How Long is the Second Treatment Course of Accutane?

I got off my first treatment of accutane 2 months. Now I am breaking out in the same places as before. I am using differin .3% nightly and still seeing no improvement. Should I consider a second treatment even though it's only been 2 months. The only side effect I had the 1st treatment was dry lips. Also, how long is the second treatment of accutane?

Doctor Answers 1

How long for a second course of Accutane?

A course of Accutane usually lasts 4-6 months.  I treat my patients for 6 months, starting at a lower dose and gradually increasing it throughout the course. 

Some patients in whom Accutane therapy is successful may continue to break out up to two months after finishing therapy.  I would give it a little more time to see if the acne resolves.

There are a number of people that do not respond to the first course of Accutane, and a very few patients that do not respond after multiple courses.

Some factors that are important in the success of Accutane therapy:

1. the total dose of Accutane given - low dose Accutane therapy works while the patient is taking it but then the acne recurs.

2. if there are hormonal abnormalities, acne tends to recur more often after finishing Accutane.

3. Accutane must be taken with food that has a small amount of fat in it, as it is a relative of vitamin A, which is a fat soluble vitamin.

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