Taking Accutane can definitely make your day-to-day decisions more challenging, no matter how small they might’ve seemed before starting the medication.
Now, I get it. There’s so much fuss around this medication, and not without a good reason; however, not everything you do while taking Accutane will necessarily hurt you.
And this can be said about taking supplements while on this medication, as supplementing with some vitamins can truly make the Accutane experience easier and relieve some of the side effects associated with its use.
Therefore, in this article, I will talk about the best vitamins to take while on Accutane, as well as some other supplements that can help you cope with the cutaneous side effects of this medication.
What is Accutane & How Does it Work?
Accutane is the brand name for the medication known as isotretinoin, an oral medication used to treat severe acne on the face and body.
It is also commonly prescribed to people whose acne has resisted previous treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide, adapalene, and antibiotics, as well as those dealing with severe acne in larger areas such as the chest and back.
Accutane inhibits the function of the oil-producing glands by reducing the gland’s size, thus reducing the amount of oil produced and essentially reducing acne since acne is caused by the buildup of oil in the pores that has led to bacteria overgrowth.
Should You Take Vitamins & Supplements While on Accutane?
Vitamins and supplements can help relieve some side effects associated with Accutane, such as excessive skin dryness, headaches, joint pain, and even anxiety and depressive moods.
However, this is generally a sensitive topic and one that should be approached with caution, as while some dermatologists encourage their patients to take certain supplements, others advise against them.
Therefore, it is always best to consult with your health provider who prescribed you Accutane and knows your medical history if you want to take a supplement while doing your Accutane course.
On the other hand, it should be known that some herbals and supplements, while they might not directly interfere with the absorption and effects of Accutane, might interfere with the effects of birth control taken by women along with Accutane, since this medication is a highly teratogenic one and can cause severe birth defects if pregnancy occurs while taking it.
Now, below, I am going to mention the ten best vitamins that studies have deemed safe to be taken along Accutane, but as always, it’s best to consult with your health provider as to which vitamins and supplements, if any, you should take while on Accutane, especially if one of these catches your eye and you want to try it out.
Additionally, note that taking supplements is only necessary when you are deficient in certain vitamins, so while some of these may help, most of them shouldn’t be taken long-term and on a daily basis, as they can, in some cases, lead to toxicity if taken regularly or, in the best case scenario, your body will eliminate them without absorbing them, which will result in essentially spending money on an expensive pee.
So, with all that said, let’s get to the main portion of the article.
The Best Vitamins & Supplements to Take While on Accutane
Here are some of the best vitamins and supplements to take while on Accutane:
Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins to take while on Accutane due to its ability to regenerate skin tissue and aid in healing.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and can help reduce inflammation in the body caused by Accutane-induced oxidative stress, which can lead to other health issues such as liver disease.
Multiple studies have shown that taking Accutane or any isotretinoin brand for a prolonged period can decrease the body’s vitamin D levels.
As we know, vitamin D is important as it helps with calcium absorption, cell growth, and inflammation.
Therefore, taking a vitamin D supplement while on Accutane can help keep your levels steady and even counteract the adverse effects of isotretinoin on the body, especially joint pain.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and boost the body’s immune system.
As Accutane can cause increased inflammation and a weakened immune system, supplementing with vitamin E can be beneficial while on the drug and promote a healing effect.
Additionally, vitamins E and D play well together, so if you take vitamin D while on Accutane, adding vitamin E can further enhance these benefits.
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and healthy bone formation, and while this supplement isn’t essential while on Accutane, it may be beneficial to take occasionally.
Studies have shown that in addition to helping with bone and muscle strength, vitamin K can also help reduce the risk of joint pain and nosebleeds, which are symptoms many Accutane users experience.
Omega-3 is one of the most important supplements to take while on Accutane, as in addition to helping reduce inflammation, it can also help promote healthy skin and reduce Accutane-induced dryness.
Additionally, some Accutane users experience an increase in blood triglycerides while taking the medication, which can be a risk factor for heart disease, and there is strong evidence that omega-3s can significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels and promote heart health.
Zinc is an essential trace element that performs important regulatory functions in different cells, including skin cells or keratinocytes.
Zinc abnormalities and deficiency have long been linked to skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis, so supplementing with zinc while on Accutane can help ensure your body gets the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Additionally, zinc can also help with the absorption, transportation, and utilization of vitamin A, which is essentially what Accutane is, which can help ensure your body is getting the most out of the medication.
Finally, zinc can also help relieve some Accutane side effects, such as excessive irritation, inflammation, redness, and sensitivity.
Selenium is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins that help make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections.
Selenium is also a trace mineral and is only needed in small amounts to perform these important processes in our bodies.
Therefore, while supplementing with selenium is generally unnecessary, as we can easily get the needed amount through foods like nuts and fish, it may be beneficial to take a small selenium supplement while on Accutane because it has been shown that birth control pills, which are a compulsory part of the Accutane regime, can reduce your body’s selenium levels, which can, in turn, affect your health, skin health, and mental well-being as some of the main symptoms of selenium deficiency are anxiety, depressed mood, and lightheadedness.
Additionally, some studies have shown that while Accutane increases oxidative stress and inflammation in the body by raising enzymes and lipids that could lead to heart and liver diseases, selenium is an antioxidant that can counter these adverse effects.
Therefore, adding selenium to your supplement regimen and taking it every few days for a short period while on Accutane may be beneficial.
Collagen supplements are a controversial topic nowadays, with many swearing by their benefits while others think taking them is a complete waste of time and money.
That said, while collagen supplements won’t take years off your face, they can be beneficial for those on Accutane, as they can help provide the body with amino acids, which are the necessary building blocks of proteins that can help in the building of joint cartilage and relieve joint pain for Accutane users.
Collagen supplements can also provide the body with some anti-inflammatory benefits thanks to containing a high amount of glycine, a component known for its ability to act on inflammatory cells such as macrophages to suppress activation of transportation factors and the formation of free radicals and inflammatory cytokines in the body.
Therefore, while taking collagen supplements while on Accutane isn’t absolutely necessary, they can be beneficial and are worth considering, especially because they won’t hurt and are generally unproblematic when taking them along with other supplements and vitamins.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a compound the body produces naturally that produces energy the cells use to grow and stay healthy.
Additionally, Coenzyme Q10 can also be beneficial when taken as a supplement as it can help the body fight off oxidative stress, an imbalance between free radicals, and the body’s ability to counteract them, which Accutane can induce.
Furthermore, some studies suggest that supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 while on Accutane has shown beneficial in relieving dry skin associated with the use of the medication, while others have shown that it can be beneficial in reducing the risk of heart and liver disease associated with Accutane use.
Finally, N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is beneficial in helping the body produce glutathione, which is an antioxidant that can help protect the body against oxidative damage while at the same time aiding in liver detoxification and helping reduce Accutane-induced inflammation.
Additionally, NAC is generally beneficial for skin health and can be taken on its own even if you’re not on Accutane or have finished your course of medication to maintain clear and healthy skin.
What Vitamins Should You Not Take While on Accutane?
The only supplements you should avoid while on Accutane are those that contain vitamin A.
Accutane is a super concentrated dose of vitamin A, so adding another similar supplement will increase your risk of experiencing side effects, such as Accutane overdose, liver damage, and birth defects.
Therefore, it’s important to avoid taking supplements that contain vitamin A while on Accutane, and if you’re unsure whether a supplement does or doesn’t contain vitamin A, it’s always best to thoroughly check the ingredient list of the supplements you are buying or consult with the seller and your health provider to make sure you’re not taking more than is necessary.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
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