The truth behind Isotretinoin and its side effects!

This is a guest post from Divya who shares her experience with Sotret tablet for acne treatment. Sotret is Isotretinoin in tablet/pill form meant for oral consumption. Actress, Acnex, Accutane, Isoderma, Isoret, Isotane, Isotroin, Nextret are some of the other names for it.It is considered to be one of the best treatments for acne. But unfortunately, it comes with its own dangerous side effects. She shares her heart-wrenching story of Sotret-the struggle, the pain and how she overcame it!

My tragic experience with Sotret:

Hi Guys.
A few months ago my acne was all time bad and it was really becoming embarrassing for me when people made it evident.I was really frustrated and I decided to visit a dermatologist.I visited a very popular doctor in Bangalore.Her clinic was filled with patients so I thought may be she is good.I briefly told my case.She just nodded and wrote me a prescription for Sotret 10mg, Adapelene, Clindac A, Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion.
Isotretinoin and its side effects

I was not aware about Sotret/Isotretinoin for a very long time back then.I asked her if oral medications are necessary.She just said Sotret is Vitamin A supplements and that it will  help with my acne.I was okay no harm in giving at try when my condition was really bad.

I religiously started following her prescription but acne was getting worse and worse.The side effects were so bad,it was really painful.My skin was extremely dry,my hair was falling really like a cancer patient,I was depressed and suicidal, diarrhoea and on an on with the never ending side effects.I was living in hell,this period was one of the worst in my entire life.Then I shared this with my friend who enlightened me about Sotret/Isotretinoin the devil which the doctor has unleashed on me.I visited the doctor had discussed about this and she immediately panicked and said just discontinue it and to use topical treatments only.When I asked despite knowing the side effects why she prescribed,she just brushed saying it is just a dietary supplement and people blow it out of proportion by reading it on the internet.I decided that day itself that never am I going for this medicine ever again.It is such a pity just Doctors carelessly prescribe such potent drugs without even educating us about those drugs and side effects.Fortunately my friend helped me out and by following a simple acne regimen which has helped me tremendously that I have clear skin today.So friends,I wanted to tell  you my story so that nobody goes through that ever again.Please read this carefully.

So what is Isotretinoin?

Isotretinoin is acne medication prescribed for severe cystic/nodular acne.It is a oral form of Retinoid. It shrinks the sebaceous glands,reduces sebum production and thereby unclogging pores and reducing the inflammation and acne.

So who should not take Isotretinoin?What precautions has to be followed?

Please note even if you have one of the below mentioned conditions,Do not opt for Isotretinoin.
  • Kidney or Liver Disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Women who are planning to conceive or get pregnant.
  • Pregnant Women.
  • Lactating or Women who are breast-feeding a baby.
  • Eye/Ear problems.
  • Certain Allergies.
  • Certain Medications.
  • Mental Illness like Depression.
  • Eating Disorders.
  • Bone loss conditions like osteoporosis etc.
  • High Cholesterol levels.
  • Hypervitaminosis-High levels of Vitamin A.
  • Asthma.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Heart Disease.
  • Hepatitis.

What are side-effects of Isotretinoin?

Do not carelessly consume this medication.They come with their own side effects like:
  • Severe dryness skin and lips.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Hair fall.
  • Headache.
  • Joint pain,Back pain,Stomach pain.
  • Nose bleeding.
  • Dry eyes,eye irritation,blurry vision.
  • Skin irritation or rashes.
  • Difficulty in moving.
  • Bleeding of gums.
  • Depression,Suicidal Thoughts.
  • Nausea or Vomiting.
  • Rectal Bleeding.
  • Constipation,Diarrhoea .
  • Change of colour in Urine,Stools
  • High Blood pressure.
  • Wheezing or Breathing problems.
  • Chest Pain.
  • Hearing loss.

Is Isotretinoin permanent cure for acne?

Unfortunately there is no permanent cure for acne.Some people have found success with Isotretinoin and some people like me haven’t.Even if acne clears up after consuming Isotretinoin,if proper care is not taken high chances that acne comes back in full swing worse than ever.

How to take Isotretinoin the proper and right way?

Irony is there is no law in India protecting the patients.Doctors are supposed to educate and guide their patients on the Do’s and Don’ts of Isotretinoin.In other countries,the system is meticulous and one is supposed to sign a contract and consent form.Patients are subjected to regular blood tests to rule out any risk factors.If you do consider Isotretinoin then please go through these pointers:
  • Always discuss with your doctor and clear up all your doubts.
  • Disclose all your and your family’s medical history.Do not leave out anything.
  • Go for regular blood tests.
  • Read the leaflet provided by the company on information of Isotretinoin,Precautions,Side effects.
  • Dosage information is calculated and adjusted as per weight and severity of acne.
  • Acne get worse for few weeks.This is called Purging or Initial Breakout.
  • Always consume this tablet only after a meal.Never take it on empty stomach.
  • Swallow it with water.Do not chew the tablet.
  • Do not forget your medication.If you do forget,just leave out the forgotten dosage and continue with the medication.Do not take 2-3 tablets continuously.
  • Do not consume for more than the prescribed dosage of 2-6 months.
  • If you are a Woman,do not get pregnant.If you are s***ally active,be on birth control or oral contraceptives.Otherwise it could lead to serious fetal deformities.
  • Visit your doctor immediately if you see any side effects.
  • Wear a high protection sunscreen at all times.
  • Use a moisturiser to overcome dryness.
  • Do not opt for procedures like Laser,Chemical Peeling,Microdermabrasion,Waxing etc.
  • Do not donate blood until 3 months after discontinuing the medicine.

Final Verdict:

Please note my intention is not to  scare you guys or discourage or bad mouth doctors or Isotretinoin.I agree it has helped some section of the population,I am glad for them but it is also true that there are some people like me who were badly affected by this. I am just sharing my experience with all of you.I know few of them who faced similar experience like my little cousin recently.These are all the factors to be considered before you consider Isotretinoin as a treatment option.
I understand acne is very painful but all these side effects are not worth it.You can live with acne but living with these dangerous side effects and destroying your health is not worth it.Isotretinoin must be your last option for treating acne only when everything else fails.Sit down with your doctor and figure out why you have acne and try all the possible remedies for acne before you take this plunge.Only if you have left no other option,think and think harder before you consider this is an option.

My Rating :2/5.

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