Posted by Claudia Grazioso on March 21, 2011
Years ago, a friend of mine decided to go on Accutane for acne she felt had destroyed her self-esteem. Though she had been hoping to have children, she suspended her efforts for a few years. In fact, I think she even had to sign something saying her doctor had advised her to avoid becoming pregnant.
At the time I thought maybe she was just slightly overreacting. It seems we hear almost every other day about something that “might”cause problems during pregnancy. But it turns out my friend wasn’t overreacting at all. If you are pregnant or think you might become pregnant, it’s very simple: STAY AWAY FROM ACCUTANE.
A teratogenic chemical agent, Accutane is labeled a Category X drug, meaning it’s recognized as being able to cause birth defects. And not just able: About 25 to 35 percent of babies born to mothers who took Accutane while pregnant are born with actual birth defects. And that number may be even higher, as there are some birth defects, like hearing and visual impairment and learning disabilities, that might not be apparent until later in life.
Accutane, known by its generic name as isotretinoin, is used to treat acute acne. The most common birth defects associated with its use are facial dysmorphism, including missing or malformed ear lobes, hydrocephaly (fluid buildup in the brain) and heart defects.
Probably after reading the above, you would also veer away from taking Accutane while you’re breast-feeding. That’s probably a smart choice. Of course, the official jury is still out on the safety of taking Accutane while breast feeding, but Mom Wisdom should tell you that until it has been proven incredibly safe – probably years from now, if ever – you should forego taking Accutane while nursing. It is likely that Accutane can get into breast milk. Accutane is a retinoid. Retinoids are related to Vitamin A, and Vitamin A is known to be in breast milk. Chances are there that it could be present in breast milk, and that it could be harmful to your infant.
There are so many things you have to worry about as a new mom. So many things you have to consider and then reconsider. But for Accutane, take a big red pen and draw a line through it. It’s a no.