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Ashley Davis
Ashley Davis
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Accutane Risks

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Do you take Accutane to treat severe acne? If you do, hopefully your doctor has already warned you about all of the possible risks. If you are thinking about using Accutane, then there are some serious side effects that you need to be aware of.

Some common reactions to Accutane include:

  • Pain and swelling of lips
  • Severe itching
  • Alopecia (hair-thinning/hair-loss/baldness)
  • Fragile and weaker skin
  • Vision problems
  • Decreased night vision (onset may be sudden)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Contact lens intolerance
  • Dry mucous membranes (dry nose, lungs, bladder, anus)
  • Peeling skin on palms/soles
  • Nail changes
  • Nosebleeds
  • Photosensitivity (sensitivity to light)
  • Elevated triglycerides in the blood
  • Elevated liver enzymes (indicating liver damage)
  • Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in ears)
  • Joint pain and muscle pain
  • Back pain
  • Depression

Some SERIOUS reaction to Accutane include:

  • Severe depresseion
  • Erectile dysfunction (difficulty in maintaining erection)
  • Violent behavior/ aggression
  • Psychosis (seeing or hearing things that are not real)
  • Suicidal ideation (rare)
  • Suicide attempts
  • Hearing impairment
  • Pseudotumor cerebri (swelling pressure in the brain)
  • Osteopenia/osteoperosis (loss in bone mass and strength/weak and fragile bones)
  • Hepatotoxicity (liver damage)
  • Anaphylaxis (rapid and deadly allergic reaction)
  • Allergic vasculitis (inflammation and damage to blood vessels)
  • Major birth defects
  • Cataracts/corneal opacities (can cause a decrease in vision and lead to eventual blindness)
  • Premature epiphyseal closure (short stature)
  • Neutropenia (low white blood cell count, which makes the body vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections)
  • Agranulocytosis (a serious condition in which the white blood cells decrease in number or disappear altogether) (rare)
  • Rhabdomyolysis (potentially fata disease that destroys skeletal muscle)(rare)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (inflammation of the intestine and resulting in abdominal cramping and persistent diarrhea)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas, on organ important in digestion)
  • Vascular thromosis (heart attack)
  • Stroke
  • Seizures

So do the benefits outweigh the risks? Accutane is the first drug in history of medicine for which a woman has to sign a consent to read the warnings, and the FDA had to issue a black box warning because of the serious and life threatening side effects.

If you are taking acne and start to develop severe side effects, contact your doctor immediately!