Isotretinoin Side Effects: Mitigating Risks and Health
Isotretinoin – a medicine used to treat severe forms of acne – is known to be a potent drug, and it comes with a number of possible side effects. For those who have been prescribed isotretinoin, it is important to understand the risks and take steps to mitigate them so that their health can be protected.
What are Common Side Effects of Isotretinoin?
The most common side effects associated with isotretinoin include dry skin and lips, nosebleeds, and vision changes. Other potential side effects, though less common, include joint pain, headache, diarrhea, nausea, and muscle pain.
Tips to Reduce Isotretinoin Side Effects
There are several steps one can take to reduce the risks of isotretinoin side effects in order to protect their health:
- Diet & Hydration
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption.
- Increase produce consumption (especially fruits and vegetables) as part of a well-balanced diet.
- Stay wellhydrated throughout the day.
- Skin Care
- Frequently drink water and use moisturizing products like hyaluronic acid or ceramides for the face and body.
- Use gentle makeup removers and cleansers.
- Protect hair and scalp from drying sun and wind with a hat, mask or sunscreen.
- Exercise & Lifestyle Changes
- Perform light exercise like walking, jogging, or swimming to boost endorphins and overall mood.
- Continue to practice safe social distancing measures and wear a mask when outdoors.
- Strive for plenty of restful sleep.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Though most of the side effects associated with isotretinoin are mild and can be managed, if any of the following side effects occur it is important to seek medical attention:
- Severe dizziness and blurred vision
- Difficulty swallowing meals and beverages
- Unexplained fatigue, fever, or flu-like symptoms
- Significant weight gain or loss
Though isotretinoin may present certain risks, with the help of the medical team and some lifestyle modifications, those taking the medication can help to reduce their side effects and protect their overall health.