Isotretinoin is an acne medication that is typically used when other remedies have failed. In rare cases, it can be used to prevent certain types of skin cancers. Isotretinoin is found in small quantities naturally in the body and is therefore classified as a retinoid.

Isotretinoin’s most common adverse effects include:

worsening of acne
dry lips
dry and fragile skin
increased susceptibility to sunburn

Treatment Options

Though isotretinoin is typically used as the option of last resort for only the most severe acne, many dermatologists have prescribed it for acne that is not as severe when other treatments have failed. Because it has a known link to birth defects, isotretinoin is not recommended for pregnant women.

Those who may not qualify for acne treatment with isotretinoin also include those who have an existing medical condition such as:

Severe weight problems
Eye or vision problems
Hearing problems
Heart disease
Kidney disease
Liver disease

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