Accutane® is a prescription-only anti acne skin care product produced by Roche Laboratories, Inc. Accutane is delivered in the form of a soft gelatin capsule in 10, 20 and 40 mg dosages.
The active ingredient of Accutane is isotretinoin, a retinoid. Retinoids are forms of Vitamin A. Accutane reduces the body's production of sebum and also reduces the rate at which sebum hardens into comedones. Researchers do not understand the process by which Accutane acts on the body.
Each Accutane capsule also contains beeswax, butylated hydroxyanisole, edetate disodium, hydrogenated soybean oil flakes, hydrogenated vegetable oil and soybean oil. Additionally, the capsules contain artificial colors and titanium dioxide as dyes.
Accutane is taken orally twice per day, as recommended by the prescribing doctor. Accutane is best taken with high-fat meals as the body absorbs the drug much more effectively in that fashion.
Accutane is an effective treatment for acne - however, we strongly recommend that Accutane be prescribed or taken as a final resort.
There have been a number of high-profile incidents in which Accutane side effects allegedly caused previously normal teens to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts - even, in some notable cases, to commit suicide.
How does the manufacturer of Accutane respond to these adverse side effects? The Roche literature describing Accutane contains the following information: "Accutane may cause depression, psychosis and, rarely, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, suicide, and aggressive and/or violent behaviors. Discontinuation of Accutane therapy may be insufficient; further evaluation may be necessary."
In addition, pregnant women should not under any circumstances take Accutane. Fetuses will be deformed by this drug.
Accutane seems to be a case in which the cure is worse, in some cases far worse, than the disease.
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Accutane® is a registered trademark of Roche Laboratories, Inc.
Update: Accutane was discontinued in 2009 after being linked to serious side effects, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.