Patients who have acne that is resistant to treatment use isotretinoin to help resolve the problem. This medication is taken orally twice a day, usually with food. This medication slows the body’s production of substances that contribute to pimple formation.
Women who are pregnant cannot take this medication. Isotretinoin contributes to miscarriages, premature births that result in death and stillborn babies. Babies that survive exposure to this medication often have severe birth defects. Due to this danger, women must register with a special program and see a doctor who is registered with the program to get this medication. Prescriptions must be filled within seven days or the woman has to wait a month to get a new prescription. Men who are on this medication should be aware that trace amounts of the medication may be in their semen and may be transmitted to the fetus if their partners become pregnant.