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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antineoplastic Agent Oratane® / Roaccutane® Adult, Children, Cancer-related

Isotretinoin - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Isotretinoin cause?

  • Fever and headache may be common during the first few doses but fever should be transient. Paracetamol can be useful for this.
  • Other common side effects include dry or peeling skin, cracked lips and dry eyes. Moisturisers and lip balm can be helpful when the skin and lips are cracked and dry. Lubricant eye drops are also helpful if the eyes become dry and irritated.
  • The medicine may also cause back, muscle and joint pain, particularly in children.
  • This medicine may also cause the skin to become more sensitive to sunlight; avoid exposure to sunlight, wear protective clothing (long sleeves and pants), wide-brimmed hats and apply sunscreen liberally.
  • Other less common side effects may include increase in triglycerides levels, calcium levels and reduction in blood counts, thinning of the bone (osteoporosis).

Please inform your doctor if you (or your child) experience any other side effects or if the side effects become severe and bothersome.

Although uncommon, there have been reports of psychiatric reactions (e.g. depression, mood swings, anxiety) in adolescents and adults who use isotretinoin for acne conditions. Please inform your doctor immediately if you(or your child) experience any of these reactions.

Very rarely, it may cause thinning of the bone (osteoporosis) which could lead to weakness of the bone, bone fractures or delay in healing of the fractures.

Before taking Isotretinoin, what precautions must I follow?

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Isotretinoin?

  • Updated on Wednesday, September 27, 2017
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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