Accutane (isotretinoin) also known as Claravis, Sotret, Amnesteem, Absorica, and Zenatane is a powerful medication for the treatment of severe, recalcitrant acne. Most patients who begin this medication 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. A complete detailed description may be found in the IPLEDGE program booklet or on the website.
Before a patient begins Accutane, during the first visit the following needs to be completed in office:
- Fill out all of the Accutane forms including, patient information and 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 and may 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.
- Before leaving, a series of appointments should be scheduled for the next 5 months at least 30 days apart and no more then 37 days apart.
Female patients of child bearing age must go thru a 30 day waiting period after the first negative pregnancy test before receiving Accutane. After receiving the prescription and having been logged into the IPLEDGE system each patient (male and female) has a 7 day window to pick up the prescription. If female patients of child bearing miss the first 7 day window they will then be locked out of the system for the next 19 days, unless they take a new pregnancy test, which must be negative. If a male patient misses the 7 day window (for FCBP after their first initial prescription) they 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. If the patient can not be seen on the 30th day, it is better for them to come in after 30 days than before. Patients cannot be logged into the IPLEDGE system until it has been at least 30 days. Also keep in mind there is a 7 day window to pick up the prescription. FCBP can be seen before 30 days but lab work needs to be completed after 30 days to be logged into the system.
FCBP may pick up their prescription after they log into the IPLEDGE website and answer questions. Male patients and female patients not of child bearing potential do not have to log into the website.