Accutane (isotretinoin) also known as Claravis, Sotret, Amnesteem, Absorica, Zenatane is an very powerful medicine for the treatment of severe, recalcitrant acne. Most patients who begin this medicine have tried many other treatments, including a variety of topical medications, oral antibiotics , and in the case of women, birth control pills, and spironolactone. This medication is highly regulated by the government and has a complicated set of rules that must be followed. This summary helps to give you an overview. A complete detailed description may be found in the IPLEDGE program booklet or on the website.
When the patient first starts accutane there first visit they need to have the following done in the office:
- Fill out all of the accutane forms including there information and the consent form. The patient must have the last 4 digits of their social security number because without it they cannot be logged into the IPLEDGE system
- If the patient is a female of child bearing potential (FCBP) then she will need to take a urine pregnancy test in the office. FBCP also must decide on a form a birth control. While on accutane it is very important not to get pregnant because the drug can cause severe birth defects for the baby.
- Before leaving patients need to schedule appointments for the next 5 months at least 30 days apart and no more then 37 days apart.
For Female patients of child bearing potential they must go thru a 30 day waiting period after the first negative pregnancy test before receiving the drug. After receiving the prescription and having been logged into the IPLEDGE system each patient (Male and Female) has a 7 day window to go pick up the prescription. For female patients of child bearing potential if they miss the first 7 day window they will then be locked out of the system for the next 19 days, unless they have a new pregnancy test, which must be negative. If a male does miss the 7 day window (for FCBP after there first initial prescription) they just need to be re-issued a prescription. For FCBP patients both the prescriber and patient will need to re-do the qualification process.
30 Day Supply
All Accutane patients must be seen every 30 days because prescriptions are limited to a 30 day supply monthly. If for some reason the patient can not come on the 30th day it is better for them to come after the 30 days then before the 30 days. Patients cannot be logged into the IPLEDGE system until it has been at least 30 days. Also keep in mind the 7 day window to pick up the prescription. FCBP can be seen earlier 30 days but there lab work has to be done after the 30 days to be logged into the system.
For FCBP before they can go to the pharmacy to pick up there prescription they must log onto the IPLEDGE website and answer the questions. Male patients and Female patients not of child bearing potential do not have to log into the website.