Whenever you regularly take a substance, whether it’s a prescription drug, an over-the-counter medicine or an herbal supplement, there is the potential for side effects. This is particularly true when you mix many medicines and supplements taken with alcohol.

One specific area of interest for a  lot of people is alcohol and Accutane. Is it ok to drink alcohol while on Accutane?

The following provides an overview of what you should know about Accutane in general, as well as alcohol and Accutane.

What is Accutane?

Before looking at the possible interactions between alcohol and Accutane, and alcohol and Accutane potential side effects, what is Accutane?

Accutane is a very powerful acne treatment drug, and within around four to five months it usually clears acne. Because of its potency, Accutane is very effective in treating many different types of acne ranging from moderate to severe, and it’s often prescribed for people who have tried other options with no success.

With that being said, Accutane does have side effects not only related to alcohol and Accutane used together, but also in general.

Accutane is a derived from Vitamin A, but it’s a safer alternative to trying to take large amounts of Vitamin A, which would end up building up in your tissue and could become dangerous.

For around 50 percent of people who take Accutane, it completely clears up their acne, and for the rest, there’s usually a significant improvement, although they may need additional treatments every few months.

People are instructed to take this medicine with food to help with absorption, and higher doses are usually more effective, but can also lead to more side effects including interactions with alcohol and Accutane. At low doses, people usually don’t experience any side effects.

At high doses regardless of whether you’re combining alcohol and Accutane, side effects can include dry skin and itching, nosebleeds, joint and muscle pain, irritation of the eyes and eyelids, and in some people less common symptoms like an increased sensitivity to the sun, and headaches.

What Should You Know About Alcohol and Accutane?

With it being such a potent medicine, what should you know about alcohol and Accutane and is it ok to drink while on Accutane?

In general, the answer is no, alcohol and Accutane are probably not a safe combination, particularly if you drink large amounts.

Accutane can have side effects related to the liver and liver toxicity in rare cases, and if you combine alcohol and Accutane, you could increase the chances of these dangerous side effects. Also, combining alcohol and Accutane can alter lipid levels in your blood, which can also be problematic.

Some doctors may say that alcohol and Accutane are okay together if you drink very moderately, but when your doctor looks at your medical history, they may say alcohol and Accutane should definitely not be combined. It will really be based on your medical history, including any relevant information from blood tests as well as the health of your liver.

For example, if you have some level of liver problems before you take the medicine your doctor will likely recommend absolutely no combining of alcohol and Accutane.

Another factor that determines the relationship between alcohol and Accutane is whether or not you’re taking any other medicines that might impact your liver. If you are, this is another situation in which your doctor will probably say not to combine alcohol and Accutane.

With alcohol and Accutane, along with possible liver toxicity problems you may also experience side effects like redness or tingling of the skin, nausea, vomiting, and a rapid heart rate.

With alcohol and Accutane, and Accutane, in general, it’s important that you tell your doctor about all other substances you take. This includes not only drugs, alcohol or other prescriptions, but also things like supplements and vitamins.

So, to sum up the big question regarding alcohol and Accutane, is it okay to drink alcohol while on Accutane? Your doctor may say a little alcohol is okay when you’re on Accutane, but these instructions should only come from your physician. The relationship between Accutane and alcohol is based primarily on the individual, their health and liver function, and other medicines they may be taking.

If you’re unsure, you should always speak with your doctor about alcohol and Accutane or any other possible interactions.

What Else Should You Know About Accutane?

Along with knowing about possible interactions between alcohol and Accutane, there are a few other things to know.

First, one of the biggest risks of Accutane is becoming pregnant while on it, because it can cause serious damage to the fetus.

Also many of the most common side effects including dryness can be solved with the use of moisturizer and SPF, and in some cases with Accutane, acne may get worse before it gets better.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.