Also known as isotretinoin, Accutane® is a retinoid medication used to treat acne that has not responded to ANY OTHER forms of treatment. It is one of the most EFFECTIVE AND DANGEROUS forms of acne therapy. The most common side effect is increased skin sensitivity to sunlight. It is also a powerful teratogen, or cause of birth defects. Under no circumstances should a woman take this medication if there is a chance she is or may become pregnant.
This medicine has become highly regulated as a result of its danger to fetuses.
Accutane® has been known to cause prematurity, miscarriage, and severe birth defects, often leading to death, even if taken for a short amount of time during the pregnancy. If a woman takes Accutane®, her risk of having an affected child is more than 30 percent. Accutane® is also prohibited for nursing mothers. Women taking Accutane® should work closely with their doctors to regulate their use of this very helpful, but potentially harmful medication. Other trade names used in Canada or Australia are Accure®, Isotrex®, and Roaccutane®.