Surprising Side Effects Of Accutane

Having one or two irritating blemishes can be enough to put a dent in your self-confidence. So when your whole face (and sometimes back and chest) becomes covered in pimples, it can be hard to muster up the courage to even get out of bed. We get it. Acne is a painful and frustrating skin condition that many of us experience once or multiple times during our lives. Luckily, there are ways to cope with acne. And one of these ways is with the powerful prescription drug, Accutane.

According to Healthline, Isotretinoin, better known as Accutane, is a prescription drug that is used to treat severe acne. It can be considered a last ditch effort as it is not often prescribed to patients before they have tried multiple other ways to fix their skin. It is also prescribed for other skin conditions and certain kinds of cancer. Accutane may be the Hail Mary approach to clear skin, and in many cases it has succeeded. But like all other drugs, Accutane comes with side effects, and some of them are quite surprising.

Fortunately, the drug has a good track record. "It's very well tolerated, and in many cases is going to be the only treatment that's going to put patients' acne into remission," says dermatologist Dr. Kathleen Suozzi, assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, to INSIDER.

The side effects are both surprising and serious

Though if you are taking the medicine and experience unnaturally dry eyes, you might know where to point the blame. "Some patients that are on isotretinoin might find that their eyes are too dry to even use contact lenses because they don't have that proper lubrication," says Suozzi to INSIDER. In addition to possibly experiencing itchy eyes, Healthline warns you may also notice chapped lips, thinning hair, and an extra sensitivity to the sun while taking the drug. All of these changes are physical. However, you may also undergo mood changes and mental health issues as well.

It is also worth noting that the drug has been known to have an impact on the effectiveness of birth control and cause birth defects. So double check, no triple check, that you are not pregnant before beginning treatment. You may also want to avoid night driving. At least until you have been on the medication for a while and notice it hasn't affected your night vision or ability to perceive colors, states INSIDER. 

There may be multiple side effects, and some of them are very serious, but we don't want to scare you away from your Hail Mary effort to achieve clear skin. If you are considering the drug, then make an appointment with your doctor first to discuss all the symptoms and possible alternatives. A clear complexion is great! But it's worth knowing the whole picture, and that includes the unpopular side effects.