accutane and pregnancy

Written by on December 30, 2005 in Accutane and Roaccutane with 2 Comments

A survey of pregnant women using isotretinoin., Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology 2005 Nov;73(11):881-7., Robertson J, Polifka JE, Avner M, Chambers C, Delevan G, Koren G, Lavigne SV, Martinez LP, Miller RK, Carey JC.

BACKGROUND: Isotretinoin is a known human teratogen, causing birth defects and/or subnormal cognitive performance in prenatally-exposed children.

METHODS: A survey was conducted among women who called teratology information services throughout North America. Using a structured questionnaire, women with an isotretinoin-exposed pregnancy were prospectively interviewed before the outcome of the pregnancy was known.

RESULTS: Almost 1/4 of the women surveyed (24%; 8/34) did not recall having contraception counseling before starting their medications. Once therapy was initiated, 62% (21/34) recalled using a birth control method, but only 29% (6/21) recalled using 2 forms of birth control, as specified by the voluntary pregnancy prevention programs. Monthly pregnancy tests were not always conducted during treatment, as recalled by the surveyed women (56%; 19/34). As many as 24% (8/34) of the women surveyed recalled that they were not screened using 2 pregnancy tests before receiving a prescription, another recommendation of the programs. Only a small number of the women (30%; 6/20) in the United States recalled being enrolled in any manufacturers’ voluntary pregnancy prevention survey.

CONCLUSIONS: Results demonstrate that essential components of voluntary pregnancy prevention programs were not consistently followed, which resulted in fetal exposures. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2005. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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2 Reader Comments

  1. elsy says:

    Before I took oral isotretinoin therapy at low-dose,I read accutane articles and mailing list who had taking accutane theraphy…and I’d made a choice took this course too. After two month course 10mg per day my face is clear from acne and oily skin. But dept in my heart I still worried about teratogenic effect,because i’m a women who childbearing potential.How long to stop using accutane before pragnancy?

  2. Hi Elsy,

    I think this is a very important question you raise. I would think the best advice would come from a qualified dermatologist as you definitely want to be sure with this sort of query !

    all the best,

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