Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you take Accutane if you have mental problems?"
My son wants to go on Accutane but he has ADD and has to take medication to control it. Will he be safe taking both? Are people with mental issues supposed to take Accutane?
Accutane (also known as isotretinoin) is the last-resort medication that is used for acne which has not been responsive to any other treatment. It really does work, but should not be used unless everything else has been tried. The doctor that prescribes Accutane (usually a dermatologist), he or she must make sure that the patient has tried benzoyl peroxide cream, topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics, and topical retinoids. Once all of these has been tried, then a 6 month course of Accutane can be tried. Before going on it, there are some side effects that you and your son should be aware of. In women, the side effect of birth defects means that any female going on Accutane must be on two forms of birth control. This is not an issue for your son, but the medicine should be kept away from any female siblings he has. Depression and mood disturbances are also side effects. Having ADD is not a contraindication for being on Accutane, but you will definitely need to watch out for any changes in his behavior. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. He or she can review all the important information about Accutane for you and your son.
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