Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Rethinking Accutane? December 13, 2010

I’ve already written about Accutane (or isotretinoin as it known medically) twice in this blog (see my previous posts:  Why Was Accutane Taken Off the Market? and New Information about Accutane), but when I saw the following article online on Skin Inc. I knew that I wanted to address the issue once again. 

AADA Updates Position on Isotretinoin explains how The American Academy of Dermatology  reevaluated and issued a new position statement on the use of Accutane.  Basically the AADA says that isotretinoin is still the most effective treatment for severe acne, but it needs to be prescribed and used safely and responsibly.  Furthermore, AADA does address the link between isotretinoin and depression and inflammatory bowel disease and finds that there is no conclusive evidence that links taking isotretinoin to either of those ailments/diseases.

William D. James, MD, FAAD, president of the AADA and its sister organization, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) said:

Isotretinoin continues to be considered a critically important drug for treating patients with severe acne who fail other therapies.  Isotretinoin offers our patients with severe acne significant, life-changing benefits. Providing this medicine safely is our top priority.


I suspect that the controversy over isotretinoin will continue for some time, but it is important to be aware that, as stated above, it a medication that is prescribed when all other acne treatments fail.  Ultimately, it is the only product on the market that actually comes close to offering a cure for severe acne.  Used responsibly and correctly isotretinoin can change someone’s life.  Take it from someone who has been there.

Further reading:  American Academy of Dermatology’s position statement on isotretinoin


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