For How Long Should Isotretinoin be taken?


People who take isotretinoin as their drug medication for treating their severe acne breakouts usually wonder for how long they should take the drug medication. One could perhaps say that isotretinoin should be taken as recommended by your doctor and this should be the golden rule as it would be the correct and most effective way that this drug medication can be used for treating your acne. Let’s learn more about this vitamin A derivative.

For How Long Should Isotretinoin be taken?

How long the treatment lasts

Strictly following the prescription given to you by your doctor is the best method in answering the question of how long should isotretinoin should be taken. 

Normally, a drug treatment of this nature usually takes about 16 to 24 weeks which is equivalent to about 4 to 6 months.

However, you should remember that your acne can typically continue to improve for up to the eighth week after you stop your treatment.

It’s known that in most cases people who suffered from severe acne would have clear skins although some may need to have another round of treatment.

Important information on isotretinoin pills

It’s known that isotretinoin capsules are an extremely effective means of treating severe acne or spots.

You need to know that this drug medication can cause serious side effects, so it’s important that a doctor must prepare a prescription for it.

Its proper use should also be supervised by a doctor or a pharmacist.

You should also be familiar with the brand names for isotretinoin capsules of Roaccutane and Rizuderm.

Important key facts

The following are important facts about isotretinoin capsules:

  • Capsules of isotretinoin begin to take effect 10 weeks after being ingested and they can successfully treat 4 out of every 5 people treated giving them clear skins in 4 months.
  • You should undergo a blood test before you start taking isotretinoin along with additional blood test during your treatment course.
  • Sometimes your skin may dry out and become extra sensitive to sunlight when you’re being treated. You can ease the dryness by using moisturizers.
  • It’s crucial that you don’t become pregnant while taking isotretinoin capsules and for a full month after the end of your treatment course. This is because the medication can do harm to the unborn baby. Women are reminded of this danger by being given a card.
  • If you get depressed or have suicidal inclinations while taking the medication, you should immediately stop taking your treatment and consult your doctor.

Who can take isotretinoin capsules?

Isotretinoin capsules are meant to be used only by teenagers and adults who suffer from severe acne. They’re not meant to be taken by those under 12 years of age or before reaching puberty.

They are certainly not suitable for people who have:

  • Previously suffered an allergic response to the drug medication, soya or any other medication 
  • An inherited digestive disorder known as fructose intolerance (capsules have sorbitol).

You should ensure that the isotretinoin capsules are safe for you to use by telling your doctor that:

  • you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • you’re suffering from a mental health disorder such as depression
  • you’ve experienced an allergic response to isotretinoin or any other medication
  • you’re suffering from kidney or liver disease
  • you’re suffering from high levels of cholesterol or other fatty substances in your blood
  • you have high levels of vitamin A
  • you suspect that you are pregnant or actually are pregnant, or that you’re breastfeeding

Having diabetes is another good reason why you should talk with your doctor before you start your treatment with isotretinoin capsules. 

You may also need strict monitoring when taking isotretinoin capsules as this medication can quickly boost your blood sugar levels.

Who can take isotretinoin capsules?

Side effects of Isotretinoin capsules 

It’s a fact that similar to all other drug medications, the isotretinoin capsules can also cause side effects. However not everyone will suffer from them and they normally dissipate when the treatment ends.

The most common side effects of isotretinoin capsules is you’ll have dry skin and lips. 

For your own safety you shouldn’t have any waxing, dermabrasion or laser skin treatment when taking this drug medicine, or at least 6 months after you stop treatment. It could cause scarring if otherwise.

Common side effects

The truth is that 1 in 10 suffer from the common side effects that are caused by isotretinoin capsules. 

You should discuss the matter with your doctor or pharmacist if you are being annoyed by the side effects or if they persist and refuse to disappear. The most common side effects include:

  • headaches and general bodily aches and pains
  • skin sensitivity to sunlight
  • dry nose accompanied by nosebleeds
  • dry eyes
  • dry throat

Serious side effects

Some of the more serious side effects are rare and usually happen to less than 1 in every 1,000 people.

When you have or you know that someone has any of the conditions mentioned below, you should immediately call a doctor to deal with the case:

  • anxiety, aggression and violence, mood changes or suicidal thoughts. These may be signs of depression or signs of other mental issues.
  • sudden eyesight changes, including an inability to see clearly at night
  • a painful headache that persist making you feel sick or actually causes you to vomit
  • severe stomach pain with or without diarrhea, and serious signs of panreatitis can also appear
  • yellowing of the skin or whites of your eyes, urinating problems, fatigue which are signs of liver and kidney issues
  • bloody diarrhea which may be a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • serious skin rash that causes your skin to peel and blister and can be accompanied by eye infections, ulcers, fever and headaches
  • difficulty in moving the arms or legs, together with painful swollen bruised body areas, and dark urination which can indicate a weakness of your muscles

It’s exceedingly rare but the taking of isotretinoin can also cause depression sometimes or can make it worse when it’s already in a person and can even induce a person to become suicidal.

Serious allergic reactions to isotretinoin 

While it’s also rare, people can sometimes have serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to isotretinoin capsules.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to isotretinoin can include:

  • your mouth, lips, face, tongue and throat start to swell
  • you get a skin rash that can include itchy, red, blistered, swollen or peeling skin
  • you begin to wheeze
  • you have problems breathing or talking
  • your chest or throat tighten up


While it’s very important to know and understand for how long you should be taking isotretinoin for treating your severe acne breakout, it’s equally important to realize that there’s always a prescription involved in using this drug medication, as with any other drug medication and the prescription usually spells out the duration that you need to be taking isotretinoin. This has been the aim of this article and we sincerely hope interesting and useful information has come your way. If you are seeking for isotretinoin, consider ordering here.

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