Did you know this version of Internet Explorer is out of date?

To get the latest experience from our website, please upgrade your browser.

Have a drug or medical device concern?

call 888-646-1884

Accutane Side Effects

The acne treatment Accutane has been linked to many severe side effects. Users may encounter rashes, mental problems, muscle weakness, stomach complications, allergic reactions and pregnancy complication that may result in birth defects or death of the fetus.

Jump To Topic

Accutane can cause birth defects (deformed babies), loss of a baby before birth (miscarriage), death of the baby, and early (premature) births.

Mental Health Problems Linked to Accutane

Accutane may cause serious mental health problems. Accutane can increase the pressure in your brain. This can lead to permanent loss of eyesight and, in rare cases, death.

Stop taking Accutane and call your doctor right away if you get any of these signs of increased brain pressure:

  • bad headache
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • stroke

Accutane Rash Risk

Skin rash can occur in patients taking Accutane. In some cases, a rash can be a serious condition. Stop using Accutane and call your doctor right away if you develop conjunctivitis (red or inflamed eyes, like “pink eye”); a rash with a fever; blisters on legs, arms or face; and/or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, eyes; or if your skin begins to peel.

Stomach Area (Abdomen) Problems

Certain symptoms may mean that your internal organs are being affected. These organs include the liver, pancreas, bowel (intestines), and esophagus (connection between mouth and stomach). If your organs are damaged, they may not get better even after you stop taking Accutane.

Stop taking Accutane and call your doctor if you get:

  • severe stomach, chest or bowel pain
  • trouble swallowing or painful swallowing
  • new or worsening heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • rectal bleeding
  • yellowing of your skin or eyes
  • dark urine

Muscle and Joint Pain

Accutane may affect bones, muscles, and ligaments and cause pain in your joints or muscles. Tell your doctor if you plan hard physical activity during treatment with Accutane.
Tell your doctor if you experience:

  • back pain
  • joint pain
  • broken bones (tell all healthcare providers that you take Accutane if you break a bone.)

Stop Accutane and call your doctor right away if you have muscle weakness.  Muscle weakness with or without pain can be a sign of serious muscle damage. 

Accutane may stop long bone growth in teenagers who are still growing.

Hearing and Vision Side Effects

Stop using Accutane and call your doctor if your hearing gets worse or if you have ringing in your ears.  Your hearing loss may be permanent.

Accutane may affect your ability to see in the dark. This condition usually clears up after you stop taking Accutane, but it may be permanent. Other serious eye effects can occur. Stop taking Accutane and call your doctor right away if you have any problems with your vision or dryness of the eyes that is painful or constant. If you wear contact lenses, you may have trouble wearing them while taking Accutane and after treatment.

Other Complications Linked to Accutane

Lipid (Fats and Cholesterol in Blood) Problems

Accutane can raise the level of fats and cholesterol in your blood. This can be a serious problem. Return to your doctor for blood tests to check your lipids and to get any needed treatment.

Serious Allergic Reactions

Stop taking Accutane and get emergency care right away if you develop hives, a swollen face or mouth, or have trouble breathing. Stop taking Accutane and call your doctor if you get a fever, rash, or red patches or bruises on your legs.

Blood Sugar Problems

Accutane may cause blood sugar problems including diabetes. Tell your doctor if you are very thirsty or urinate a lot.

Decreased Red and White Blood Cells

Call your doctor if you have trouble breathing, faint, or feel weak.

The common, less serious side effects of Accutane are dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, and dry nose that may lead to nosebleeds. Call your doctor if you get any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all of the possible side effects with Accutane. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you more detailed information. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.