A drug derived from vitamin A used in the treatment of severe acne. It works by reducing the formation of sebum (natural skin oils) and keratin (a tough protein that is the major component of the outer layer of skin). Side effects include itching, dryness and flaking of the skin, and cracking of the lips. Isotretinoin may damage a developing fetus; pregnancy must be avoided during treatment and for at least 3 months after taking the drug. Regular blood tests are recommended to check for complications.


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