August 19, 2016
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Accutane (isotretinoin) is given to patients with severe acne, most of whom react with dramatic and permanent clearing of their acne symptoms. It is a vitamin A derivative that is administered orally in pill form with a meal that contains an adequate amount of fat. This practice is controversial because Accutane is a serious medication that can cause severe birth defects as well as potentially long-lasting side effects to the user. Accutane need not be paired with other medications. It dramatically reduces the size of the skin's oil glands (35%-58%) and even more dramatically reduces the amount of oil these glands produce (around 80%). Acne bacteria live in skin oil, since oil is dramatically reduced, so is the amount of acne bacteria in the skin. It slows down how fast the skin produces skin cells inside the pore, which helps pores from becoming clogged in the first place. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Although acne may get worse within the first month of Accutane use for about 30% of patients, the ultimate results are usually dramatic. Accutane works to achieve partial or complete clearance of acne in about 95% of people who complete a cycle, regardless of whether they have inflammatory or non-inflammatory acne. The majority of people who take it see their acne effectively cured, experiencing long-term remission of acne symptoms. Accutane is a systemic medication that affects the entire body. Side effects are numerous and widespread, and affect upwards of 80% of patients. Side effects are most often mild to moderate and reversible, but in some cases can be severe or long-term. Because isotretinoin as a molecule dissolves best in fat, it is essential that you take it with a meal that contains an adequate amount of dietary fat. Therefore, Accutane capsules should always be taken with food. Failure to take Accutane with food will significantly decrease absorption which may account for some of the relapse. So what kind of meal should you eat when taking Accutane, and how much dietary fat should it contain? Participants asked to ingest approximately 20g of fat (2 poached eggs, toast with margarine, plus 8oz. of skimmed milk), found that this was enough to approximately double the absorption of Accutane, suffice it to say that Accutane must be taken with a meal which contains dietary fat to deliver its full potential.