What is Isotretinoin (Accutane)?

Isotretinoin (Accutane) is an oral medication used to treat acne. It is indicated for treatment for severe acne, nodular-cystic acne, and/or acne that has not sufficiently responded to other treatments. Although there is no official cure for acne, Accutane treatment is the closest option.

What is iPledge?

The iPledge program aims to inform patients about the teratogenic effects of isotretinoin (Accutane). All patients must be enrolled in the iPledge program prior to starting treatment. Females must be on two forms of birth control or choose abstinence one month before the start date and stay on the chosen method throughout the duration of treatment. 

When can I start Isotretinoin (Accutane)?

Male patients will be registered in the iPledge program once all consent forms and bloodwork results have been received and processed.

Female patients will be registered in the iPledge program once all consent forms and bloodwork results have been received and processed. However, female patients must wait 31 days from the registration date before starting treatment. The iPledge program requires 2 negative pregnancy tests performed one month apart before allowing female patients access to the medication. After the initial consultation, female patients must return to the office 31 days after the registration date to leave a urine sample and see the provider to receive the prescription. The patient has 7 days starting on the date of the visit to pick up the medication. 

How long will I have to be on it? 

The exact length of treatment depends on the patient. The average length of treatment varies from 8-12 months. 

What are common side effects?

Most patients will experience dryness to some degree, but we provide various recommendations to help manage it. The next most common side effect is muscle soreness/joint aches for our active patients, but most patients will control it with over-the-counter analgesics.

I am still on Isotretinoin (Accutane) and transferring to your office, what paperwork do you need?

First, please have your complete medical records transferred to our office prior to your visit, or bring a copy to your first visit. We need an accurate record of your current dose to date, bloodwork results, and side effects. 
Next, you will need to log into your iPledge account to transfer care to the provider you’re seeing at our office prior to your visit.    

I missed my window and I'm a male, what do I do?

If you’re a male patient and missed your 7-day window, please call our office. We will confirm you again in our system and you will be able to pick up your prescription without a waiting period.

I missed my window and I'm a female, what do I do?

If you missed the window during your first month of treatment, you will need to wait another 19 days before the iPledge system will allow us to enter another negative pregnancy test. After the 19-day waiting period, you will need to return to the office to leave a urine sample so we can confirm your pregnancy test is negative. 
If you miss your 7-day window during month 2 or later, you will need to return to the office to leave a urine sample. There is no waiting period, but you will need to answer your comprehension questions again on iPledge. 

Do I have to pay for my urine test if I don't see a provider?

No.

Where can I find my iPledge number?

If you lose your patient ID card, please ask a medical assistant for a duplicate copy during your next visit. In between visits, you can call our office to obtain your iPledge number.

Do I have to fast for bloodwork?

It is recommended that you fast for your bloodwork.

Do I have to come in every month and see a provider? 

Yes. The iPledge program requires monthly visits for both male and female patients. 

How soon after my appointment will I be confirmed in the iPledge system?

Our medical assistants try their best to confirm patients immediately after the appointment. However, most morning patients will be confirmed before 12 PM and afternoon patients will be confirmed by 4:30 PM. If there are extenuating circumstances that require confirmation immediately after your appointment, please let one of our medical assistants know at the beginning of your appointment and they will make every effort to accommodate your request.

What products do you suggest to use in conjunction with Isotretinoin (Accutane)? 

Unless otherwise instructed, patients should not be using any topical acne medications while undergoing isotretinoin (Accutane) treatment. We strongly suggest using gentle, hydrating products. After years of experience, our providers have formulated a list of suggestions to help manage the most common side effect of dry skin. Please refer to our Dry Skin Care handout for those suggestions.

I've been on Isotretinoin (Accutane)  in the past, I think I may want to start the treatment again. What is the next step? Do I have a new iPledge number? 

If you and your provider agree that another course of isotretinoin (Accutane) is appropriate for you, we will need you to fill out another set of consent forms to re-register you in the iPledge system. After we receive your bloodwork results and they are normal, we will re-register you in the iPledge system. Male patients don’t have a waiting period. Female patients of childbearing potential must wait one month after the date of registration to follow up for another negative pregnancy test.