Accutane is an oral medication used to treat the most severe form of acne that has not been alleviated by other treatments, including antibiotics. This nodular acne is characterized by red, swollen, tender lumps which can be the size of a pencil eraser or larger. Left untreated, this type of acne can lead to permanent scars. The use of Accutane can have serious and even permanent side effects. The most significant of these include mental health problems and, if the medication is taken by a pregnant woman, birth defects. In a few cases, Accutane use has been linked to suicide.
The company that makes Accutane, along with the Food and Drug Administration, has developed guidelines for prescribing this medication that went in to effect April 2002. These guidelines require training for the prescribing providers; trained providers are issued special stickers which must be attached to all Accutane prescriptions. In addition, prescriptions must be filled within 7 days of being written. If your provider agrees, an out of state prescription can be filled in Washington as long as it is requested within the 7 day time limit.
Health staff at CHWS feel that students on this medication need to be seen by a specialist who has received training to prescribe Accutane. Students taking Accutane need to be seen by a dermatologist every month. The course of treatment usually runs 4-6 months. Students can have required lab work done at CHWS and can obtain contraception at CHWS (required for females on Accutane). We will provide documentation of these services to the prescribing dermatologist, with the student's permission.
Here is a list of local dermatologists who are accepting new patients:
Multiple locations: Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, Auburn
929 East Main Ave. Puyallup, WA
1901 South Union Ave. B-2003, Tacoma, WA
You will need to call 1-2 months in advance to schedule an appointment. Consider asking your dermatologist at home for a referral to a provider in the Puget Sound area. You might also consider scheduling your Accutane treatment so that you can follow up and complete it with your prescribing provider at home.