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How can taking oral isotretinoin affect my bones?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
Rarely, long-term oral retinoid therapy may be complicated by skeletal changes, including osteoporosis and other conditions. One study concluded that a loss of bone density occurred as a direct effect of retinoids on bone. Other reports indicate bone changes on oral isotretinoin, such as bone fractures or delayed healing. These are changes that are more typically found in patients on higher doses of the drug than used for the typical acne patient or for those in whom high doses are used over longer periods of time than usual.

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