Accutane Side Effects and Male Fertility

ben bunting BA(Hons) PgCert Sport & Exercise Nutriton  Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.


Is there any evidence that Accutane affects male fertility? The use of Isotretinoin metabolites in acne drugs is controversial, so a complete understanding of the risks of Accutane therapy on male fertility is essential. Also, read on to learn about the potential for birth defects and other potential issues.

What is Accutane?

Accutane is a powerful drug used to treat severe acne, skin cancer and other forms of cancer. It is actual a form of vitamin A. It is so powerful that just a few months of use can clear the most persistent systic acne (nodular acne).

However, it is't without risk.

Accutane can cause organ damage, such as the liver and pancreas. Additionally, it can affect the eye, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. Your doctor will closely monitor your blood lipids and sugar levels to make sure your condition is safe and not a serious side effect.

The drug can cause serious birth defects in a fetus, which is why it is contraindicated during pregnancy. Accutane is a teratogen, and carries a black box pregnancy warning. Birth defects associated with Accutane include cleft palate, hydrocephaly, and underdeveloped brains. Other risks during pregnancy include premature birth, miscarriage, and the death of the fetus.

When it comes to the dosage of Accutane, it's important to note that the medication is often prescribed in doses of 40 to 60 milligrams per day. However, if you're not taking it in the correct manner, you may experience esophageal irritation. This medication should be swallowed without chewing or sucking. Taking Accutane with food or milk is recommended, but you must continue to take it for the full duration of the prescribed time.

Male fertility

There are mixed results regarding Accutane and male fertility. Researchers have found no consistent correlation between isotretinoin and sperm concentrations. The positive effects of Accutane on male fertility, however, were observed in the first study in men with severe acne vulgaris. Testosterone levels were not affected and no change in the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinizing hormone was found.

In this study, 19 men were included and had 80% power to detect a 33% increase in sperm concentration between the baseline and the end of the treatment period. The drop-out rate was 10%. Further studies are needed to confirm the findings of the study. In the meantime, Accutane can help women achieve conception and keep it. This study will be continued to assess the safety and efficacy of Accutane.

Isotretinoin metabolites

A recent study evaluated the effects of systemic isotretinoin ( an accutane brand name) on male fertility. The drug was administered to male acne vulgaris patients for 6 months and spermiogram parameters were measured to assess possible effects on male fertility. During this time, the patient's testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels were also monitored. The positive results from these tests did not show any significant changes.

When given to a female patient, isotretinoin metabolites have a long half-life, ranging from 15.7 hours to 23.1 hours. These metabolites are excreted in the urine and feces. The drug should be administered only to women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. It can cause birth defects if injected into a pregnant woman.

Isotretinoin metabolite is a precursor to other isotretinoin products, such as tretinoin. In humans, isotretinoin is a strong antioxidant that boosts the body's production of vitamin A. Its metabolites are similar to those of vitamin A and are therefore effective in increasing testosterone levels in men.

Isotretinoin is heavily bound to plasma proteins, including albumin. The volume of distribution in the blood of isotretinoin has not been determined in man. Since isotretinoin is not available in a human intravenous preparation, little information has been available regarding its tissue distribution. Serum and epidermis contain half of the drug, and plasma levels are approximately 1.7 times higher than those in whole blood.

Systemic corticosteroids

Infertile men treated with systemic corticosteroids may improve their chances of conceiving with their partner. Studies have found similar success rates with ICSI compared to natural intercourse or IVF in men with ASAs. But some of these results may be misleading. For example, some men treated with ASAs have high sperm fusion, while others may not have a good enough sperm fusion rate to be useful for assisted reproductive technology.

➡️READ: Natural treatments for male infertility

Some men may be at risk of osteoporosis if they take high doses of corticosteroids. However, low doses of these compounds may improve male fertility. A study published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy concluded that oral corticosteroids may increase the risk of osteoporosis. While there are no conclusive studies to back this claim, some researchers think that a low dose of vitamins C and E may be beneficial.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus

COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 have been found to be associated with male reproductive health. COVID-19 is known to be a male-reproductive virus that affects testicular tissue. Infected men with COVID-19 have decreased sperm quality and a declining sex hormone level. Testicular tissue showed signs of infection at autopsy. SARS-CoV-1, mumps, and Zika (ZIKV) viruses have all shown adverse effects on male fertility. Long-term surveillance and studies will be required to determine if and how systemic corticosteroids may affect male fertility.


There is little evidence to back up claims that some drugs may affect male fertility, and even fewer studies have been done to summarize this. The only real exceptions are cancer treatments and certain types of anti-aging products. It is important to note that each molecule in question and each risk factor must be evaluated carefully to avoid causing permanent harm to a patient's reproductive system. In addition, this study only includes medications that have a high level of scientific proof.

Women of childbearing potential should avoid pregnancy and use 2 forms of effective contraception while on Accutane therapy. Additionally, patients should not engage in heterosexual intercourse for at least one month after stopping treatment. Furthermore, patients should see their prescribing physicians every month for prenatal checks and should have a pregnancy test. 

Accutane may cause a number of external and internal abnormalities, including thymus gland and parathyroid hormone deficiency. Certain abnormalities may even lead to death. Women should stop taking Accutane immediately if they become pregnant. Pregnant women should also seek the advice of an Obstetrician-Gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity before taking any medications.