By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are numerous treatments for acne but when these treatments fail and cases are considered to be extremely difficult to control, Accutane is one of the most effective tools that dermatologists have at their disposal. But if it is so good…why wait?

Accutane is left as a last resort because it is a very potent but potentially dangerous drug. In addition to affecting blood levels of triglycerides and potentially leading to mood swings and sluggishness, the drug can cause severe birth defects in babies of women who take it while pregnant.

That is why the FDA “I Pledge” program has been established.

It is designed to register women of child-bearing age who use the drug Accutane and its generic versions, the requirement is to have a pregnancy test before getting a prescription.

Your dermatologist can discuss all of this and is very familiar with its use.

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