Caffeine & Accutane

Accutane is a prescription medication used to treat severe cases of acne. Unlike some acne medications, Accutane does not appear to interact with caffeine, and both substances can generally be taken concurrently. For best results, limit your daily intake of caffeine to 200 to 300 milligrams recommended for most adults.


Accutane, also known as isotretinoin, belongs to a class of medications called retinoids 23. Its primary function is slowing the production of the natural substances and reactions that cause pimples to form. Isotretinoin is often used to treat a severe type of acne called recalcitrant nodular acne, which is generally resistant to antibiotics 3. Isotretinoin is generally taken in capsule form twice a day with meals, or as directed 3.


Caffeine can be found in foods and beverages such as chocolate, tea, soft drinks and coffee. It receives its signature buzz, or energy jolt, by interfering with fatigue sensors in the brain called adenosine receptors. While generally considered safe for most adults when taken in moderation, excess caffeine intake in amounts of 500 to 600 milligrams or more a day can cause unpleasant side effects, such as: nausea, anxiety, upset stomach or nervousness. Some individuals may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine based on factors such as age, weight, gender and medication use.


Caffeine is not listed among the 76 drugs known interfere with Accutane, according to While caffeine is not likely to interact with Accutane, alcohol and other stimulants may cause a moderate drug interaction and are discouraged from use.

Safety Concerns

An FDA warning has been released concerning the sale of Accutane over the Internet. Due to its potentially hazardous side effects, such as birth defects and depression, Accutane should only be taken under the close supervision of your doctor. If you are pregnant, you should avoid taking any isotretinoin products, as it could cause miscarriage, premature birth or death in babies 3. Other side effects attributed to Accutane include:

  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • seizures
  • stroke
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • muscle weakness