Everything you need to know if you've been prescribed isotretinoin or the branded version Roaccutane
30 July 2019| Last updated on 1 October 2019
Acne comes in many forms - whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules.
However, none can be more difficult to treat than cystic acne - they're inflamed, painful, and tends to leave scars, and if you're here you have heard about Roaccutane as a remedy.
Thankfully, Roaccutane is an oral treatment for cystic acne with clinically proven results. But what is the difference between Curacne and Roaccutane?
Below, we discuss the differences between the drugs, uses, benefits, side-effects, prohibitions and other information that can help you before you try this treatment or while you're using it.
What is Roaccutane?
Roaccutane are anti-inflammatory capsules containing isotretinoin. Roaccutane is used to treat nodular acne or cystic acne (large, painful, and inflamed breakouts on the face, back, and rest of the body) when it hasn't responded favourably to other treatments such as benzoyl peroxide which is applied externally. It's a retinoid drug, which is related to Vitamin A and it is taken orally.
Most of the time, the medication is used to treat severe cases of acne. It's also often used to treat lethal skin diseases including harlequin-type ichthyosis and lamellar ichthyosis, and to prevent certain skin cancers.
How does Roaccutane work?
Roaccutane reduces and heals cystic acne by decreasing the amount of sebum (facial oil) being produced, as high levels of sebum leads to inflamed acne which may even cause permanent scarring. The drug also helps in cutting down the number of acne-causing bacteria that's embedded in the skin.
What are the side effects of Roaccutane
Taking Roaccutane or isotretinoin could lead to side effects, such as:
- Dry, cracking, or peeling skin
- Inflammation of the whites of your eyes
- Back and joint pain
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Mood swings
- Dry mouth
- Cracks in the corners of your mouth
- Changes in your toenails and fingernails.
It's worth noting that it may take between 1-2 months of usage to see the beneficial effects of Roaccutane. You may notice your acne worsen during the first week or two of using the drug, however medical professionals claim that this is normal. Visible results typically show on the 3rd and 4th month.
However, if your acne is still severe even after using Roaccutane for 2 months, it's advised to consult with your doctor for an alternate solution.
When should you not use Roaccutane
The biggest warning you can takeaway about taking this drug is that Roaccutane should not be used by pregnant women or those who are planning for children soon. The drug can be absorbed through the skin and by breathing it in, and has the ability to severely harm unborn babies.
Fetuses conceived while a parent is undergoing Roaccutane treatment face an extremely high risk of being severely deformed. The birth defect is attributed to isotretinoin's resemblance to a natural Vitamin A imitation called retinoic acid - this derivative influences birth development.
Do not take Roaccutane if you meet any these scenarios:
- You are breastfeeding. Otherwise, you must stop breastfeeding if you'll be undergoing Roaccutane treatment
- You've had an allergic reaction to Vitamin A, Roaccutane, and other retinoid drugs in the past
- You're currently taking tetracycline antibiotics
- If you have liver disease
- You have high levels of cholesterol in your blood
- You have hypervitaminosis A, a medical condition caused by having too much Vitamin A in your diet
- You are under the age of 13
- Planning on donating blood or an organ (avoid doing so a few months after taking Roaccutane, as well)
Curacne vs Roaccutane
Curacne, much like Roaccutane, is a branded drug that contains isotretinoin as its key ingredient. The medication works to cut down the natural oil production in your face so that there's less sebum.
Curacne has the same benefits, uses, side effects, and warnings as Roaccutane.
Our editors made all possible efforts to make sure that the information from this article is up to date and accurate. It should, however, not be treated as an alternative for professional medical consultation. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend that you seek your doctor or health provider's advice.