effects of taking Accutane is that it can cause possible birth defects in unborn children. It may even cause a woman to miscarry during pregnancy, premature birth, or stillbirth. It is advised that women who are or might be pregnant do not take this medication. Doctors are also requiring women taking the drug to take a pregnancy test every month so they can stop taking it immediately if it yields a positive result.
Physicians also advise against taking Accutane if you plan to become pregnant, and say you should not get pregnant for at least a month after you have stopped taking the drug.
Another harmful side effect of Accutane is the development of mental problems in patients that can even result in suicide. Symptoms of these problems include: feeling sad or anxious, feeling empty, irritability, anger, loss in social activities, sleeping too much or too little, thoughts of suicide, and changes in weight or appetite. These are only a few of the possible side effects associated with the depression this drug is said to cause. If you experience any of these symptoms, or others you feel may be leading to depression, consult your doctor immediately.
Accutane can be a preferred treatment when nothing else has worked to clear up you acne. Severe acne can be very physically painful, and can cause social discomfort as well. Discuss with your doctor whether or not the benefits of taking this medication outweigh the possible side effects, and if it is the right treatment choice for you.
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