How Long Does Accutane Stay In Your System

Accutane, also referred to as Isotretinoin, is a potent medication that has gained acclaim for its effectiveness in treating severe acne. But do you know how long this drug remains in your body? Discover more about this treatment by continuing further below.

The Metabolic Process of Accutane in the Human Body

When you swallow a pill of Accutane, you set off a chain of metabolic processes. First, the pill reaches your digestive system and gets absorbed into your bloodstream. This absorption is crucial for effective action against acne. Studies show that the amount that is absorbed actually depends on what else is in your stomach. When you eat fatty meals, Accutane gets absorbed better and it will be more effective.

Then, the absorbed medication travels to the liver, where its metabolism takes place with the help of enzymes. The enzymes in your liver will break down components of the medication into parts that will be used by your body and parts that will be eliminated out of your body. Often, not all of the medication is broken down into components, so you can usually find unmetabolized isotretinoin in urine or fecal samples. Your personal health and liver function can impact how well Accutane is metabolized by your body.

How Fast Accutane Leaves Your Body

How fast a medication leaves your system is measured in a unit called “half-life”. A half-life refers to how long it takes for 50% of the medication to depart from your body. Accutane’s half life can range from 10-40 hours, with an average of around 20 hours. Scientists have concluded that it takes 5 half lives to fully clear a drug.

Thus, Accutane will fully leave your system within 4-5 days.

However, the effects of Accutane can continue afterward. In fact, you should not get pregnant for at least 4 weeks after stopping the medication. Several other side effects can persist for a period of around 4 weeks after your last dose.

This time frame can be influenced by other factors, including:

  • Your dose – a larger dose will take longer to exit
  • Your metabolism – faster metabolisms will eliminate the drug faster
  • Your age and health – younger and healthier bodies will eliminate the drug faster
  • Nutrition – certain supplements and diets can impact how long Accutane stays in your system

Stay alert to potential adverse effects during and after treatment

Accutane’s effectiveness is well-established, but it also presents a range of potential side effects. During treatment, dry skin, chapped lips and sun sensitivity are possible outcomes. Being informed about these frequently encountered adverse reactions can enable you to take proactive measures in managing them skillfully.

Since Accutane gets metabolized in the liver, it’s possible that it can also elevate your liver enzymes in a harmful way. However, a recent study has shown that this occurs in less than 1% of patients, and it can be predicted within the first two months of treatment with proper blood work monitoring.

It is vital to monitor for any side effects when taking Accutane. Awareness of the symptoms and knowing when to seek medical help ensures prompt treatment of negative reactions.

Get Accutane safely prescribed and managed with a Honeydew care team.

How long should you be on Accutane?

The duration of Accutane treatment varies, usually with a minimum of 5-6 months. Multiple studies have shown that stopping too early is connected to an increased risk of relapse. Additionally, low dose therapies typically range for much longer than regular doses, spanning at least 1-2 years.

Every person’s body and skin is unique and may respond in different ways to the treatment and its prolonged use. Working with a licensed healthcare professional that is experienced with this medication is key.

You may also like: The Ultimate Guide: How to Safely Obtain Accutane Online

What should I do after Accutane?

Once your journey with Accutane concludes, a new phase of skincare begins. Post-treatment, your skin will be sensitive and dry thanks to Accutane’s effects on your oil glands. Thus, it’s important to use gentle hydrating products, like Honeydew’s DewRx moisturizer, and sun protection. After Accutane, people often switch to a topical retinoid to reduce the risk of relapse and continue to keep their skin healthy.

You are not in this alone

An Accutane journey can be extremely nuanced. There is a lot to remember. It can be scary to undertake this treatment, no matter how badly you need it.

We understand that at Honeydew, and we’ve taken care to build a special experience with an expert care team that will guide you every step of the way.

Sign up for an initial consultation here.