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Accutane Embryopathy

What is Accutane Embryopathy?

Accutane Embryopathy, also known as, Fetal Retinoid Syndrome, covers a specific characteristic presentation of mental and physical birth defects that results from the mother’s use of retinoids, like the drug isotretinoin, which Accutane was the most popular, during pregnancy. Isotretinoin and other retinoids are used to treat a specific type of severe acne.

What are the symptoms of Accutane Embryopathy?

Common symptoms of Accutane Embryopathy can vary dramatically from patient to patient, but may include the following:
  • Growth delays before and after birth
  • Skull and facial malformations
  • Cardiac abnormalities
  • Abnormalities of the central nervous system
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What causes Accutane Embryopathy?

Maternal use of retinoids (a synthetic version vitamin A), like the drug isotretinoin during pregnancy. Isotretinoin and other retinoids are used to treat a specific type of severe acne. There are warning labels on the other isotretinoin drugs, as Accutane is no longer marketed.

How is Accutane Embryopathy diagnosed?

The heart defects, fluid on the brain and other abnormalities of the face and skull can be detected by prenatal ultra sound. Secondly, if the patient’s medical history includes the use of Accutane or other retinoids during the first three months of pregnancy, an accurate diagnosis can be reached. And finally, the physical abnormalities are easily recognized after the baby has been born.

What are the treatments for Accutane Embryopathy?

The focus of treatment for Accutane Embryopathy is based on supporting the patient. Since the presentation can vary wildly from patient to patient, patient care is directed towards the specific symptoms that are presented by each individual patient. Some of the infants born with Accutane Embryopathy will have cardiac issues and an evaluation by a pediatric cardiologist will be necessary. In some cases, surgery might be required. Some of the infants may have fluid build up on the brain and they will require a shunt after the birth. Behavioral counseling as well as speech therapy is required for these patients.

Where can I find out more about Accutane Embryopathy?

Accutane Embryopathy Articles