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Isotretinoin Weight Gain

isotretinoin weight gain

What is isotretinoin?

Isotretinoin is a form of vitamin A. It reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, and helps your skin renew itself more quickly.

Isotretinoin is used to treat severe nodular acne that has not responded to other treatments, including antibiotics.

Isotretinoin is available only from a certified pharmacy under a special program.

Isotretinoin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Isotretinoin Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Isotretinoin

  • Itching
  • Changes in nail and skin texture
  • Hair thinning and breakage
  • Dry mouth, nose, ears, throat, and anus
  • High triglycerides
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss

Serious Side Effects of Isotretinoin

  • Bone softening or brittleness or other bone disorders
  • Inflammation of liver or pancreas
  • Cataracts or other vision changes
  • Depression and suicide
  • Stroke

What is isotretinoin and how does it work?

Isotretinoin is a member of a group of drugs, closely related to vitamin A,called retinoids. Isotretinoin is the generic name of a drug marketed by anumber of companies, but the original brand name was Roaccutane. It worksin a variety of ways, targeting several of the factors that cause acne and otherskin conditions including the production of sebum (an oily substance producedby the skin) and the production of keratin (outer scales of skin) that block thepores of the hair follicle and cause acne.

Creating Weight Loss

To lose weight you need to achieve a caloric deficit between the amount of calories you consume and the calories you burn on a regular basis. ACSM recommends that you decrease your caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day and increase your physical activity. The council advises starting with 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week to produce modest weight loss and increasing that to 200 to 300 minutes each week to produce significant results.

How do I take isotretinoin?

  • The isotretinoin dose prescribed and how often to take it varies from person to person. Always follow the instructions given by your doctor. These will be printed on the dispensing label that your pharmacist has put on the medicine.
  • Isotretinoin capsules are usually taken once or twice a day. The capsules should be swallowed whole with a drink, either with or just after food (on a full stomach).
  • If you forget to take a dose take it as soon as you remember, unless it's nearly time for your next dose. In this case just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as usual when it's due. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.


Before starting Isotretinoin treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, or products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.

Do not take vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A in high doses has many of the same side effects as Isotretinoin. Taking both together may increase your chance of getting side effects.

Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor's approval while taking Isotretinoin.

Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category X (Isotretinoin may cause fetal harm when given to a pregnant woman. Isotretinoin must not be given to a pregnant woman or a woman who intends to become pregnant. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking Isotretinoin, the medication must be stopped immediately and the woman given appropriate counseling).

Because of the extremely high risk that a deformed infant can result if pregnancy occurs while taking Isotretinoin in any amount even for short periods of time, for both men and women: Do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking Isotretinoin. Two methods of effective contraception are recommended for women of childbearing potential, unless absolute abstinence is the chosen method. Discuss with your doctor when you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.

Do not breast feed while taking Isotretinoin.

Do not donate blood while on isotretinoin and for 1 month after stopping this drug.

Do not take tetracycline antibiotics (doxycycline, tetracycline, minocycline, demeclocycline) while on isotretinoin.

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