Isotretinoin, also known as 13-cis-retinoic acid and sold under the brand name Accutane or Roaccutane 20, is a medication primarily used to treat severe acne. It is also used to prevent certain skin cancers (squamous-cell carcinoma) and in the treatment of other cancers. It is used to treat harlequin-type ichthyosis, a usually lethal skin disease, and lamellar ichthyosis. It is a retinoid, meaning it is related to vitamin A and is found in small quantities naturally in the body. It is also somewhat effective for hidradenitis suppurativa and some cases of severe rosacea. It can also be used to help treat harlequin ichthyosis, lamellar ichthyosis, and is used in xeroderma pigmentosum cases to relieve keratoses. Isotretinoin has been used to treat the extremely rare condition fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. It is also used for the treatment of neuroblastoma, a form of nerve cancer.
- transient worsening of acne (lasting 1–4 months)
- dry lips (cheilitis)
- dry and fragile skin
- increased susceptibility to sunburn
- muscle aches and pains (myalgias)