May 18, 2011

Roaccutane: Side effects

When I've heard that Roaccutane it's a possible cure to my acne, I've begun to search online opinions and reviews. I didn't know that a pill can have so many side effects. All the articles were so negative and against the medicine: all I understand was "if you take Roaccutane you will die"

I was very confused: if the medicine is so dangerous, why is it legal? . If I'll take this pill, this means that I'm gonna fell so bad?
Unfortunately, Google can't answer to this questions and can't calm me. Only a real dermatologist could.

Source of the medical information.

Because this article assumes medical knowledge, I've made an online research and I found the NHS Choices website, that presents the Roaccutane medicine in a "neutral" matter. It shows only facts and no opinions if  it's right or wrong to take the treatment.

According to their description, "NHS Choices is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service that puts you in control of your healthcare."
"Your health, your choices " 

Don't forget to consult a doctor if you have any questions. 

"A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks"

"Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine."

This is the fabulous list of the Roaccutane Side Effects

Very common: More than 1 in 10 people who take Roaccutane
  • abnormal laboratory test results
  • back pain
  • blood problems
  • dermatitis
  • dry eye - seek medical advice if you get dry eyes. You may need to use an eye drop or an eye ointment to stop your eyes from becoming dry while you are taking Roaccutane
  • dry skin - you should use a moisturising cream or ointment while you are taking Roaccutane
  • fragile skin - skin may be damaged more easily
  • high levels of lipids in the blood
  • inflammation and cracking of the skin of the lips or dry lips - you should use a lip balm while you are taking Roaccutane
  • irritation or inflammation of the eye or eyelid
  • itching
  • jointpain
  • musclepain or tenderness
  • skin exfoliation
  • skin rash or rashes

Common: More than 1 in 100 people who take Roaccutane
  • blood in the urine
  • dryness in the nose
  • headaches
  • high levels of cholesterol in the blood
  • increased blood sugar levels
  • inflammation of the nose and throat
  • nose bleed
  • proteinuria

Rare: More than 1 in 10,000 people who take Roaccutane
  • allergic reactions - seek medical advice if you have an allergic reaction
  • anaphylactic reactions
  • hair loss
  • hypersensitivity reactions
  • skin hypersensitivity reactions
  • thoughts of committing suicide, behavioural problems or worsening of behavioural problems including: aggression, feeling anxious, mood changes, depression or psychosis or psychotic-like behaviour - you or your carer must seek medical advice if you become depressed or if your depression worsens

Very rare: Fewer than 1 in 10,000 people who take Roaccutane
  • arthritis
  • blood in diarrhoea - stop taking Roaccutane and seek immediate medical advice if you have blood in diarrhoea
  • blurred vision
  • bone problems
  • bronchospasm
  • cataracts
  • convulsions
  • diabetes
  • dry throat
  • eye or eyesight problems - seek medical advice if you have problems with your eyesight
  • facialerythema
  • feeling dizzy
  • feeling drowsy
  • gastrointestinal problems including inflammation or bleeding
  • general feeling of being unwell
  • hair overgrowth
  • hair problems
  • hearing problems
  • hoarse voice
  • infections including infections around the finger or toenails
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • intolerance to contact lenses - if you usually wear contact lenses you may need to wear glasses instead of contact lenses while you are taking Roaccutane
  • kidney problems
  • liver problems
  • lowering of bone mineral density
  • lymphadenopathy
  • metabolic problems
  • nail problems
  • nausea
  • night vision reduced - this may occur suddenly
  • over-sensitivity or fear of light
  • pancreatitis - this may be fatal
  • photosensitivity skin reaction
  • premature epiphyseal closure
  • problems with colour vision
  • raised intracranial pressure - stop taking Roaccutane and seek immediate medical advice if you vomit
  • skin colour changes
  • skin problems such as erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis - seek medical advice if you develop any signs or symptoms of skin reactions while taking Roaccutane
  • sweating
  • tendon or ligament problems
  • vasculitis - this may occur with easy bruising of the skin or mucous membrane
  • worsening of acne

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown
  • dry mucus membranes
  • rhabdomyolysis

Roaccutane is not suitable for you if you:

• have kidney problems

are pregnant

are breast­feeding

are a woman who could become pregnant

• have liver problems

• have hyperlipidaemia

• have vitamin A poisoning

• have or have had depression

• are doing intensive physical activity or exercise

• wear contact lenses

• have diabetes

• are obese

• are an alcoholic

• have metabolic problems

• have asthma

• have fructose intolerance

have or have had thoughts of committing suicide

• are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to peanut or soya in the past

Roaccutane is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. 
Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

My Story: beginning of the Roaccutane Treatment.

I know that all these things had shock you, but for me, the treatment wasn't so terrible.

Before I visited my first doctor, I've made a research online about Roaccutane and all this problems that can appear and I was sooo scared that I refused to begin the treatment.
That doctor didn't encourage me at all, didn't explain me how the medicine works and I didn't trust him.
I've rejected the treatment and I never returned at that medical clinic.

After 6 months and many demands from my dad, I've consulted another doctor, from another clinic.
Unlike the first one, she was veery kind and patient. When she saw my face she told me that Roaccutane is my last chance (in that period the skin looked terrible, with many painful nodules...).
I've started to say the same story...I don't want Roaccutane, to many side effects, what should I do if something bad happens to me...and so on...

She explained me that I'll be under medical observation, I'll do periodical blood tests, the dose will be adjusted according to my needs and about that side effects she told me that not all of them will appear.
When I've heard that is the last chance, the last thing I can do...I said: "what the hell, let's do it".
I really had nothing to lose in that moment.

Is very important to be "connected" with your doc; he/she should support you and answer to all your questions. You must feel safe and confident.

I've started the treatment in the same day and I don't regret it at all. For my vulgaris acne, that was the best decision I've ever made.

I hope that you have found interesting information here.

Take care,


Source of the article from  Information specific to Roaccutane when used in Acne.
Home page:

Related posts:
What to expect during the treatment.
If you are curious to find out which are the side effects that I've experienced clickaccutane-review-my-side-effects.
To prevent a part of the side effects don't forget to take your blood tests.

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