Accutane and Birth Defects
Women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant must not take Accutane® (isotretinoin). This prescription acne drug is extremely dangerous for use during pregnancy and is likely to cause miscarriages, birth defects, and other problems.
If Accutane is taken during pregnancy, it has a high risk for causing miscarriages and birth defects. The birth defects are usually quite severe and often result in death of the infant shortly after birth. The greatest risk for problems occurs if Accutane is taken any time within two to five weeks after conception. This means that by the time a woman discovers she is pregnant, the damage is usually already done.
You can only get a 30-day supply of Accutane at a time. Each time you need more, you will need a new prescription and a new authorization from the iPLEDGE program (the program designed to prevent birth defects caused by Accutane). If you are a woman of childbearing potential, you will need to have a negative pregnancy test every month (done by a laboratory) and must use two different forms of birth control.
(Click Accutane and Pregnancy for a more in-depth look at the potentially serious problems this medicine can cause if it is taken during pregnancy. This article also describes the strict rules and regulations used to prevent birth defects while using this medication.)