Isotretinoin (Accutane)

The basics

Isotretinoin (brand name- Accutane) is an FDA-approved treatment used for different cancers of the parts of the body. It is also used to treat severe acne.

It falls under a retinoid class of medications, which helps slow or stop cancer cell growth.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about Isotretinoin.

How should I take isotretinoin (Accutane)?

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Chlorambucil comes as a capsule to take by mouth. Take capsules with a meal and a full glass of liquid at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

Take it exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes. Talk to your Doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment.

Do not stop taking isotretinoin without talking to your Doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of Isotretinoin (Accutane)?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Eyesight changes
  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Swollen and tender abdomen
  • Rapid pulse  
  • APL differentiation syndrome
  • difficulty breathing
  • lung and heart problems
  • Low blood counts lead to a high risk of infection, anemia, and/or bleeding
  • Liver problems 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty of breathing
  • Face swelling
  • Closed throat
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools or urine 

Isotretinoin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking isotretinoin (Accutane)

  • Tell your Doctor about your allergies
  • Tell your Doctor about other intakes
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or if you plan to father a child. Talk to your doctor about using birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment with gemcitabine.

While you are on isotretinoin (Accutane)

  • If you or your partner becomes pregnant while taking chlorambucil, call your doctor immediately. Chlorambucil may harm the fetus.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with isotretinoin.
  • Do not have any vaccinations without talking to your doctor.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Do not consume grapefruit while you are on isotretinoin.

Brand names


Last revised-06/16/2023, FDA updated- 10/12/2021, SG

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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