The drug isotretinoin (Accutane) is related to vitamin A. It is used to treat severe acne.
Trade Name: Accutane
Probable Harmful Interaction
Both vitamin A and isotretinoin can cause toxic symptoms if taken in excess. It is presumed likely that simultaneous use of vitamin A and isotretinoin would tend to amplify the risk. For this reason, people using isotretinoin should not take vitamin A at doses higher than the recommended daily allowance; in fact, because most people get enough vitamin A from the diet, it might be preferable to take no vitamin A supplements at all. (Supplements that use beta-carotene to supply vitamin A are probably safe.)
Indirect Harmful Interaction
Because isotretinoin can cause birth defects, women who use it are often advised to take oral contraceptives(birth control pills). The herb St. John’s wort is thought to interact with birth control pills and reduce their effectiveness, raising the risk of pregnancy.1-3 For this reason, people taking accutane and oral contraceptives should avoid using St. John’s wort.
Possible Helpful Interaction
One preliminary study hints that vitamin E might reduce side effects of isotretinoin.4
Last reviewedAugust 2013by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.