Absorica (Page 5 of 11)


7.1 Vitamin A

ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD is closely related to vitamin A. Therefore, the use of both vitamin A and ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD at the same time may lead to vitamin A related adverse reactions. Patients treated with ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD should be advised against taking supplements containing Vitamin A to avoid additive toxic effects.

7.2 Tetracyclines

Concomitant treatment with ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD and tetracyclines should be avoided because isotretinoin use has been associated with a number of cases of intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri), some of which involved concomitant use of tetracyclines [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

7.3 Phenytoin

Phenytoin is known to cause osteomalacia. No formal clinical trials have been conducted to assess if there is an interactive effect on bone loss between phenytoin and isotretinoin. Therefore, caution should be exercised when using these drugs together.

7.4 Systemic Corticosteroids

Systemic corticosteroids are known to cause osteoporosis. No formal clinical trials have been conducted to assess if there is an interactive effect on bone loss with concomitant use of systemic corticosteroids and isotretinoin. Therefore, caution should be exercised when using these drugs together.

7.5 Norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol

In a trial of 31 premenopausal female patients with severe recalcitrant nodular acne receiving norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol as an oral contraceptive agent, isotretinoin capsules within the recommended dosage, did not induce clinically relevant changes in the pharmacokinetics of ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone and in the serum levels of progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Although this study did not show any clinically significant interaction between isotretinoin and norethindrone, it is not known if there is an interaction between isotretinoin with other progestins.


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Exposure Registry

There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in patients exposed to isotretinoin during pregnancy. Report any suspected fetal exposure during or 1 month after ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy immediately to the FDA via the MedWatch telephone number 1-800-FDA-1088 and also to the iPLEDGE pregnancy registry at 1-866-495-0654 or via the internet (www.ipledgeprogram.com).

Risk Summary

ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD are contraindicated during pregnancy because isotretinoin can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant patient. There is an increased risk of major congenital malformations, spontaneous abortions, and premature births following isotretinoin exposure during pregnancy in humans. If ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus. If pregnancy occurs during treatment of a patient who is taking ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD, ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD must be discontinued immediately and the patient should be referred to an Obstetrician-Gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity for further evaluation and counseling.


Human Data

Major congenital malformations that have been documented following isotretinoin exposure include malformations of the face, eyes, ears, skull, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and thymus and parathyroid glands. External malformations include: skull; ear (including anotia, micropinna, small or absent external auditory canals); eye (including microphthalmia); facial dysmorphia and cleft palate. Internal abnormalities include: CNS (including cerebral and cerebellar malformations, hydrocephalus, microcephaly, cranial nerve deficit); cardiovascular; thymus gland; parathyroid hormone deficiency. In some cases, death has occurred as a result of the malformations.

Cases of IQ scores less than 85 with or without other abnormalities have been reported in children exposed in utero to isotretinoin. An increased risk of spontaneous abortion and premature births have been reported with isotretinoin exposure during pregnancy.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There are no data on the presence of isotretinoin in either animal or human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from isotretinoin, advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD, and for at least 8 days after the last dose of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential

All patients who can become pregnant must comply with the iPLEDGE program requirements [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Pregnancy Testing

ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD must only be prescribed to patients who are known not to be pregnant as confirmed by a negative CLIA-certified laboratory conducted pregnancy test. Patients who can become pregnant must have had two negative urine or serum pregnancy tests with a sensitivity of at least 25 mIU/mL before receiving the initial ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD prescription (the interval between the two tests must be at least 19 days).

The first test (a screening test) is obtained by the prescriber when the decision is made to prescribe ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy.
The second pregnancy test (a confirmation test) is performed after the patient has used 2 forms of contraception for 1 month and during the first 5 days of the menstrual period immediately preceding the beginning of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy (for patients with regular menstrual cycles) or immediately preceding the beginning of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy (for patients with amenorrhea, irregular cycles, or using a contraceptive method that precludes withdrawal bleeding).

A pregnancy test must be repeated each month, in a CLIA-certified laboratory prior to the patient receiving each prescription. A pregnancy test must also be completed at the end of the entire course of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy and 1 month after the discontinuation of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD.


Patients who can become pregnant must use 2 forms of contraception simultaneously, at least 1 of which must be a primary form, for at least 1 month prior to initiation of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy, during ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy, and for 1 month after discontinuing ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy. However, 2 forms of contraception is not required if the patient commits to continuous abstinence from not having any sexual contact with a partner which may result in pregnancy, has undergone a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy, or has been medically confirmed to be post-menopausal. Micro-dosed progesterone preparations (“minipills” that do not contain an estrogen) are an inadequate method of contraception during ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy.

Primary forms

Secondary forms

Tubal sterilization


Male vasectomy
male latex condom with or without spermicide
Intrauterine device
diaphragm with spermicide
Hormonal (combination oral contraceptives, vaginal systems, vaginal inserts, transdermal systems, injections, or implants)
cervical cap with spermicide


Vaginal sponge (contains spermicide)

Any birth control method can fail. There have been reports of pregnancy from patients who have used combination oral contraceptives, as well as contraceptive vaginal systems, vaginal inserts, transdermal systems, and injections; these pregnancies occurred while taking isotretinoin. These reports are more frequent for patients who use only a single method of contraception. Therefore, it is critically important that patients who can become pregnant use 2 methods of contraception simultaneously.

A clinical drug interaction study did not show any clinically significant interaction between isotretinoin and norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol; however, it is not known if there is an interaction between isotretinoin with other progestins [see

Drug Interactions (7.5)]. Prescribers are advised to consult the prescribing information of any medication administered concomitantly with hormonal contraceptives, since some medications may decrease the effectiveness of these birth control products.

Patients who can become pregnant should be prospectively cautioned not to self-medicate with the herbal supplement St. John’s Wort because of a possible interaction with hormonal contraceptives based on reports of breakthrough bleeding on oral contraceptives shortly after starting St. John’s Wort. Pregnancies have been reported by users of combined hormonal contraceptives who also used some form of St. John’s Wort.

If the patient has unprotected sexual contact with a partner that could result in pregnancy at any time 1 month before, during, or 1 month after therapy, the patient must:

Stop taking ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD immediately, if on therapy
Have a pregnancy test at least 19 days after the last act of unprotected sexual contact with a partner that could result in pregnancy
Start using 2 forms of contraception simultaneously again for 1 month before resuming ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy
Have a second pregnancy test after using 2 forms of contraception for 1 month.


In a trial of female acne patients (n = 79) receiving another isotretinoin capsule product, the mean total ovarian volume, the total antral follicle count and mean anti-Mullerian hormone decreased at the end of the treatment (sixth month). However, the values returned to normal at the 18th month (12 months after the end of treatment). There were no statistically significant changes in terms of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, both at the end of the treatment and 12 months after the end of treatment. Although the results suggest that possible deteriorative effects of isotretinoin on ovarian reserve may be reversible, the study has important methodological limitations, including a small sample size, lack of a control group, and lack of generalizability.

Sperm Study

In trials of 66 men, 30 of whom were patients with nodular acne under treatment with oral isotretinoin, no significant changes were noted in the count or motility of spermatozoa in the ejaculate. In a study of 50 men (ages 17 to 32 years) receiving isotretinoin therapy for nodular acne, no significant effects were seen on ejaculate volume, sperm count, total sperm motility, morphology or seminal plasma fructose.

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