Rare side effects after taking Accutane may include bone changes, including osteoporosis and other conditions. One study concluded that a loss of bone density occured as a direct effect of retinoids on bone. Other reports indicate bone changes on Accutane, such as bone fractures or delayed healing.
These Accutane side effects are more typically found in patients on higher doses of the drug than used for the typical acne patient or for those in whom high doses are used over longer periods of time than usual. There are some new formulations of Accutane or oral isotretinoin that are being tested that are less affected by food and have fewer side effects in terms of dryness of skin, eyes, and mouth and that have less of a potential effect on lipids.
Because oral isotretinoin or Accutane is metabolized or digested by the liver, as is alcohol, you should try to avoid drinking alcohol while on Accutane therapy. There have been reports of liver function abnormalities that may have been related to Accutane, most of which improved with either continued administration of the drug or after the medication was stopped.
The published reports have been nearly unanimous in showing the lack of isotretinoin-induced liver damage of any kind or liver function abnormalities. However, regular blood tests are still routinely done to ensure normal liver-function values.
Another reported side effect is decreased night vision, which in some cases has lasted even after the treatment has stopped. Finally, there are parabens in the Accutane capsule. Thus, people with allergies to parabens should avoid taking Accutane or oral isotretinoin. For a complete list of the side effects of Accutane and potential reactions, consult your doctor.