Medical Questions » Acne Questions » Question No. 5
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|Question:||Could you please give me information on the drug prescribed by specialists for the treatment of severe cases of acne. What are the side effects and long term effects?|
|Answer:||The drug you are referring to is Roaccutane (isotretinoin), which is a tablet that can radically improve severe acne.
This drug is very effective, but may have serious side effects, and its prescription is limited to dermatologists only.
The most serious complication of its use occurs if it is taken by a pregnant woman. If this does happen, the baby will almost certainly be significantly deformed. For this reason, dermatologists are very careful, when prescribing it for women, that they arc well established on an effective form of contraception such as the oral contraceptive pill.
Common non-serious side effects include a dry mouth, nose, eyes and skin; pealing of skin from palms and soles; headaches; vomiting; depression and diarrhoea. Another possible serious, but rare side effect is the development of scars in the eye.
Roaccutane is not a drug to be used lightly, and every other form of acne treatment should be used before it is considered, but some teenagers have severe acne that could cause permanent scarring and lifelong disfigurement. Roaccutane can clear their skin and prevent this scarring, and if used under the close supervision of a dermatologist, may dramatically improve the quality of life and attitudes of an affected teenager.|