“Isotretinoin must not be taken by patients who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. There is a high risk that isotretinoin will cause loss of the pregnancy, or will cause the baby to be born too early, to die shortly after birth, or to be born with birth defects (physical problems that are present at birth).”
——2016 The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.
Use: Isotretinoin is used to treat severe recalcitrant nodular acne (a certain type of severe acne) that has not been helped by other treatments, such as antibiotics. Isotretinoin is in a class of medications called retinoids. It works by slowing the production of certain natural substances that can cause acne.
- red, cracked, and sore lips
- dry skin, eyes, mouth, or nose
- changes in skin color
- peeling skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
- changes in the nails
- slowed healing of cuts or sores
- bleeding or swollen gums
- hair loss or unwanted hair growth
- voice changes
- cold symptoms
Some side effects can be serious:
- blurred vision
- slow or difficult speech
- weakness or numbness of one part or side of the body
- stomach pain
- chest pain
- difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
- new or worsening heartburn
- rectal bleeding
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- dark colored urine
- back, bone, joint or muscle pain
- muscle weakness
- difficulty hearing
- ringing in the ears
- vision problems
- painful or constant dryness of the eyes
- unusual thirst
- frequent urination
- trouble breathing
- fast or pounding heartbeat
- red, swollen, itchy, or teary eyes
- peeling or blistering skin, especially on the legs, arms, or face
- sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes
- red patches or bruises on the legs
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
Isotretinoin may cause the bones to stop growing too soon in teenagers. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of giving this medication to your child.
———-2016 The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
“Although some bone abnormalities have been observed during long-term, high-dose therapy for disorders of cornification,6., 7. and 8. short courses of isotretinoin used in the treatment of acne in young adults have been reported to cause asymptomatic radiographic changes of hyperostosis of the anterior longitudinal and spinal ligaments”, (2004 DiGiovanna)
So acne treatments are a widely debated topic because there are so many reasons an individual may develop acne. Hormones play a substantial role during puberty and are constantly blamed for these annoying skin blemishes. Not only in puberty but over one’s lifetime, hormones will constantly change making adult acne an issue for many. Acne can also be contributed to diet (although this is not fully proven), stress, sluggish digestive system, environmental pollution, and water contaminants. It’s hard to say that changing ones diet will make a significant difference when trying to reduce outbreaks, but there has been some research into how a diet high in dairy and sugar might contribute to the inflammatory issues related to acne (yet, there is not enough research for this to be totally conclusive). When dealing with acne most dermatologists recommend doing less to the skin, as excessive cleaning can increase irritation leading to more break-outs. Here are some articles that I found while researching holistic acne treatments, and these potential alternatives could be coupled with the use of acne fighting pharmaceuticals like Accutane, or in cases of mild acne, without the use of pharmaceuticals (but please always consult a doctor or naturopathic doctor before using herbal alternatives with conventional treatments). Hope you enjoy reading these, and be aware and eat with care 🙂
Article. 1: Rejuvenating oils for healthy skin article
*Article. 2: Herbal medicine for Acne vulgaris article
“The continued resistance of mainstream dermatology to the
possibility of this approach does not optimally serve patients
who might be significantly helped by natural therapies”, (Yarnell & Abascal, 2006 pg.308).
Acne stages picture: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/511580838895061785/
Isotretinoin use and side effects: 2016 The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., viewed May.8 2016 from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a681043.html
Bone density findings quote: DiGiovanna, J, Langman, C, Tschen, E, Jones, T, Menter, A, Lowe, N, Eichenfield, L, Hebert, A, Pariser, D, Savin, R, Smith, S, Jarratt, M, Rodriguez, D, Chalker, D, Kempers, S, Ling, M, Rafal, E, Sullivan, S, Kang, S, Shah, L, Wu, E, Newhouse, J, Pak, J, Eberhardt, D, Bryce, G, McLane, J, Ondovik, M, Chin, C, Khoo, K, & Rich, P 2004, ‘Effect of a single course of isotretinoin therapy on bone mineral density in adolescent patients with severe, recalcitrant, nodular acne’, Journal Of The American Academy Of Dermatology, 51, 5, pp. 709-717, MEDLINE Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 8 May 2016.
Article. 1: Ma, K 2015, ‘Rejuvenating oils’, Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine, 387, pp. 105-108, Alt HealthWatch, EBSCOhost, viewed 8 May 2016.
Article. 2: Yarnell, E, & Abascal, K 2006, ‘Herbal medicine for acne vulgaris’, Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 12, 6, pp. 303-309 7p, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, EBSCOhost, viewed 8 May 2016.