Isotretinoin (marketed as Accutane) Capsule Information
IPLEDGE Update (10/22/2010): Today, FDA approved iPledge as a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA). This approval does not substantively change the program for patients, prescribers, dispensers, and wholesalers for approved uses of isotretinoin. FDAAA required the conversion to REMS of those RiskMAPs approved before FDAAA was enacted that contained certain features such as those of the iPledge program requiring prescriber and pharmacist certification, and documentation of safe use conditions before the drug can be dispensed, including pregnancy testing and agreement to use contraception.
IPLEDGE Update (10/2007): FDA is providing an update about iPLEDGE, a risk management program to reduce the risk of fetal exposure to isotretinoin (a drug to treat severe recalcitrant nodular acne). FDA approved several changes to the program. See IPLEDGE Update
FDA ALERT [7/2005]: Suicidal Thoughts or Actions: In addition to the strengthened risk management program, FDA continues to assess reports of suicide or suicide attempts associated with the use of isotretinoin. All patients treated with isotretinoin should be observed closely for symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts, such as sad 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, or for mood disturbance, psychosis, or aggression. Patients should stop isotretinoin and they or their caregiver should contact their healthcare professional right away if the patient has any of the previously mentioned symptoms. Discontinuation of treatment may be insufficient and further evaluation may be necessary. [Action taken 8/12/2005 Labeling revision]
This information reflects FDA’s preliminary analysis of data concerning this drug. FDA is considering, but has not reached a final conclusion about, this information. FDA intends to update this sheet when additional information or analyses become available.
Isotretinoin is marketed under these names:
To report any serious adverse events associated with the use of this drug, please contact the FDA MedWatch program using the contact information at the bottom of this sheet.
Isotretinoin is a potentially dangerous prescription medicine that should only be taken under the close supervision of your healthcare professional and pharmacist. If you are pregnant or may get pregnant, isotretinoin can cause birth defects, miscarriage, premature births, and death in babies. Buying this product over the Internet bypasses important procedures to ensure that patients can take this drug safely. When these procedures are ignored, isotretinoin can cause serious and harmful side effects. Patients taking isotretinoin may experience side effects including bad headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, seizures, stroke, diarrhea, and muscle weakness. Additionally, serious mental health problems, such as depression and suicide, have been reported with isotretinoin use.
To learn more about FDA's program to warn consumers against buying accutane and its generic versions online, please see: FDA Launches Web Page Warning Against Buying Accutane
To learn more about buying drugs safely, please see