People taking Accutane, also known as isotretinoin, must avoid UV light exposure because Accutane causes sensitivity to both sunlight and the artificial UV rays of sunlamps or tanning beds, according to Drugs.com. Sunburn can result.
Drugs.com explains that Accutane is used to treat severe nodular acne that has not responded to other treatments, such as topical creams or antibiotics. Accutane is a form of vitamin A, which causes skin to produce less oil and skin cells to turn over more rapidly.
Accutane use comes with extremely serious risks and side effects, according to Drugs.com. The risk of severe birth defects in women who become pregnant while taking Accutane is so great that all women of childbearing years must participate in a special program called iPLEDGE in order to receive the drug, agreeing to take monthly pregnancy tests and to use at least two forms of contraception before, during and after taking isotretinoin. Other serious side effects include depression, psychosis, possible suicide and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In 2009, the company making Accutane pulled it from the market in the U.S., partially due to the high cost of defending itself against personal injury lawsuits, according to Nolo. Generic forms are still available.