Harmful Effects of Accutane

Isotretinoin is sold under the brand name Accutane. Isotretinoin is also known as 13-cis-retinoic acid. This medicine is used for treating severe acne and for the prevention of skin cancer. Being a potent medication, Accutane is an extensively effective medicine for getting rid of breakouts. Usually, when antibiotic pills and creams don’t work effectively, doctors prescribe Accutane for their patients to get rid of their acne. However, consumers must realize that Accutane has specific short-term and long-term side-effects. Amongst the most severe side effects of Accutane is a congenital disability. If a pregnant woman consumes Accutane (isotretinoin), it might result in miscarriage, infant death, or premature birth. Due to the drug’s risks, it is recommended for pregnant women to enroll in a special pregnancy prevention program before being prescribed the drug Accutane (isotretinoin). 

Accutane (Isotretinoin) Side-Effects

Some of the most common side-effects of Accutane are:

  1. Vision problems 
  2. Dry nose, nosebleeds
  3. Dry skin, rash
  4. Back pain, joint pain
  5. Chapped, dry lips
  6. Itching
  7. Dry eyes

My Personal Experience Using Accutane 

Suffering from acne at the mere age of eighteen, I tried various medications and prescriptions. However, nothing worked. My acne would not go away, no matter what ointment I applied or soap I used to wash my face. It wasn’t until my doctor prescribed for me to consume Accutane. He told me, “It worked like magic to cure acne.” Of course, I was relieved to hear that I’d get a chance to have clear skin and not worry about severe acne before an important meeting or a date night. However, my doctor did warn me about the certain side-effects that came with the consumption of this effective medicine. So, I was careful. The first few days with the consumption of Accutane were smooth. The convenient use did not last when the side-effects started appearing. At first, I had a few minor back pains and joint pains. After a few days, I noticed, my nose bleeds were more frequent. Dry lips and vision problems, was Accutane really worth all the struggles and pain? No. It wasn’t. Nothing came before my health. Although it took me a few days to attain good health, I am glad I stopped using Accutane as a way to get rid of my acne and tried natural remedies instead, which worked perfectly fine! 

Long Term Effects of Accutane 

Birth Defects

The consumption of isotretinoin (Accutane) can lead to miscarriages, or the baby might be born with slits instead of ears. Since 1985, the labels of the isotretinoin (Accutane) medicine had a black box warning, which explained in detail its “severe congenital disabilities” or “extremely high risk.” The female consumers, especially those who may become pregnant or were pregnant, were strictly warned of its side effects. Some of the congenital disabilities listed on the boxes’ warnings included anything from half-slit ears or other face-related abnormalities to negative skull development. Accutane might also affect the central nervous, immune system, certain hormones, and the heart. About half of the women who consume Accutane are at the age of childbearing. More than 2,000 users of Accutane became pregnant from 1982 to 2006. The result of these pregnancies were spontaneous or elective abortions. 

Gastrointestinal Disorders: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Various studies have shown a strong link of Accutane with two gastrointestinal disorders: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both of the aforementioned diseases are inflammatory bowel diseases, and their effects on different people might vary. Crohn’s disease occurs in the digestive tract, or it might affect the small intestine’s lower end. Whereas ulcerative colitis affects the large intestines’ lining along with negatively affecting the rectum. UC and Crohn’s disease’s most common symptoms are cramping, fever, mouth sores, weight loss, joint pain, blood in the stool, disease’s most common symptoms, and swelling. Ulcerative colitis can be cured with the surgical removal of the large intestine. Whereas Crohn’s diseases cannot be cured. However, it is manageable with various medications. 

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases from Accutane 

A piece of confirmed evidence was presented, those demonstrating a link between the consumption of Accutane and the development of IBD by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hills’ researchers. With 21,832 healthy individuals, 8,189 cases of IBD were compared significantly. The studys’ results showed that the individuals who consumed Accutane had a 1.68 times higher risk of suffering from IBD than those who never consumed the drug. The potential number for the risk increased by 2.67 among those patients who filled four or more Accutane prescriptions. Individuals who consume Accutane are 4.36 times more likely to develop UC than patients who don’t consume the drug. 

Accutane and Depression

Various studies have linked a connection between the consumption of Accutane and the development of the psychiatric disorder. Hundreds of reports were received by the FDA linking depression with isotretinoin consumption from 1982 to May 2000. These reports included 110 hospitalizations and 37 suicide cases for suicidal or depression behavior. Whereas 284 cases were of non-hospitalized depression. Among the reports received by the FDA, 37 suicides were related to the users of isotretinoin over an 18-year time period. In 1998, various brands that manufactured Accutane responded to the suicide and depression report by adding a medication label to warn its consumers of its potential link related to mental health disorders. Depression and suicide reports before 2005, linked to Accutane’s use accounting for the fourth-highest number of adverse reactions in the U.S. It is still unknown by researchers as to why Accutane could lead to depression or suicidal behavior. Confirmed association and proof between Accutane and depression are still lacking. However, it is recommended to seek professional help before taking any health-care decision. 

Accutane Lawsuit

The side-effects of isotretinoin medication have been so severe that they led to 7,000 lawsuits against Accutane manufacturers. Most lawsuits of Accutane have caused various inflammatory bowel disorders and Crohn’s disease. In 2014, a court dismissed the majority of more than 7,000 lawsuits filed against a renowned Accutane manufacturing company. In 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court dismissed another 500 lawsuits by the angry customers of Accutane. Thousands of people who suffered from the severe side effects of Accutane filed lawsuits against various renowned companies, claiming not to have been warned about the drug’s dangerous side effects before use. The majority of the litigation dealt with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. There have been no known large-scale settlements or class actions for patients injured by the medication of acne. 

“Since 1984, there have been suggestions that Accutane might be linked to various forms of inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease. Despite numerous studies on the subject, no such linkage has been found — at least not with substantial reliability.”— American Medical Association



The Ugly Side-Effects of Top Acne Prescriptions

When an individual suffers from acne, it is common for him to seek help through prescriptions and various medications. However, specific acne prescriptions might cause severe side-effects that can, in rare cases, prove to be life-threatening.

What Causes Acne?

When hair follicles are clogged, acne is caused. Pimples or small infections are created on the clogged pore’s skin surface. When this happens, individuals are more likely to resort to treatments and prescriptions that dry up the excess oils and clear away the bacteria that lead to their acne.

Acne Prescription Treatment Methods

There are various acne treatments; lifestyle remedies, oral medication, topical medication, and medical procedures. Depending on your body’s allergic reactions, you can choose the method that is for you. However, if you’ve thought of pursuing medical treatment instead of a natural way to heal, you must keep in mind that certain top acne prescriptions come with a set of ugly side-effects. Before consuming a particular medicine, it is recommended you consult your doctor to learn about the prescriptions’ ingredients and side-effects, especially if you suffer from inflammatory acne or cystic acne.


Antibiotics are often prescribed at a higher dose than usual to those who suffer from acne. However, individuals should preferably avoid antibiotics for acne treatment when possible. Some of the antibiotics used for treating acne are; macrolide (erythromycin, azithromycin) and tetracycline (minocycline, doxycycline). These antibiotics can make its consumers feel the following effects;

  1. Dizziness and Lightheadedness
  2. Skin color changes
  3. Upset stomach
  4. Sun sensitivity

Dizziness and Lightheadedness from Antibiotics

Dizziness is often caused due to dehydration or low blood pressure. That’s what I thought when I suffered from severe dizziness and lightheadedness. No matter how much rest I took or water I drank, my dizziness grew severely with each passing day. It wasn’t until I consulted the local hospital that I came to know that it was the adverse effects of antibiotics I was going through. Antibiotics left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I felt a significant loss in taste whenever I’d consume food.

Skin Color Changes from Antibiotics

A derivative of tetracycline known as minocycline is a type of antibiotic prescribed to those who suffer from any inflammatory skin diseases such as acne or rosacea. When it is oxidized, the minocycline turns black, which leads to skin discoloration, oral mucosa, conjunctiva, bones, nails, teeth, and thyroid glands. It has been reported through various minocycline therapy users that they suffered from hyperpigmentation after its long term use with at least 100 mg/day.

Upset Stomach from Antibiotics

Suffering from seasonal flu once, my physician prescribed antibiotics for me to consume and gain relief. However, when I consumed antibiotics, I suffered from nausea and diarrhea. I consulted my doctor, and he told me that it was normal for me to feel this way. He suggested that I took enough bed rest with intravenous (IV) fluid while stopping antibiotic consumption until my diarrhea diminishes. It was only through my doctor that I got to know when the bacterial balance of the stomach is upset with the intake of antibiotics; the consumer might experience certain short-term or long-term diarrhea or nausea.

Sun-Sensitivity from Antibiotics

Medications that cause adverse reactions when exposed to the sun are known as photosensitizers. These medicines consist of such molecules; when destabilized, it increases skin sensitivity to the sun due to the excess build-up of chemicals. According to the FDA list, the following antibiotics have a high chance of triggering sun sensitivity;

  1. Tetracycline
  2. Ciprofloxacin
  3. Doxycycline
  4. Ofloxacin
  5. Trimethoprim

Sun-sensitivity reactions on one’s skin after the consumption of antibiotics might vary from person to person. Some people can consume antibiotics without suffering from any adverse effects. At the same time, others might suffer from adverse negative effects.

Birth Control Pills

Birth control can be used for treating acne because birth control pills keep the hormones intact and in the preferred balance by reducing acne-causing androgens in one’s body. If you consume birth control pills to get rid of your acne, there is a high chance of you suffering from certain adverse side-effects.

Common Side Effects of Birth Control Pills

Some of the most common side effects of birth control pills are as follows;

  • nausea
  • lighter periods
  • sore or swollen breasts
  • spotting between periods
  • mood changes
  • weight gain

Serious Side-Effects of Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills’ side effects might be rare, but they can be life-threatening if they occur. If the consumer feels nauseated after consuming one of the medicines, he should consult his doctor immediately. Birth control pills impact vary from woman to woman. For some women, the effects can extend far beyond stopping pregnancy. It can impact their health rigorously, causing damage to their organs and even death in unfortunate cases. For some women, the effects can last for six months. Whereas, for others, the consequences can last up to a year. Some of the severe side effects that women might face include:

  1. Blood Clots
  2. High Blood Pressure
  3. Swelling of the legs or thighs
  4. Headache
  5. Abdominal pain
  6. Chest pain
  7. Blurred vision

Top Acne Prescriptions Can Be Life-Threatening

The Food and Drug Administration set out a warning regarding the consumption of certain acne products that contain salicylic acid or hydrogen peroxide. It is serious and life-threatening to consume the aforementioned ingredients because they can cause allergic reactions or severe irritation to the consumer. Suppose an individual consumes a prescription medicine that contains salicylic acid or hydrogen peroxide. In that case, there are high chances for them to suffer from itching, burning, redness, dryness, peeling, and swelling on their face. A medical officer at FDA conducted a report on the ugly side-effects of acne prescriptions and products. Khurana says, “There is currently no mention of the possibility of these very severe allergic reactions on the product labels,” she continues, “It’s important that consumers know about them, and that they know what to do if they occur.”

Suppose you are suffering from acne and wondering what you can do to stop yourself from suffering from an OTC topical acne product’s adverse effects; in that case, you can start by looking at the product packages’ section of Active Ingredient(s) on the Drug Facts label. Drug Safety Communication (DSC) was issued by the FDA to inform healthcare professionals and consumers of any potential danger.

Unhealthy Products of Acne

Being available as lotions, solutions, gels, face scrubs, toners, gels, face washes, and cleansing pads, salicylic acid, or hydrogen peroxide are the active ingredients potentially causing more harm than benefit on one’s skin. From 1969 till January 28, 2013, the FDA received 131 reports from both manufacturers and consumers regarding allergic and hypersensitivity-related reactions. The uncanny thing is that those adverse reactions were associated with the products that consisted of the active ingredients of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Within 24 hours of use, 42% of the reactions occur. The age group of the affected individuals was between 11 to 78 years.

Be Careful with What You Use

Purchasing and using products that do more damage than benefit to your skin is self-harm. You are causing harm to your skin and body. Spend extra time researching for a safe way to get rid of your acne. You can implement natural remedies that can prove to be extensively helpful in attaining your desired skin. Be careful with what you use. Because often, the acne prescriptions which you think are effective end up causing severe adverse effects on your face and body.

Acne Natural Healing