Accutane (Isotretinoin)


Used to treat acne that has not responded to other treatment that is proven to clear acne ridden skin.

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Accutane, also known as isotretinoin, is used to treat cystic acne (also known as nodular acne or scarring acne) or severe acne that has not responded to other treatment. Accutane is a powerful medication that can only be prescribed by a medical professional, however despite numerous side effects, it has proven results to clear acne ridden skin.

About the Procedure

Accutane belongs to a class of drugs known as retinoids (meaning it is related to Vitamin A). It works by decreasing sebum, or facial oil, production. High amounts of sebum can lead to severe acne due to clogged pores. If untreated, severe acne may cause permanent scarring which can have emotional and phycological effects. Accutane is typically only prescribed when other methods of treatment have been unsuccessful such as with benzoyl peroxide products. Always take Accutane with a glass of water to prevent the capsule from melting in the esophagus causing irritation. Never chew or suck on the capsule. Swallow the capsule as quickly as possible. Acne may seem worse at the onset of taking Accutane however it is important to take the medication for the entire length of time prescribed. Acne will improve over the course of the treatment period which typically lasts between 4 and 5 months. To be sure Accutane is not causing adverse effects, blood and liver function may need to be tested often.

Commonly Treated Concerns

Typical Cost Range

$100 – $500

Ideal Candidate

Accutane is not recommended for patients who are pregnant trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Additional information

Average Cost


Cost Range

$100 – $500





Procedure Pros

• effective

Procedure Cons

• many side effects
• extreme dryness

Recovery Notes

Accutane is recommended for patients with severe cystic acne that has been unresponsive to all other treatment options.

Recovery Time

0 weeks

Surgical (Y/N)

Nonsurgical / Noninvasive