Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there a good equivalently effective alternative drug to accutane?"
I am currently taking solodyn and my current dermatologist told me "i'll have to take topical medications forever and that eventually my body will become resistant to them" I am terrified of the possible side effects of accutane however and am paranoid that I am just trying to be sold a drug. Would taking vitamin A for example be a good alternative to accutane?
Unfortunately, there are no currently available medications which are equivalent to Accutane in the treatment of severe or pustular/nodular acne. It really is the best thing we have. In terms of you just being sold a drug, I think that is quite unlikely. Keep in mind that we have a lot of great science showing that this drug has the potential to really stop acne in its tracks, which has improved a lot of people's lives. Unfortunately, it has some significant side effects, but we know what these are. If your dermatologist puts you on this drug, he or she will likely make less money because you won't have to come back as often after the drug is done. Taking high doses of Vitamin A will probably result in similar side effects as Accutane (look up hypervitaminosis A), but without any benefit to your acne. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with you dermatologist to discuss what additional medications or therapies are available other than Accutane. In addition, you can have the discussion of the adverse effects of the drug so that you are fully informed. If in the future topical treatments turn out to be not sufficient for you, the yo can consider the benefits of a drug like Accutane versus the risks. By the time this becomes and issue, there may be safer drugs that are just as good as Accutane.
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