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Isotretinoin

User Ratings
Out of 10
Satisfaction
5.6
6.5  Effectiveness
6.1  Side Effects
6.7  Holistic Benefits

RateADrug users have reported 9 Isotretinoin side effects and 3 Isotretinoin benefits.

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Treatment Information
Isotretinoin is the generic name and it is manufactured and sold under the brand names: Accutane, Sotret, Claravis, Amnesteem. It is used in the treatment of extreme cases of nodular acne where other forms of treatment including antibiotics have failed.

It belongs to a group of medications referred to as retinoids. It functions by inhibiting the production of varopis natural elements that can give rise to pimples.

The inactive ingredients of isotretinoin are beeswax, butylated hydroxyanisole, edetate disodium.

It is available in tablet form and needs to be administered orally.
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BrandsEffectivenessHolistic BenefitsSide
Effects
Number of Ratings
8.04 7.23 4.06 45 Get Info
7.27 6.36 4.37 11 Get Info
6.57 5.66 2.45 23 Get Info
6.27 6.54 4.4 15 Get Info
5.1 4.77 3.41 20 Get Info
4.5 3.98 2.92 16 Get Info
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Effectiveness of Isotretinoin by Condition
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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Effectiveness on "Acne"
Bar Chart
About these Results  
Not at all Mildly Moderately Very Extremely
How effective is IsotretinoinGet Your Score
Reported Changes in Health and Well-Being
Since taking Isotretinoin, RateADrug survey participants noticed these changes in their health:
Effect on:Much WorseWorseNo ChangeBetterMuch Better
Appetite 0% 12.5% 87.5% 0% 0%
Balance/Equilibrium 0% 6.7% 86.7% 0% 6.7%
Blood Pressure 0% 6.2% 93.8% 0% 0%
Breathing 0% 6.7% 93.3% 0% 0%
Confidence 5.9% 0% 41.2% 41.2% 11.8%
Coordination/Motor Skills 0% 13.3% 86.7% 0% 0%
Digestion 0% 13.3% 80% 6.7% 0%
Emotional Well-being 6.2% 31.2% 50% 6.2% 6.2%
Energy 13.3% 6.7% 73.3% 6.7% 0%
Eyesight 0% 25% 68.8% 6.2% 0%
Memory 6.7% 0% 80% 6.7% 6.7%
Mental Clarity 6.7% 0% 80% 6.7% 6.7%
Pain 6.7% 0% 86.7% 6.7% 0%
Patience 0% 20% 73.3% 0% 6.7%
Sexual Health 18.8% 0% 62.5% 12.5% 6.2%
Skin Complexion 5.6% 5.6% 38.9% 22.2% 27.8%
Sleep 0% 25% 68.8% 6.2% 0%
Stress Level 0% 29.4% 47.1% 17.6% 5.9%
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Commonly Reported Isotretinoin Side Effects
RateADrug survey participants experienced these commonly reported side effects:
Effect on:NoneMildModerateStrongSevere
Allergic Reaction 92.3% 7.7% 0% 0% 0%
Anxiety 75% 0% 0% 0% 25%
Blistering 91.7% 0% 8.3% 0% 0%
Blurred Vision 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
Change in Skin Coloring 83.3% 0% 8.3% 8.3% 0%
Confusion 75% 0% 0% 0% 25%
Depression 50% 0% 0% 25% 25%
Dizziness 86.7% 13.3% 0% 0% 0%
Drowsiness 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
Dry Eyes 50% 16.7% 25% 8.3% 0%
Dry Skin 26.7% 13.3% 26.7% 20% 13.3%
Fatigue 71.4% 7.1% 14.3% 7.1% 0%
Fever 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
Gas 50% 25% 0% 0% 25%
Headache 53.3% 33.3% 6.7% 6.7% 0%
Insomnia 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
Itching 61.5% 30.8% 0% 7.7% 0%
Mood Swings 50% 25% 0% 0% 25%
Nausea 78.6% 21.4% 0% 0% 0%
Redness 69.2% 15.4% 7.7% 7.7% 0%
Scaling 70% 20% 0% 10% 0%
Sensitivity to Light 71.4% 14.3% 14.3% 0% 0%
Sexual Dysfunction 50% 0% 0% 25% 25%
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Less Commonly Reported Isotretinoin Side Effects
RateADrug survey participants experienced less commonly reported side effects:
Effect on:NoneMildModerateStrongSevere
Behavioral / Mood Disorder 58.3% 33.3% 8.3% 0% 0%
Breast Tenderness 84.6% 7.7% 7.7% 0% 0%
Change in Sex Drive 69.2% 0% 0% 7.7% 23.1%
Change in Weight 61.5% 38.5% 0% 0% 0%
Depression 63.6% 0% 27.3% 9.1% 0%
Drowsiness 80% 0% 0% 10% 10%
Eye / Vision Problems 69.2% 23.1% 7.7% 0% 0%
High Blood Pressure 90.9% 9.1% 0% 0% 0%
Joint Swelling 0% 100% 0% 0% 0%
Leg and/or Foot Cramping 92.3% 7.7% 0% 0% 0%
Liver Damage 92.3% 7.7% 0% 0% 0%
Mood Swings 63.6% 18.2% 18.2% 0% 0%
Muscle / Joint Pain 61.5% 23.1% 7.7% 7.7% 0%
Reduced Libido 83.3% 0% 0% 0% 16.7%
Scaling 33.3% 33.3% 33.3% 0% 0%
Suicidal Tendencies 83.3% 0% 0% 8.3% 8.3%
Thinning / Loss of Hair 0% 100% 0% 0% 0%
Yeast Infection 0% 100% 0% 0% 0%
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Episodes since taking Isotretinoin
Since taking Isotretinoin Rate a Drug survey participants reported these episodes:
Blindness 3.7%
Fall 3.7%
About these Results  
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User Comments about Isotretinoin
17 Feb 2012 Lost my sex drive almost completely, and I'm only 3 months in. Made my skin very dry, especially on the backs of my hands and my upper arms. My lips and nostrils were very dry until I discovered Aquaphor. Sexually, though, I am most concerned.
   —Posted by Chelsea S
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18 Aug 2010 Isotretinoin is a nightmare, if you are thinking of taking it DONT! 3 years after go off the drug my bones still creak every time i climb a step, my liver is still recovering and more recently I have been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. I was 26 when I started the medication; I had lived with acne most of my live but just could not bear it any more as I felt embarrassed going to work or making presentations. I was place on isotreinoin but only stay on it for 3 months before stopping, my skin was literally falling off, I could not work as I was constantly depressed and tired, every night (up till today) I still have chest pains. At that time I thought acne was the worse thing that could happen to me, now 3 years later and still living with the effects of Isotretinoin, I wish I had my health and my acne back. Please before taking this drug, I beg you to reconsider; it may be the MISTAKE OF YOUR LIFE as it was for me.
   —Posted by David
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04 Jun 2009 I've been taking this medication for almost 2 years now. It is absolutely great in controlling my acne and I haven't seen improvements like this with anything else. It is extremely effective and works almost immediately. I wouldn't know what to do without it. Apart from the dry lips and skin, and frequent thirst, the medicine does induce depression in me, to the extent of people asking if something is wrong. It's strange in how it alters your mood at times and I see a distinct difference when I forget to take the dosage constantly over a week. I am very aware of my mood swings and do my best to overcome them, knowing that they have been induced by the drug.
   —Posted by 28male
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12 May 2009 This is my second round of Isotretinoin. The first time the results lasted for about 3 1/2 years before I started having bouts of cystic acne again (definitely related to stress). The first time I was on it I had a lot of joint and muscle pain but I have not experienced that this time around. This time in addition to the normal dry skin, lips, and increased thirst, I have dry eyes and a dry nose that bleeds frequently if I do not use the nasal gel to moisten it. These side effects are well worth the results that come with it. As my acne got worse, so did the amount of sebum produced on my scalp. I would take a shower in the morning and by the afternoon my hair was greasy. That has also completely stopped. As far as the mood effects and energy levels, who knows if it is the drug or not. I am in vet school and my stress level is very high to begin with. Am I more "depressed"? Sure, but I'm 1400 miles from home in a place I don't really like with a lot of pressure on me at all times. That alone can cause lack of energy, sleep disturbances, etc. I hesitate to blame it all on a medication (which I think a lot of people do) when most of it would be here with or without the meds. I am far from suicidal or psycosis. I think as long as you can live with the side effects (as long as they are not the serious ones) the medication's results are well worth putting up with a few months of minor discomfort.
   —Posted by Jennifer
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30 Mar 2009 Very effective medication! Worked great for me and others I know who have used it. Worst side effect is chapped lips and dry skin.
   —Posted by Anonymous
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