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  • Generic Name: (isotretinoin)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 10/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Absorica is a medicine used to treat severe acne that has not been cleared by other treatments (including antibiotics).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      Absorica is only available under a special restricted distribution program called the iPLEDGE program. Absorica may only be used by people who are enrolled in and meet all the conditions of iPLEDGE. Your healthcare provider, who is also registered with the program, will explain the iPLEDGE program to you. You will likely receive Absorica from a special pharmacy.

      How does this medication work?

      Although it is unclear exactly how Absorica works, it is thought to stop the oil glands in your skin from working. By keeping the oil glands from working, Absorica may help reduce acne formation.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: By helping clear your acne, Absorica may improve the appearance of your skin.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Absorica exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may start to notice an improvement in your acne after starting treatment with Absorica. This is a good indicator that your medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Absorica must not be used by women who are or may become pregnant. There is an extremely high risk of life-threatening harm to your unborn baby, including birth defects, miscarriage, or early (premature) births. These may occur while taking Absorica in any amount, even for short periods. If you get pregnant while taking Absorica, stop taking it and call your healthcare provider right away.

      More common side effects may include: dry or chapped lips, dry skin, back pain, dry eyes, joint pain, nosebleeds, headache, common cold, dermatitis (inflammatory skin condition), lip inflammation, muscle or bone discomfort, upper respiratory infection, vision problems.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Serious mental health problems (including depression, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts), with symptoms such as sad mood, hopelessness, feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness, loss of pleasure or interest in activities, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, change in your sleep pattern, change in your weight or appetite, suicidal thoughts or attempts, restlessness, irritability, or acting on dangerous impulses.

      Increased pressure in your brain that may lead to permanent loss of eyesight, with symptoms such as bad headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, seizures, or stroke.

      Serious skin reactions, with symptoms such as red or inflamed eyes, like "pink eye"; rash with a fever; blisters on your legs, arms, or face; sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes; or peeling of your skin.

      Abdominal (stomach area) problems, with symptoms such as severe stomach, chest, or bowel pain; trouble swallowing or painful swallowing; new or worsening heartburn; diarrhea; bleeding from your rectum; dark urine; or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

      Bone and muscle problems, with symptoms such as back pain, joint pain, broken bones, or muscle weakness. Absorica may stop long bone growth in teenagers who are still growing.

      Hearing problems, with symptoms such as loss of hearing or ringing in your ears.

      Vision problems, such as difficulty seeing in the dark or dryness of your eyes that is painful or constant.

      Absorica may also cause allergic reactions, including asthma.

      Blood sugar problems (including diabetes), with symptoms such as excessive thirst or urination.

      Absorica contains tartrazine, which may cause allergic-type reactions (including asthma), especially if you are allergic to aspirin.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Absorica if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Absorica if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or if you become pregnant during treatment with Absorica.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Absorica. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have mental health problems; asthma; heart or liver problems; diabetes; osteoporosis (thin, weak bones); an eating disorder called anorexia; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults and children ≥12 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you or your child, based on the weight. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Absorica exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Absorica without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Take Absorica twice a day with or without food, unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.

      Swallow Absorica capsules whole with a full glass of liquid. Do not chew or suck on the capsule.

      Your acne may get worse when you first start taking Absorica. This should last only a short while. Talk to your healthcare provider if this is a problem for you.

      You will receive no more than a 30-day supply of Absorica at a time. This is to make sure you are following the Absorica iPLEDGE program.

      If you are a woman of childbearing age, you must agree to use two separate forms of effective birth control at the same time one month before starting Absorica, while taking Absorica, and for one month after stopping Absorica. Talk to your healthcare provider about effective birth control methods.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not get pregnant, breastfeed, or give blood while taking Absorica and for one month after stopping treatment with Absorica.

      Do not drive at night until you know how Absorica affects your vision.

      Do not have cosmetic procedures to smooth your skin, including waxing, dermabrasion, or laser procedures while you are taking Absorica and for 6 months after you stop.

      Do not expose your skin to sunlight and ultraviolet lights (such as tanning beds), as Absorica can make your skin more sensitive to light.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Absorica is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Absorica with the following: certain antibiotics (such as tetracycline), corticosteroids (such as prednisone), phenytoin, progestin-only birth control pills (or mini-pills), St. John's wort, or vitamin A supplements.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Absorica may harm your unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. The effects of Absorica during breastfeeding are unknown. Do not get pregnant or breastfeed while you are taking Absorica. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Absorica, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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