Accutane is one of the most popular drugs among people trying to lose weight. The clear alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) derivative is an oral medication that was originally approved in 1968 for the treatment of severe acne vulgaris and used mainly in adolescents. Because of its effectiveness in helping with weight loss, many people are interested in using Accutane to help them lose weight. However, is this really possible? Can you lose weight while on Accutane?
It is true that Accutane promotes weight loss in some people. According to a 2016 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, patients taking Accutane for at least six months had a weight loss of 2.5 to 4.5 kg (5.5 to 9.9 lbs) compared to those who were on placebo. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2014 showed that people taking Accutane for malignant melanoma had a better prognosis if they had lost weight prior to starting treatment.
How Does Accutane Work?
Like many medications, the mechanism of action of Accutane is not fully understood. However, it is known that the medication interferes with the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids in cells. In particular, Accutane blocks the enzyme that is responsible for synthesizing cholesterol in the liver. This particular function makes Accutane very useful in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In addition, Accutane has also been shown to increase the activity of an enzyme known as lipoprotein lipase, which breaks down triglycerides (fats) in the liver. This helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood and can also lead to weight loss.
Is There Anything I Should Watch Out For On Accutane?
Although there is no specific advice for people taking Accutane, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on any unexpected weight loss. This is because there are some very dangerous consequences that you might experience if you lose a significant amount of weight while on the medication. These include:
- fading of vision
- difficulty speaking
- increased risk of suicide
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult your doctor as soon as possible. He or she will be able to tell you if these are side effects of Accutane or if you are experiencing a medical crisis due to a severe weight loss.
When Can You Start Expecting Results From The Weight Loss Benefits Of Accutane?
It usually takes a few months for the full benefits of Accutane to be noticed by patients. In the 2016 study mentioned previously, the researchers examined the effects of taking the medication for six months and then followed up with patients for another six months. The results showed that the initial weight loss was maintained throughout the entire year thanks to continued medication use.
Some people who take Accutane report significant results after just one month of treatment and continue to lose weight even up to a year later. However, everyone is different and some people may require a longer period of time to start seeing benefits from the medication. It is important to note that the effectiveness of Accutane is not permanent and will begin to deteriorate after a couple of years. This is why it is always a good idea to continue taking the medication even after you begin to lose weight. Doing so can help to maintain this weight loss for as long as possible.
Who Is It Safe For?
Accutane is a very safe medication and has been approved by the FDA for use in people of all ages. However, it is important to note that there are some medical conditions where it might not be the best choice. These include:
- gastrointestinal problems
- liver disease
- cardiovascular disease
If you have any of these conditions, it is best to avoid using Accutane. However, as mentioned previously, it is a safe and effective medication for many others. It is a good idea to consult your doctor to find out if this medication is right for you.
When Should You Not Take It?
Although there are no specific guidelines regarding when it is best for you to start taking Accutane, it is always a bad idea to take the medication if you are pregnant or nursing. Similarly, people with a history of Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, or mental illness should also avoid this medication due to the possible side effects. As mentioned previously, there is also the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in people taking Accutane. This is why it is always a bad idea to take this medication if you or a family member are at risk of suicide.
In conclusion, although the science is not fully understood, Accutane has been proven to be an effective medication for weight loss. In particular, it has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and to increase fat metabolism. As a result, it is possible for some people to lose significant amounts of weight while on Accutane. However, it is always a good idea to keep an eye out for any unexpected weight loss and to remember the possible side effects and cautions that come with this medication.