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Pros & Cons of Treating Acne with Accutane

Learn about the pros and cons of treating acne with Accutane from dermatologist Cybele Fishman, MD in this Howcast skin care video.


I'm going to be very honest with you. I love Accutane. I prescribe it a lot. I think it is a wonder drug that changes people's lives. I've had so many patients with really severe acne. They won't go on dates, they don't go to work because of their acne. And Accutane really is a lifesaver for these patients.

What it is is very strong synthetic Vitamin A. That's all it is. It's something natural to your body and something every cell in your body has receptors for.

The pros are easy. Everyone gets better with it, or almost everyone. The cons are you have to take it for six months. You absolutely cannot get pregnant on it because it can cause very bad birth defects and you need your blood monitored once a month to make sure it's not affecting your liver and your triglycerides.

While there have been reports of depression on Accutane, a large study showed no differences in the rates of depression compared to people who take antibiotics.

If you have severe cystic acne that's scarring, that's making you lose out on parts of your life, I strongly recommend this medicine and finding a dermatologist who will support you in giving it to you.

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