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Accutane and Hair Loss

Accutane (generic name is isotretinoin) is a drug derived from vitamin A, and is taken orally. It is taken orally as a pill. Accutane hair loss is controversial and by no means clear cut. Dermatologists prescribe the drug, which is taken orally, when all other acne medications fail. Vitamin A should be avoided during the course of Accutane therapy to avoid added toxicity.

Accutane hair loss sufferers, both male and female, tend to be in their teens and early twenties. Some accutane users report hair loss within the first few days of treatment and others only after treatment ended. Many complain of ongoing hair loss, months, and even years later. While dermatologists tend to attribute this hair loss to other factors, accutane users insist that the drug has caused their deeply distressing hair loss problems. While some accutane hair loss sufferers claim to have re-grown their hair eventually.

Users of Accutane have noticed temporary and permanent hair loss is a very undesirable side effect of taking Accutane. Hair loss is listed as a possible side effect of Accutane use. Some people who claim that Accutane has caused hair loss have noticed it immediately after starting the medication.

Accutane clearly does participate in the process and if you are genetically prone, it may contribute to the genetic hair loss. It essentially stops the oil production in your sebaceous glands (the oil-producing structures of the skin) and literally shrinks these glands to the size of a baby's.

Most often the people who are affected are teenagers and young adults in their early twenties.  This is an especially difficult time to have to deal with hair loss. Some patients have permanent hair loss but others have had their hair re-grow after stopping the medication

. More serious, although much less common, side effects include severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, changes in mood, depression, severe stomach pain, diarrhea, decreased night vision, bowel problems, persistent dryness of eyes, calcium deposits in tendons (the significance of this is unknown), an increase in cholesterol levels, and yellowing of the skin.

Accutane may contribute to hair loss by creating a not so optimal environment for hair growth and it clearly does impact the glandular elements of the hair, which will make the hair dry and fragile as the amounts of sebum production drops.

However, there are many other causes of hair loss which also must be evaluated, such as thyroid problem, eczema, infection, autoimmune problems, weight loss, stress, etc.

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