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Side-effects of Roaccutane

The side-effects of Roaccutane are common, but normally easy to manage.

Dry lips are the most common side effect. Lip balm must be applied every 30 to 60 minutes to prevent the lips from cracking. It is not too difficult to manage the lip dryness.

Dry skin is the second most common side-effect. The skin dryness can be easily managed by the regular application of skin moisturizer.

The third most common side effect of Roaccutane is sun sensitivity. Winter is the easiest time to be on Roaccutane, but Roaccutane can also be taken in summer. The regular application of a sun block is essential.

The other potential side effects are much rarer. Mild joint pain and lower back pain are rare side effects and almost never required treatment. Dry eyes can occasionally be a problem, but moisturising eye drops easily controls the eye dryness.

It is unclear if Roaccutane can trigger depression. Some studies have found no link between Roaccutane and depression. However, if patients have a family history of depression, prescribing Roaccutane should be carefully considered.

Females must be on contraception while on Roaccutane, because Roaccutane can cause birth defects.

It is extremely rare for Roaccutane to cause liver, kidney or bone marrow abnormalities, but we still recommended monitoring the function of these organs with blood tests where indicated.

In general Roaccutane is an extremely safe drug if used correctly. It has the potential to prevent Acne from scarring, which can cause lifelong suffering and psychological problems.


57 thoughts to “Side-effects of Roaccutane”

  1. Dear Dr Louw

    I have been on and off on acnetane for awhile, I used about 10mg a day last week. How long do you need to be off actutane before planning pregnancy?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hello Chane

      4-6 weeks after completion of your treatment, Acnetane is completely metabolized. You can then safely start planning for pregnancy.

    2. Good day Chane

      You should stop taking Isotretinoin (Acutane, Oratane) at least 6 weeks before planning a pregnancy.

  2. The dermatologist prescribed that I use oratane tablets and I should wash my face with dove beauty soap and apply epizone A cream

    So my concern is that i’m having rash on my face. Is it normal for me to have this rash or not or is it one of the side effects

    1. Good day Catherine

      Discontinue use of products causing the rash. Avoid using foaming cleansers on your face. Apply moisturising cream as often as required.

  3. Hi,
    I have been suffering from acne for some time now.
    However it has never been this bad. I’m in my 20’s and I’ve been on various pills which didn’t agree with me. I was also on purbak.

    Last year some time I started using cyclimycin – it worked perfectly until I stopped it. I had completed a 6 months course. Thereafter my skin just went haywire. I tried a 2nd course but it didn’t improve so I completely stopped. It’s been about 5 months now that I haven’t been using anything, but my skin just keeps breaking out and there’s a permanent rash like cluster around my jawline and chin.

    1. Is the only option to go onto Roaccutane – are there other options that are just as succesful? (I ask this because I can’t take the pill – it makes me ill and gain weight)
    2. Are you able to go on roaccutane without using the pill?

    Thank you

    1. Good day Tiff

      There are various treatment options for Acne which also include Roaccutane. it would be best to consult with the Dr in order for him to determine the appropriate treatment option.

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