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Accutane is Chemotherapy

Accutane®: isotretinoin (eye-soe-TRE-ti-noyn), 13-cis-retinoic acid.

Class: Chemotherapy

Other Brand Names: Absorica, Amnesteem, Caravis, Myorisan Sotret and Zenatane. 

Warnings – Can Cause Severe Birth Defects or Death of a Baby

Accutane in just a single dose can cause severe birth defects or death of a baby. Never use this medicine if you are pregnant or able to become pregnant.

  • You must have a negative pregnancy test before taking Accutane. You will also be required to use TWO forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine.
  • Women of child-bearing potential must agree in writing to use two specific forms of birth control and have regular pregnancy tests before, during, and after taking Accutane. Stop using Accutane and call your doctor at once if you think you might be pregnant.
  • Do not donate blood while taking Accutane and for at least 30 days after you stop taking it.
  • Do not breastfeed.
  • Not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.
  • Do not use wax hair removers or have dermabrasion or laser skin treatments. Scarring may result.
  • Isotretinoin could make you sunburn more easily.
  • Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Isotretinoin may impair your vision, especially at night.

Accutane is Chemotherapy

“Isotretinoin may be used as a chemotherapy to treat certain types of cancer such as neuroblastoma.” [source]

How Does Accutane Work?

“Isotretinoin binds to a protein forming a complex which then binds to a retinoid-dependant receptor. Binding of the complex to DNA then occurs, resulting in changes involved with cell growth, replication, and differentiation. The precise mechanism has not been fully defined.” [source]

Testimonies of Accutane Damage

“The permanent damage it caused to my body ruined my life forever. A few months after I stopped Accutane, my digestive issues got 100x worse and I developed new conditions. I have since been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, autonomic dysfunction, POTS, peripheral neuropathy, and degenerative disc and joint disease. I am disabled now. Several years later and I am still disabled, getting worse every year. and this was from a LOW dose. This stuff is pure poison.” Female, age 27

“New eczema developed, depression, horrible peeling lips, and I started feeling lethargic. I had to quit. Now I’ve been off it a month and my health is declining. I got a bad yeast infection, vomiting, lethargic, dizziness, massive weight loss, trouble eating, and my skin is even worse on my face now. DO NOT PUT THIS TOXIN IN YOUR BODY.” Female, age 38

“A few months after the course ended, I started losing massive loads of hair and my eyes became dry. They have progressively gotten worse over the years. Then, 3 years later, joint pain in my elbows and knees at first, but soon after it spread everywhere in my body. Male, age 28

“Dry lips.. joint pain.. light sensitivity.. blurry vision.. hair loss.. rashes.. fragile skin.. sensitive eyes.. nose bleeds every day for 6 months.. lack of sleep.. aggression.. depression.. lack of concentration.. dizziness.. fatigue.. lower back pain.. anxiety .. stress inducing dreams.. loss of appetite.. dry eyes.. cracked mouth.. body aches” Male, age 17

Accutane side effects [source]

The MOST common side effects:

  • dry skin
  • bone or joint pain
  • irritated eyes with burning, redness and itching
  • nosebleeds
  • inflamed dry, red scaling lips
  • skin infection or rash
  • headache
  • stomach upset
  • thinning hair

Symptoms that are well known

  • Hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat, severe skin reaction, fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling.
  • problems with your vision or hearing
  • muscle or joint pain, bone pain, back pain
  • increased thirst, increased urination
  • hallucinations, (see or hearing things that are not real)
  • symptoms of depression – unusual mood changes, crying spells, feelings of low self-worth, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, new sleep problems, thoughts about hurting yourself
  • signs of liver or pancreas problems – loss of appetite, upper stomach pain (that may spread to your back), nausea or vomiting, fast heart rate, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • severe stomach problems – severe stomach or chest pain, pain when swallowing, heartburn, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, bloody or tarry stools
  • increased pressure inside the skull – severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes.
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat

Serious side effects of Accutane

These unwanted effects are serious and require immediate medical attention:

  • Birth defects if you become pregnant
  • Mental health issues depression, psychosis, aggressive behaviour and suicide ideation and attempts
  • Increased pressure in the brain
  • Serious skin problems
  • Severe stomach chest or bowel pain
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Hearing or vision problems
  • Increase in cholesterol levels and/or blood sugar levels
  • Lowering of red and white blood cells
  • Serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)

Accutane, the brain and mental health issues

Accutane may cause serious mental health issues as a side effect. If you have any of the symptoms below it is important to call a doctor immediately: 

  • Feeling sad more than you usually do
  • Sleep problems of wanting to sleep more or having trouble sleeping
  • Being more irritated, aggressive or angry
  • Appetite changes or change in your body weight
  • No longer want to spend as much time with friends or family.
  • Less interest in your usual activities that you once enjoyed
  • Feeling tired often
  • Feeling worthless
  • Thoughts or plans of harming yourself or someone else
  • Having impulsive thoughts actions that could be dangerous
  • Seeing things or hearing things that you know are not real

Accutane Side Effects

Accutane side effects published in PubMed

Just some of the many studies can be found here.

Read this email I got from Joey, age 22

Accutane? Don’t worry it is only a side effect.

Read my post: Dealing with Acne Naturally