What is Accutane?

Saturday, January 22, 2022

What is Accutane?

Isotretinoin, widely known as Accutane or Epuris, is a very efficient drug to treat the most severe forms of acne. It is a vitamin A analogue available as tablets.

How does it work?

Isotretinoin (Accutane) acts in reducing the sebaceous glands’ volume in addition to lowering sebum secretion. This halts the bacteria Cutibacterium (formerly Propionibacterium) acnes. Finally, Isotretinoin eliminates blackhead formation.

Who can benefit from the treatment?

Anyone suffering from moderate to severe acne with or without scarring as well as those who do not respond to usual treatments.


Accutane is prescribed at the rate of 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/day. We aim at a total dosage of 120-150 mg/kg. Therefore, the treatment duration will depend on the patient’s weight as well as his/her tolerance to treatment.

Side effects

There are a few possible side effects to consider:

  • This treatment is associated with many foetal malformations during pregnancy. For this reason, it is required to use two contraceptive methods during the treatment and up to one month afterwards. There is no danger for male patients.

  • Skin and mucosa dryness. Dry skin and mucosal membranes (especially the lips) is undeniably the main side effect of Accutane. Regular hydration of the skin and lips with moisturizer and lip balm is key.

  • Psychiatric symptoms. There is a debate in the literature about this. We recommend patients suffering from or with a history of depression and suicidal thoughts to avoid Accutane.

  • Other side effects have been described: body aches and stiffness, fatigue, hypercholesterolemia, joint pain.

Can Dermago prescribe me Accutane (Isotretinoin)?

Yes, if the following criteria are met:

  • You suffer from severe acne (with or without scarring);

  • Previous prescribed treatments have failed;

  • There is no medical contraindication.

Our nurse will be in touch with you by phone through the duration of the treatment.

To find out if you could be a candidate to Accutane, consult a dermatologist.


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