- Accutane uses
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- Accutane 40 mg
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Do I need a prescription for isotretinoin?
What are the uses for isotretinoin?
- Isotretinoin is used to treat severe acne that is resistant to more conservative treatments such as creams, drying agents, and topical or oral antibiotics. Complete remission or prolonged improvement is seen in many patients after one course of 15 to 20 weeks of isotretinoin. Because of its serious side effects, isotretinoin should be used only for severe resistant acne.
- Because isotretinoin causes birth defects, isotretinoin is sold only under a special program approved by the Food and Drug Administration called iPLEDGE. Isotretinoin can only be prescribed by healthcare providers and dispensed by pharmacies registered in iPLEDGE.
What else should I know about isotretinoin?
capsules: 10, 20, 30 and 40 mgHow should I keep isotretinoin stored?
Store at room temperature 15-30 C (59-86 F) and protect from light
Accutane must only be prescribed by prescribers who are registered and activated with the iPLEDGE program. Accutane must only be dispensed by a pharmacy registered and activated with iPLEDGE, and must only be dispensed to patients who are registered and meet all the requirements of iPLEDGE. Registered and activated pharmacies must receive Accutane only from wholesalers registered with iPLEDGE.
iPLEDGE program requirements for wholesalers, prescribers, and pharmacists are described below:
For the purpose of the iPLEDGE program, the term wholesaler refers to wholesaler, distributor, and/or chain pharmacy distributor. To distribute Accutane, wholesalers must be registered with iPLEDGE, and agree to meet all iPLEDGE requirements for wholesale distribution of isotretinoin products. Wholesalers must register with iPLEDGE by signing and returning the iPLEDGE wholesaler agreement that affirms they will comply with all iPLEDGE requirements for distribution of isotretinoin. These include:
- Registering prior to distributing isotretinoin and re-registering annually thereafter
- Distributing only FDA approved isotretinoin product
- Only shipping isotretinoin to – wholesalers registered in the iPLEDGE program with prior written consent from the manufacturer or – pharmacies licensed in the US and registered and activated in the iPLEDGE program
- Notifying the isotretinoin manufacturer (or delegate) of any non-registered and/or non-activated pharmacy or unregistered wholesaler that attempts to order isotretinoin
- Complying with inspection of wholesaler records for verification of compliance with the iPLEDGE program by the isotretinoin manufacturer (or delegate)
- Returning to the manufacturer (or delegate) any undistributed product if registration is revoked by the manufacturer or if the wholesaler chooses to not re-register annually
To prescribe isotretinoin, the prescriber must be registered and activated with the pregnancy risk management program iPLEDGE. Prescribers can register by signing and returning the completed registration form. Prescribers can only activate their registration by affirming that they meet requirements and will comply with all iPLEDGE requirements by attesting to the following points:
- I know the risk and severity of fetal injury/birth defects from isotretinoin.
- I know the risk factors for unplanned pregnancy and the effective measures for avoidance of unplanned pregnancy.
- I have the expertise to provide the patient with detailed pregnancy prevention counseling or I will refer her to an expert for such counseling, reimbursed by the manufacturer.
- I will comply with the iPLEDGE program requirements described in the booklets entitled The Guide to Best Practices for the iPLEDGE Program and The iPLEDGE Program Prescriber Contraception Counseling Guide.
- Before beginning treatment of female patients of childbearing potential with isotretinoin and on a monthly basis, the patient will be counseled to avoid pregnancy by using two forms of contraception simultaneously and continuously one month before, during, and one month after isotretinoin therapy, unless the patient commits to continuous abstinence.
- I will not prescribe isotretinoin to any female patient of childbearing potential until verifying she has a negative screening pregnancy test and monthly negative CLIA-certified (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment) pregnancy tests. Patients should have a pregnancy test at the completion of the entire course of isotretinoin and another pregnancy test 1 month later.
- I will report any pregnancy case that I become aware of while the female patient is on isotretinoin or 1 month after the last dose to the pregnancy registry.
To prescribe isotretinoin, the prescriber must access the iPLEDGE system via the internet (www.ipledgeprogram.com) or telephone (1-866-495-0654) to:1) Register each patient in the iPLEDGE program. 2) Confirm monthly that each patient has received counseling and education. 3) For female patients of childbearing potential:
- Enter patient's two chosen forms of contraception each month.
- Enter monthly result from CLIA-certified laboratory conducted pregnancy test.
Isotretinoin must only be prescribed to female patients who are known not to be pregnant as confirmed by a negative CLIA-certified laboratory conducted pregnancy test.
Isotretinoin must only be dispensed by a pharmacy registered and activated with the pregnancy risk management program iPLEDGE and only when the registered patient meets all the requirements of the iPLEDGE program. Meeting the requirements for a female patient of childbearing potential signifies that she:
- Has been counseled and has signed a Patient Information/Informed Consent About Birth Defects (for female patients who can get pregnant) form that contains warnings about the risk of potential birth defects if the fetus is exposed to isotretinoin. The patient must sign the informed consent form before starting treatment and patient counseling must also be done at that time and on a monthly basis thereafter.
- Has had two negative urine or serum pregnancy tests with a sensitivity of at least 25 mIU/mL before receiving the initial isotretinoin prescription. The first test (a screening test) is obtained by the prescriber when the decision is made to pursue qualification of the patient for isotretinoin. The second pregnancy test (a confirmation test) must be done in a CLIA-certified laboratory. The interval between the 2 tests should be at least 19 days. – For patients with regular menstrual cycles, the second pregnancy test should be done during the first 5 days of the menstrual period immediately preceding the beginning of isotretinoin therapy and after the patient has used 2 forms of contraception for 1 month. – For patients with amenorrhea, irregular cycles, or using a contraceptive method that precludes withdrawal bleeding, the second pregnancy test must be done immediately preceding the beginning of isotretinoin therapy and after the patient has used 2 forms of contraception for 1 month.
- Has had a negative result from a urine or serum pregnancy test in a CLIA-certified laboratory before receiving each subsequent course of isotretinoin. A pregnancy test must be repeated every month, in a CLIA-certified laboratory, prior to the female patient receiving each prescription.
- Has selected and has committed to use 2 forms of effective contraception simultaneously, at least 1 of which must be a primary form, unless the patient commits to continuous abstinence from heterosexual contact, or the patient has undergone a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy, or has been medically confirmed to be post-menopausal. Patients must use 2 forms of effective contraception for at least 1 month prior to initiation of isotretinoin therapy, during isotretinoin therapy, and for 1 month after discontinuing isotretinoin therapy. Counseling about contraception and behaviors associated with an increased risk of pregnancy must be repeated on a monthly basis.
If the patient has unprotected heterosexual intercourse at any time 1 month before, during, or 1 month after therapy, she must:
- Stop taking Accutane immediately, if on therapy
- Have a pregnancy test at least 19 days after the last act of unprotected heterosexual intercourse
- Start using 2 forms of effective contraception simultaneously again for 1 month before resuming Accutane therapy
- Have a second pregnancy test after using 2 forms of effective contraception for 1 month as described above depending on whether she has regular menses or not.
Effective forms of contraception include both primary and secondary forms of contraception:
- tubal sterilization
- partner's vasectomy
- intrauterine device
- hormonal (combination oral contraceptives, transdermal patch, injectables, implantables, or vaginal ring)
- male latex condom with or without spermicide
- diaphragm with spermicide
- cervical cap with spermicide
- vaginal sponge (contains spermicide)
Any birth control method can fail. There have been reports of pregnancy from female patients who have used oral contraceptives, as well as transdermal patch/injectable/implantable/vaginal ring hormonal birth control products; these pregnancies occurred while these patients were taking Accutane. These reports are more frequent for female patients who use only a single method of contraception. Therefore, it is critically important that female patients of childbearing potential use 2 effective forms of contraception simultaneously. Patients must receive written warnings about the rates of possible contraception failure (included in patient education kits).
Using two forms of contraception simultaneously substantially reduces the chances that a female will become pregnant over the risk of pregnancy with either form alone. A drug interaction that decreases effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives has not been entirely ruled out for Accutane (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions). Although hormonal contraceptives are highly effective, prescribers are advised to consult the package insert of any medication administered concomitantly with hormonal contraceptives, since some medications may decrease the effectiveness of these birth control products.
Patients should be prospectively cautioned not to self-medicate with the herbal supplement St. John's Wort because a possible interaction has been suggested with hormonal contraceptives based on reports of breakthrough bleeding on oral contraceptives shortly after starting St. John's Wort. Pregnancies have been reported by users of combined hormonal contraceptives who also used some form of St. John's Wort.
If a pregnancy does occur during isotretinoin treatment, isotretinoin must be discontinued immediately. The patient should be referred to an Obstetrician-Gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity for further evaluation and counseling. Any suspected fetal exposure during or 1 month after isotretinoin therapy must be reported immediately to the FDA via the MedWatch number 1-800-FDA-1088 and also to the iPLEDGE pregnancy registry at 1-866-495-0654 or via the internet (www.ipledgeprogram.com).All Patients
Isotretinoin is contraindicated in female patients who are pregnant. To receive isotretinoin all patients must meet all of the following conditions:
- Must be registered with the iPLEDGE program by the prescriber
- Must understand that severe birth defects can occur with the use of isotretinoin by female patients
- Must be reliable in understanding and carrying out instructions
- Must sign a Patient Information/Informed Consent (for all patients) form that contains warnings about the potential risks associated with isotretinoin
- Must fill and pick up the prescription within 7 days of the date of specimen collection for the pregnancy test for female patients of childbearing potential
- Must fill and pick up the prescription within 30 days of the office visit for male patients and female patients not of childbearing potential
- Must not donate blood while on isotretinoin and for 1 month after treatment has ended
- Must not share isotretinoin with anyone, even someone who has similar symptoms
Isotretinoin is contraindicated in female patients who are pregnant. In addition to the requirements for all patients described above, female patients of childbearing potential must meet the following conditions:
- Must NOT be pregnant or breast-feeding
- Must comply with the required pregnancy testing at a CLIA-certified laboratory
- Must fill and pick up the prescription within 7 days of the date of specimen collection for the pregnancy test
- Must be capable of complying with the mandatory contraceptive measures required for isotretinoin therapy, or commit to continuous abstinence from heterosexual intercourse, and understand behaviors associated with an increased risk of pregnancy
- Must understand that it is her responsibility to avoid pregnancy one month before, during and one month after isotretinoin therapy
- Must have signed an additional Patient Information/Informed Consent About Birth Defects (for female patients who can get pregnant) form, before starting isotretinoin, that contains warnings about the risk of potential birth defects if the fetus is exposed to isotretinoin
- Must access the iPLEDGE system via the internet (www.ipledgeprogram.com) or telephone (1-866-495-0654), before starting isotretinoin, on a monthly basis during therapy, and 1 month after the last dose to answer questions on the program requirements and to enter the patient's two chosen forms of contraception
- Must have been informed of the purpose and importance of providing information to the iPLEDGE program should she become pregnant while taking isotretinoin or within 1 month of the last dose
To dispense isotretinoin, pharmacies must be registered and activated with the pregnancy risk management program iPLEDGE.
The Responsible Site Pharmacist must register the pharmacy by signing and returning the completed registration form. After registration, the Responsible Site Pharmacist can only activate the pharmacy registration by affirming that they meet requirements and will comply with all iPLEDGE requirements by attesting to the following points:
- I know the risk and severity of fetal injury/birth defects from isotretinoin.
- I will train all pharmacists, who participate in the filling and dispensing of isotretinoin prescriptions, on the iPLEDGE program requirements.
- I will comply and seek to ensure all pharmacists who participate in the filling and dispensing of isotretinoin prescriptions comply with the iPLEDGE program requirements described in the booklet entitled Pharmacist Guide for the iPLEDGE Program.
- I will obtain Accutane product only from iPLEDGE registered wholesalers.
- I will not sell, buy, borrow, loan or otherwise transfer isotretinoin in any manner to or from another pharmacy.
- I will return to the manufacturer (or delegate) any unused product if registration is revoked by the manufacturer or if the pharmacy chooses to not reactivate annually.
- I will not fill isotretinoin for any party other than a qualified patient.
To dispense isotretinoin, the pharmacist must:1) be trained by the Responsible Site Pharmacist concerning the iPLEDGE program requirements. 2) obtain authorization from the iPLEDGE program via the internet (www.ipledgeprogram.com) or telephone (1-866-495-0654) for every isotretinoin prescription. Authorization signifies that the patient has met all program requirements and is qualified to receive isotretinoin. 3) write the Risk Management Authorization (RMA) number on the prescription.
Accutane must only be dispensed:
- in no more than a 30-day supply
- with an Accutane Medication Guide
- after authorization from the iPLEDGE program
- prior to the "do not dispense to patient after" date provided by the iPLEDGE system (within 30 days of the office visit for male patients and female patients not of childbearing potential and within 7 days of the date of specimen collection for female patients of childbearing potential)
- with a new prescription for refills and another authorization from the iPLEDGE program (No automatic refills are allowed)
An Accutane Medication Guide must be given to the patient each time Accutane is dispensed, as required by law. This Accutane Medication Guide is an important part of the risk management program for the patients.
Accutane must not be prescribed, dispensed or otherwise obtained through the internet or any other means outside of the iPLEDGE program. Only FDA-approved Accutane products must be distributed, prescribed, dispensed, and used. Patients must fill Accutane prescriptions only at US licensed pharmacies.
A description of the iPLEDGE program educational materials available with iPLEDGE is provided below. The main goal of these educational materials is to explain the iPLEDGE program requirements and to reinforce the educational messages.1) The Guide to Best Practices for the iPLEDGE Program includes: isotretinoin teratogenic potential, information on pregnancy testing, and the method to complete a qualified isotretinoin prescription. 2) The iPLEDGE Program Prescriber Contraception Counseling Guide includes: specific information about effective contraception, the limitations of contraceptive methods, behaviors associated with an increased risk of contraceptive failure and pregnancy and the methods to evaluate pregnancy risk. 3) The Pharmacist Guide for the iPLEDGE Program includes: isotretinoin teratogenic potential and the method to obtain authorization to dispense an isotretinoin prescription. 4) The iPLEDGE program is a systematic approach to comprehensive patient education about their responsibilities and includes education for contraception compliance and reinforcement of educational messages. The iPLEDGE program includes information on the risks and benefits of isotretinoin which is linked to the Medication Guide dispensed by pharmacists with each isotretinoin prescription. 5) Female patients not of childbearing potential and male patients, and female patients of childbearing potential are provided with separate booklets. Each booklet contains information on isotretinoin therapy including precautions and warnings, a Patient Information/Informed Consent (for all patients) form, and a toll-free line which provides isotretinoin information in 2 languages. 6) The booklet for female patients not of childbearing potential and male patients, The iPLEDGE Program Guide to Isotretinoin for Male Patients and Female Patients Who Cannot Get Pregnant, also includes information about male reproduction and a warning not to share isotretinoin with others or to donate blood during isotretinoin therapy and for 1 month following discontinuation of isotretinoin. 7) The booklet for female patients of childbearing potential, The iPLEDGE Program Guide to Isotretinoin for Female Patients Who Can Get Pregnant, includes a referral program that offers female patients free contraception counseling, reimbursed by the manufacturer, by a reproductive specialist; and a second Patient Information/Informed Consent About Birth Defects (for female patients who can get pregnant) form concerning birth defects. 8) The booklet, The iPLEDGE Program Birth Control Workbook includes information on the types of contraceptive methods, the selection and use of appropriate, effective contraception, the rates of possible contraceptive failure and a toll-free contraception counseling line. 9) In addition, there is a patient educational DVD with the following videos "Be Prepared, Be Protected" and "Be Aware: The Risk of Pregnancy While on Isotretinoin" (see Information for Patients).
Although an effect of Accutane on bone loss is not established, physicians should use caution when prescribing Accutane to patients with a genetic predisposition for age-related osteoporosis, a history of childhood osteoporosis conditions, osteomalacia, or other disorders of bone metabolism. This would include patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and those who are on chronic drug therapy that causes drug-induced osteoporosis/osteomalacia and/or affects vitamin D metabolism, such as systemic corticosteroids and any anticonvulsant.
Patients may be at increased risk when participating in sports with repetitive impact where the risks of spondylolisthesis with and without pars fractures and hip growth plate injuries in early and late adolescence are known. There are spontaneous reports of fractures and/or delayed healing in patients while on therapy with Accutane or following cessation of therapy with Accutane while involved in these activities. While causality to Accutane has not been established, an effect must not be ruled out.
Information for Patients
See PRECAUTIONS and Boxed CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS.
- Patients must be instructed to read the Medication Guide supplied as required by law when Accutane is dispensed. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document. For additional information, patients must also be instructed to read the iPLEDGE program patient educational materials. All patients must sign the Patient Information/Informed Consent (for all patients) form.
- Female patients of childbearing potential must be instructed that they must not be pregnant when Accutane therapy is initiated, and that they should use 2 forms of effective contraception simultaneously for 1 month before starting Accutane, while taking Accutane, and for 1 month after Accutane has been stopped, unless they commit to continuous abstinence from heterosexual intercourse. They should also sign a second Patient Information/Informed Consent About Birth Defects (for female patients who can get pregnant) form prior to beginning Accutane therapy. They should be given an opportunity to view the patient DVD provided by the manufacturer to the prescriber. The DVD includes information about contraception, the most common reasons that contraception fails, and the importance of using 2 forms of effective contraception when taking teratogenic drugs and comprehensive information about types of potential birth defects which could occur if a female patient who is pregnant takes Accutane at any time during pregnancy. Female patients should be seen by their prescribers monthly and have a urine or serum pregnancy test, in a CLIA-certified laboratory, performed each month during treatment to confirm negative pregnancy status before another Accutane prescription is written (see Boxed CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS).
- Accutane is found in the semen of male patients taking Accutane, but the amount delivered to a female partner would be about 1 million times lower than an oral dose of 40 mg. While the no-effect limit for isotretinoin induced embryopathy is unknown, 20 years of postmarketing reports include 4 with isolated defects compatible with features of retinoid exposed fetuses; however 2 of these reports were incomplete, and 2 had other possible explanations for the defects observed.
- Prescribers should be alert to the warning signs of psychiatric disorders to guide patients to receive the help they need. Therefore, prior to initiation of Accutane treatment, patients and family members should be asked about any history of psychiatric disorder, and at each visit during treatment patients should be assessed for symptoms of depression, mood disturbance, psychosis, or aggression to determine if further evaluation may be necessary. Signs and symptoms of depression include sad mood, hopelessness, feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness, loss of pleasure or interest in activities, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, change in sleep pattern, change in weight or appetite, suicidal thoughts or attempts, restlessness, irritability, acting on dangerous impulses, and persistent physical symptoms unresponsive to treatment. Patients should stop Accutane and the patient or a family member should promptly contact their prescriber if the patient develops depression, mood disturbance, psychosis, or aggression, without waiting until the next visit. Discontinuation of Accutane treatment may be insufficient; further evaluation may be necessary. While such monitoring may be helpful, it may not detect all patients at risk. Patients may report mental health problems or family history of psychiatric disorders. These reports should be discussed with the patient and/or the patient's family. A referral to a mental health professional may be necessary. The physician should consider whether Accutane therapy is appropriate in this setting; for some patients the risks may outweigh the benefits of Accutane therapy.
- Patients must be informed that some patients, while taking Accutane or soon after stopping Accutane, have become depressed or developed other serious mental problems. Symptoms of depression include sad, "anxious" or empty mood, irritability, acting on dangerous impulses, anger, loss of pleasure or interest in social or sports activities, sleeping too much or too little, changes in weight or appetite, school or work performance going down, or trouble concentrating. Some patients taking Accutane have had thoughts about hurting themselves or putting an end to their own lives (suicidal thoughts). Some people tried to end their own lives. And some people have ended their own lives. There were reports that some of these people did not appear depressed. There have been reports of patients on Accutane becoming aggressive or violent. No one knows if Accutane caused these behaviors or if they would have happened even if the person did not take Accutane. Some people have had other signs of depression while taking Accutane.
- Patients must be informed that they must not share Accutane with anyone else because of the risk of birth defects and other serious adverse events.
- Patients must be informed not to donate blood during therapy and for 1 month following discontinuation of the drug because the blood might be given to a pregnant female patient whose fetus must not be exposed to Accutane.
- Patients should be reminded to take Accutane with a meal (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). To decrease the risk of esophageal irritation, patients should swallow the capsules with a full glass of liquid.
- Patients should be informed that transient exacerbation (flare) of acne has been seen, generally during the initial period of therapy.
- Wax epilation and skin resurfacing procedures (such as dermabrasion, laser) should be avoided during Accutane therapy and for at least 6 months thereafter due to the possibility of scarring (see ADVERSE REACTIONS: Skin and Appendages).
- Patients should be advised to avoid prolonged exposure to UV rays or sunlight.
- Patients should be informed that they may experience decreased tolerance to contact lenses during and after therapy.
- Patients should be informed that approximately 16% of patients treated with Accutane in a clinical trial developed musculoskeletal symptoms (including arthralgia) during treatment. In general, these symptoms were mild to moderate, but occasionally required discontinuation of the drug. Transient pain in the chest has been reported less frequently. In the clinical trial, these symptoms generally cleared rapidly after discontinuation of Accutane, but in some cases persisted (see ADVERSE REACTIONS: Musculoskeletal). There have been rare postmarketing reports of rhabdomyolysis, some associated with strenuous physical activity (see Laboratory Tests: CPK).
- Pediatric patients and their caregivers should be informed that approximately 29% (104/358) of pediatric patients treated with Accutane developed back pain. Back pain was severe in 13.5% (14/104) of the cases and occurred at a higher frequency in female patients than male patients. Arthralgias were experienced in 22% (79/358) of pediatric patients. Arthralgias were severe in 7.6% (6/79) of patients. Appropriate evaluation of the musculoskeletal system should be done in patients who present with these symptoms during or after a course of Accutane. Consideration should be given to discontinuation of Accutane if any significant abnormality is found.
- Neutropenia and rare cases of agranulocytosis have been reported. Accutane should be discontinued if clinically significant decreases in white cell counts occur.
- Patients should be advised that severe skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis) have been reported in post-marketing data. Accutane should be discontinued if clinically significant skin reactions occur.
Anaphylactic reactions and other allergic reactions have been reported. Cutaneous allergic reactions and serious cases of allergic vasculitis, often with purpura (bruises and red patches) of the extremities and extracutaneous involvement (including renal) have been reported. Severe allergic reaction necessitates discontinuation of therapy and appropriate medical management.
- Vitamin A: Because of the relationship of Accutane to vitamin A, patients should be advised against taking vitamin supplements containing vitamin A to avoid additive toxic effects.
- Tetracyclines: Concomitant treatment with Accutane and tetracyclines should be avoided because Accutane use has been associated with a number of cases of pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension), some of which involved concomitant use of tetracyclines.
- Micro-dosed Progesterone Preparations: Micro-dosed progesterone preparations ("minipills" that do not contain an estrogen) may be an inadequate method of contraception during Accutane therapy. Although other hormonal contraceptives are highly effective, there have been reports of pregnancy from female patients who have used combined oral contraceptives, as well as transdermal patch/injectable/implantable/vaginal ring hormonal birth control products. These reports are more frequent for female patients who use only a single method of contraception. It is not known if hormonal contraceptives differ in their effectiveness when used with Accutane. Therefore, it is critically important for female patients of childbearing potential to select and commit to use 2 forms of effective contraception simultaneously, at least 1 of which must be a primary form (see PRECAUTIONS).
- Norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol: In a study of 31 premenopausal female patients with severe recalcitrant nodular acne receiving OrthoNovum® 7/7/7 Tablets as an oral contraceptive agent, Accutane at the recommended dose of 1 mg/kg/day, did not induce clinically relevant changes in the pharmacokinetics of ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone and in the serum levels of progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Prescribers are advised to consult the package insert of medication administered concomitantly with hormonal contraceptives, since some medications may decrease the effectiveness of these birth control products.
- St. John's Wort: Accutane use is associated with depression in some patients (see WARNINGS: Psychiatric Disorders and ADVERSE REACTIONS: Psychiatric). Patients should be prospectively cautioned not to self-medicate with the herbal supplement St. John's Wort because a possible interaction has been suggested with hormonal contraceptives based on reports of breakthrough bleeding on oral contraceptives shortly after starting St. John's Wort. Pregnancies have been reported by users of combined hormonal contraceptives who also used some form of St. John's Wort.
- Phenytoin: Accutane has not been shown to alter the pharmacokinetics of phenytoin in a study in seven healthy volunteers. These results are consistent with the in vitro finding that neither isotretinoin nor its metabolites induce or inhibit the activity of the CYP 2C9 human hepatic P450 enzyme. Phenytoin is known to cause osteomalacia. No formal clinical studies have been conducted to assess if there is an interactive effect on bone loss between phenytoin and Accutane. Therefore, caution should be exercised when using these drugs together.
- Systemic Corticosteroids: Systemic corticosteroids are known to cause osteoporosis. No formal clinical studies have been conducted to assess if there is an interactive effect on bone loss between systemic corticosteroids and Accutane. Therefore, caution should be exercised when using these drugs together.
- Pregnancy Test: – Female patients of childbearing potential must have had two negative urine or serum pregnancy tests with a sensitivity of at least 25 mIU/mL before receiving the initial Accutane prescription. The first test (a screening test) is obtained by the prescriber when the decision is made to pursue qualification of the patient for Accutane. The second pregnancy test (a confirmation test) must be done in a CLIA-certified laboratory. The interval between the two tests must be at least 19 days. – For patients with regular menstrual cycles, the second pregnancy test must be done during the first 5 days of the menstrual period immediately preceding the beginning of Accutane therapy and after the patient has used 2 forms of contraception for 1 month. – For patients with amenorrhea, irregular cycles, or using a contraceptive method that precludes withdrawal bleeding, the second pregnancy test must be done immediately preceding the beginning of Accutane therapy and after the patient has used 2 forms of contraception for 1 month. – Each month of therapy, patients must have a negative result from a urine or serum pregnancy test. A pregnancy test must be repeated each month, in a CLIA-certified laboratory, prior to the female patient receiving each prescription.
- Lipids: Pretreatment and follow-up blood lipids should be obtained under fasting conditions. After consumption of alcohol, at least 36 hours should elapse before these determinations are made. It is recommended that these tests be performed at weekly or biweekly intervals until the lipid response to Accutane is established. The incidence of hypertriglyceridemia is 1 patient in 4 on Accutane therapy (see WARNINGS: Lipids).
- Liver Function Tests: Since elevations of liver enzymes have been observed during clinical trials, and hepatitis has been reported, pretreatment and follow-up liver function tests should be performed at weekly or biweekly intervals until the response to Accutane has been established (see WARNINGS: Hepatotoxicity).
- Glucose: Some patients receiving Accutane have experienced problems in the control of their blood sugar. In addition, new cases of diabetes have been diagnosed during Accutane therapy, although no causal relationship has been established.
- CPK: Some patients undergoing vigorous physical activity while on Accutane therapy have experienced elevated CPK levels; however, the clinical significance is unknown. There have been rare postmarketing reports of rhabdomyolysis, some associated with strenuous physical activity. In a clinical trial of 217 pediatric patients (12 to 17 years) with severe recalcitrant nodular acne, transient elevations in CPK were observed in 12% of patients, including those undergoing strenuous physical activity in association with reported musculoskeletal adverse events such as back pain, arthralgia, limb injury, or muscle sprain. In these patients, approximately half of the CPK elevations returned to normal within 2 weeks and half returned to normal within 4 weeks. No cases of rhabdomyolysis were reported in this trial.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis and Impairment of Fertility
In male and female Fischer 344 rats given oral isotretinoin at dosages of 8 or 32 mg/kg/day (1.3 to 5.3 times the recommended clinical dose of 1.0 mg/kg/day, respectively, after normalization for total body surface area) for greater than 18 months, there was a dose-related increased incidence of pheochromocytoma relative to controls. The incidence of adrenal medullary hyperplasia was also increased at the higher dosage in both sexes. The relatively high level of spontaneous pheochromocytomas occurring in the male Fischer 344 rat makes it an equivocal model for study of this tumor; therefore, the relevance of this tumor to the human population is uncertain.
The Ames test was conducted with isotretinoin in two laboratories. The results of the tests in one laboratory were negative while in the second laboratory a weakly positive response (less than 1.6 × background) was noted in S. typhimurium TA100 when the assay was conducted with metabolic activation. No dose-response effect was seen and all other strains were negative. Additionally, other tests designed to assess genotoxicity (Chinese hamster cell assay, mouse micronucleus test, S. cerevisiae D7 assay, in vitro clastogenesis assay with human-derived lymphocytes, and unscheduled DNA synthesis assay) were all negative.
In rats, no adverse effects on gonadal function, fertility, conception rate, gestation or parturition were observed at oral dosages of isotretinoin of 2, 8, or 32 mg/kg/day (0.3, 1.3, or 5.3 times the recommended clinical dose of 1.0 mg/kg/day, respectively, after normalization for total body surface area).
In dogs, testicular atrophy was noted after treatment with oral isotretinoin for approximately 30 weeks at dosages of 20 or 60 mg/kg/day (10 or 30 times the recommended clinical dose of 1.0 mg/kg/day, respectively, after normalization for total body surface area). In general, there was microscopic evidence for appreciable depression of spermatogenesis but some sperm were observed in all testes examined and in no instance were completely atrophic tubules seen. In studies of 66 men, 30 of whom were patients with nodular acne under treatment with oral isotretinoin, no significant changes were noted in the count or motility of spermatozoa in the ejaculate. In a study of 50 men (ages 17 to 32 years) receiving Accutane (isotretinoin) therapy for nodular acne, no significant effects were seen on ejaculate volume, sperm count, total sperm motility, morphology or seminal plasma fructose.
Pregnancy: Category X
See Boxed CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS.
It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for adverse effects, nursing mothers should not receive Accutane.
The use of Accutane in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age has not been studied. The use of Accutane for the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne in pediatric patients ages 12 to 17 years should be given careful consideration, especially for those patients where a known metabolic or structural bone disease exists (see PRECAUTIONS: General). Use of Accutane in this age group for severe recalcitrant nodular acne is supported by evidence from a clinical study comparing 103 pediatric patients (13 to 17 years) to 197 adult patients (≥18 years). Results from this study demonstrated that Accutane, at a dose of 1 mg/kg/day given in two divided doses, was equally effective in treating severe recalcitrant nodular acne in both pediatric and adult patients.
In studies with Accutane, adverse reactions reported in pediatric patients were similar to those described in adults except for the increased incidence of back pain and arthralgia (both of which were sometimes severe) and myalgia in pediatric patients (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
In an open-label clinical trial (N=217) of a single course of therapy with Accutane for severe recalcitrant nodular acne, bone density measurements at several skeletal sites were not significantly decreased (lumbar spine change >-4% and total hip change >-5%) or were increased in the majority of patients. One patient had a decrease in lumbar spine bone mineral density >4% based on unadjusted data. Sixteen (7.9%) patients had decreases in lumbar spine bone mineral density >4%, and all the other patients (92%) did not have significant decreases or had increases (adjusted for body mass index). Nine patients (4.5%) had a decrease in total hip bone mineral density >5% based on unadjusted data. Twenty-one (10.6%) patients had decreases in total hip bone mineral density >5%, and all the other patients (89%) did not have significant decreases or had increases (adjusted for body mass index). Follow-up studies performed in 8 of the patients with decreased bone mineral density for up to 11 months thereafter demonstrated increasing bone density in 5 patients at the lumbar spine, while the other 3 patients had lumbar spine bone density measurements below baseline values. Total hip bone mineral densities remained below baseline (range –1.6% to –7.6%) in 5 of 8 patients (62.5%).
In a separate open-label extension study of 10 patients, ages 13 to 18 years, who started a second course of Accutane 4 months after the first course, two patients showed a decrease in mean lumbar spine bone mineral density up to 3.25% (see WARNINGS: Skeletal: Bone Mineral Density).
Clinical studies of isotretinoin did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Although reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients, effects of aging might be expected to increase some risks associated with isotretinoin therapy (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS).
Clinical Trials and Postmarketing Surveillance
The adverse reactions listed below reflect the experience from investigational studies of Accutane, and the postmarketing experience. The relationship of some of these events to Accutane therapy is unknown. Many of the side effects and adverse reactions seen in patients receiving Accutane are similar to those described in patients taking very high doses of vitamin A (dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, eg, of the lips, nasal passage, and eyes).
Cheilitis and hypertriglyceridemia are usually dose related. Most adverse reactions reported in clinical trials were reversible when therapy was discontinued; however, some persisted after cessation of therapy (see WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS).Body as a Whole
allergic reactions, including vasculitis, systemic hypersensitivity (see PRECAUTIONS: Hypersensitivity), edema, fatigue, lymphadenopathy, weight lossCardiovascular
palpitation, tachycardia, vascular thrombotic disease, strokeEndocrine/Metabolic
hypertriglyceridemia (see WARNINGS: Lipids), alterations in blood sugar levels (see PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests)Gastrointestinal
inflammatory bowel disease (see WARNINGS: Inflammatory Bowel Disease), hepatitis (see WARNINGS: Hepatotoxicity), pancreatitis (see WARNINGS: Lipids), bleeding and inflammation of the gums, colitis, esophagitis/esophageal ulceration, ileitis, nausea, other nonspecific gastrointestinal symptomsHematologic
allergic reactions (see PRECAUTIONS: Hypersensitivity), anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, rare reports of agranulocytosis (see PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients). See PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests for other hematological parameters.Musculoskeletal
skeletal hyperostosis, calcification of tendons and ligaments, premature epiphyseal closure, decreases in bone mineral density (see WARNINGS: Skeletal), musculoskeletal symptoms (sometimes severe) including back pain, myalgia, and arthralgia (see PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients), transient pain in the chest (see PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients), arthritis, tendonitis, other types of bone abnormalities, elevations of CPK/rare reports of rhabdomyolysis (see PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests).Neurological
pseudotumor cerebri (see WARNINGS: Pseudotumor Cerebri), dizziness, drowsiness, headache, insomnia, lethargy, malaise, nervousness, paresthesias, seizures, stroke, syncope, weaknessPsychiatric
suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, suicide, depression, psychosis, aggression, violent behaviors (see WARNINGS: Psychiatric Disorders), emotional instability
Of the patients reporting depression, some reported that the depression subsided with discontinuation of therapy and recurred with reinstitution of therapy.Reproductive System
bronchospasms (with or without a history of asthma), respiratory infection, voice alterationSkin and Appendages
acne fulminans, alopecia (which in some cases persists), bruising, cheilitis (dry lips), dry mouth, dry nose, dry skin, epistaxis, eruptive xanthomas,7 erythema multiforme, flushing, fragility of skin, hair abnormalities, hirsutism, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, infections (including disseminated herpes simplex), nail dystrophy, paronychia, peeling of palms and soles, photoallergic/photosensitizing reactions, pruritus, pyogenic granuloma, rash (including facial erythema, seborrhea, and eczema), Stevens-Johnson syndrome, sunburn susceptibility increased, sweating, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria, vasculitis (including Wegener's granulomatosis; see PRECAUTIONS: Hypersensitivity), abnormal wound healing (delayed healing or exuberant granulation tissue with crusting; see PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients)Special Senses
hearing impairment (see WARNINGS: Hearing Impairment), tinnitus.
corneal opacities (see WARNINGS: Corneal Opacities), decreased night vision which may persist (see WARNINGS: Decreased Night Vision), cataracts, color vision disorder, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, eyelid inflammation, keratitis, optic neuritis, photophobia, visual disturbancesUrinary System
glomerulonephritis (see PRECAUTIONS: Hypersensitivity), nonspecific urogenital findings (see PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests for other urological parameters)Laboratory
Elevation of plasma triglycerides (see WARNINGS: Lipids), decrease in serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, elevations of serum cholesterol during treatment
Increased alkaline phosphatase, SGOT (AST), SGPT (ALT), GGTP or LDH (see WARNINGS: Hepatotoxicity)
Elevation of fasting blood sugar, elevations of CPK (see PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests), hyperuricemia
Decreases in red blood cell parameters, decreases in white blood cell counts (including severe neutropenia and rare reports of agranulocytosis; see PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients), elevated sedimentation rates, elevated platelet counts, thrombocytopenia
White cells in the urine, proteinuria, microscopic or gross hematuria
PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL - 20 mg Capsule Carton
DO NOT GET
Each capsule contains
20 mg isotretinoin.
(10 × 10 Prescription Paks)
isotretinoin capsule, liquid filled
isotretinoin capsule, liquid filled
isotretinoin capsule, liquid filled
|Labeler - Hoffmann-La Roche Inc (002191211)|
|Hoffmann-La Roche Inc||002191211||Manufacture|
|F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd||482242971||Analysis, API Manufacture, Manufacture|
|Catalent Pharma Solutions||051762268||Manufacture|
Soft gelatin capsules, 10 mg (light pink), imprinted ACCUTANE (isotretinoin) 10 ROCHE. Boxes of 100 containing 10 Prescription Paks of 10 capsules (NDC 0004-0155-49).
Soft gelatin capsules, 20 mg (maroon), imprinted ACCUTANE (isotretinoin) 20 ROCHE. Boxes of 100 containing 10 Prescription Paks of 10 capsules (NDC 0004-0169-49).
Soft gelatin capsules, 40 mg (yellow), imprinted ACCUTANE (isotretinoin) 40 ROCHE. Boxes of 100 containing 10 Prescription Paks of 10 capsules (NDC 0004-0156-49).
Store at controlled room temperature (59° to 86°F, 15° to 30°C). Protect from light.
1. Peck GL, Olsen TG, Yoder FW, et al. Prolonged remissions of cystic and conglobate acne with 13-cis-retinoic acid. N Engl J Med 300:329-333, 1979.
2. Pochi PE, Shalita AR, Strauss JS, Webster SB. Report of the consensus conference on acne classification. J Am Acad Dermatol 24:495-500, 1991.
3. Farrell LN, Strauss JS, Stranieri AM. The treatment of severe cystic acne with 13-cis-retinoic acid: evaluation of sebum production and the clinical response in a multiple-dose trial. J Am Acad Dermatol 3:602-611, 1980.
4. Jones H, Blanc D, Cunliffe WJ. 13-cisretinoic acid and acne. Lancet 2:1048-1049, 1980.
8. Strauss JS, Rapini RP, Shalita AR, et al. Isotretinoin therapy for acne: results of a multicenter dose-response study. J Am Acad Dermatol 10:490-496, 1984.
Distributed by: Roche Laboratories Inc., 340 Kingsland Street, Nutley, New Jersey 07110-1199. PI Revised: January 2010.
Accutane Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Accutane there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Accutane.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The dose your doctor recommends may be based on your weight.
The recommended dosage range for Accutane (isotretinoin) is 0.5 to 2 mg/kg/day given in two divided doses.
The typical target dose is 1 mg/kg/day.
What is Accutane?
Accutane 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.
Accutane is used to treat severe nodular acne. It is usually given after other acne medicines or antibiotics have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.
Accutane may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How should I take Accutane?
Take Accutane exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Each prescription of Accutane must be filled within 7 days of the date it was prescribed by your doctor. You will receive no more than a 30-day supply of Accutane at one time.
Always take Accutane with a full glass of water to prevent the capsule from melting in your esophagus (food pipe), causing irritation. Do not chew or suck on the capsule. Swallow it as quickly as possible. Take Accutane with food or milk. Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your acne may seem to get worse at first, but should then begin to improve.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Never share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. Store Accutane at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.