Isotretinoin topical can cause severe complications if taken at the time of conception or during pregnancy. Adequate contraceptive measures must be taken by women (at least two methods of contraception) and men while on treatment with isotretinoin.
Inform your doctor if you have a skin problem other than acne or conditions such as photoallergy, vitamin A toxicity/allergy or family history of skin cancer.
Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and UV rays while on isotretinoin topical treatment as it may increase photo sensitivity.
Use sunscreen to protect skin and wear protective clothing while on this treatment.
Do not take vitamin A supplements with isotretinoin.
Do not apply the isotretinoin topical on cracked, broken or sunburned skin.
Use isotretinoin topical only on your skin. Avoid contact with eyes, lips and mouth. Do not let the medicine accumulate in skin fold areas and in the nasolabial folds (laugh lines).
Do not use waxing for hair removal or do any dermabrasions or laser skin treatments while on therapy with isotretinoin topical.
Do not use if you are allergic to isotretinoin or any of its ingredients.
Do not use by women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you miss a dose of Isotretinoin Topical, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double the dose.
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Isotretinoin is effective when used for indication and at doses advised by the doctor
Q. Can it be used for oily skin?
It should not be used merely to treat oily skin
Q. Can it be used for mild acne and does it clear scars permanently?
It should not be used for mild acne but only for severe acne which has not responded to other treatment. It may not clear scars permanently
Q. How long can I use isotretinoin?
Isotretinoin has to be used for at least 6-8 weeks. Please follow the advice of the doctor regarding the duration of use and do not self-medicate or use for extended period of time
Q. Does isotretinoin cause weight gain/weight loss/hair loss/affect menstrual cycle?
Isotretinoin is not known to commonly cause weight gain/weight loss/hair loss/affect menstrual cycle
Q. Is isotretinoin same as tretinoin/ Accutane?
Accutane is the brand name for isotretinoin. Isotretinoin and tretinoin are different from each other, but they are forms of vitamin A and have similar indications of use
Q. Is isotretinoin a permanent cure for acne?
Isotretinoin is effective for severe acne not responding to other treatment. It does prevent acne from returning for a long time after a single course. However, in few cases, acne may return or flare-up.
Information last updated by Dr. Varun Gupta, MD Pharmacology on 8th Mar 2017.