Accutane and alcohol are not considered to be a safe combination, especially for those who are heavy or binge drinkers. Accutane can have adverse side effects related to the liver. Alcohol is also notorious for causing severe, possibly life-threatening, injury to this organ. If you mix the two, you could increase the risk of incurring liver damage.
Accutane (Isotretinoin) can also increase the amount of lipids (also known as triglycerides) in the blood. High triglycerides can result in pancreatitis, and the risk is significantly increased when alcohol is consumed in addition to Accutane.
Along with possible liver toxicity, individuals may also experience adverse side effects from combining Accutane with alcohol, such as tenderness or redness of the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, and elevated heart rate.
Some health providers may state that it’s reasonable to combine the two substances if you consume alcohol in moderation. Still, his or her assessment will be based on your medical history, including your liver health and any other substances you’re using. For instance, if you have a history of liver disease or other problems, your health provider will probably recommend avoiding the use of either substance as both can cause further damage to the liver.
If you are taking any other medications that might affect the liver, your doctor may recommend that you do not mix the two. It is vital that you inform your health provider about all other substances you take, including things like supplements and vitamins, and to be honest about your alcohol consumption.
What Is Accutane?
Accutane is a powerful acne treatment drug, a retinoid derived from Vitamin A. It’s a safer alternative than taking large doses of Vitamin A, which ends up accumulating in bodily tissues and could become dangerous. It usually clears up acne within 4-5 months.
Vitamin A toxicity can be acute or chronic. Both types commonly cause headaches and increased intracranial pressure. Acute toxicity often results in nausea and vomiting. Chronic toxicity causes changes in skin, hair, and nails, as well as abnormal liver test results and, in a fetus, congenital disabilities. Diagnosis is usually clinical. Unless birth defects are present, altering the dose almost always leads to complete recovery.
Due to its potency, Accutane is very effective in treating many forms of acne from moderate to severe, and it’s often prescribed for individuals who have tried other less-intensive options without success.
Accutane will completely clear up acne within four months for around 85 percent of persons who take it as directed. For the rest, acne typically clears after a more extended treatment course, sometimes taking up to a year.
Accutane can have some side effects, including those related to taking it in conjunction with alcohol use. Individuals are instructed to take this medicine with food to aid in absorption. Higher doses are typically more effective but can also result in more side effects.
In high doses, side effects may include:
- Dry skin and itching
- Joint and muscle pain
- Irritation of eyes/eyelids
Some persons can experience less common symptoms such as increased light sensitivity and headaches.
Accutane and Pregnancy
One of the most significant risks is becoming pregnant while using Accutane because it can cause severe damage to the fetus. Persons prescribed Accutane are required to complete additional paperwork that confirms they have been informed of the risk of congenital deformities and that they must use two forms of birth control while using Accutane.
Binge drinking is defined as having more than five-six standard drinks in an episode for women and men, respectively.
One drink equals 1.5 oz of liquor, 5 oz of wine, or 12 oz of beer or hard seltzer.
The signs of an alcohol use disorder typically include the following:
- An uncontrollable urge to drink
- Lack of control over how much alcohol is consumed
- Negative thoughts and feelings when not consuming alcohol
- Drinking in risky or dangerous situations
- Drinking that interferes with the enjoyment of other once-enjoyed hobbies and activities
- Continuing to drink despite related problems incurred
- Neglect of formerly important activities or obligations or engaging in them less often due to alcohol use
Getting Treatment for Alcoholism
If you believe you have an alcohol abuse problem, you are urged to seek professional treatment as soon as possible in the form of intensive addiction treatment on a long-term basis. Research has shown that individuals who undergo comprehensive treatment have better outcomes, including longer sustainment of sobriety and the ability to identify triggers and manage cravings to prevent relapse.
Just Believe Recovery center offers programs that feature a multifaceted, evidence-based approach to substance abuse and other mental health conditions. Therapeutic services we offer include the following:
- Behavioral therapy
- 12-step group support
- Individual/family counseling
- Substance abuse education
- Health and wellness education
- Relapse prevention
- Meditation and yoga
- Aftercare planning