VitaminA and ultralow dose accutane


Hi AM,
How much vitamin A does an ultralow dose of 5mg isotroin equal to?i read on the net that it equals just around 20,000iu. Is it true?!Any idea?

7 Answers


Hi Kriya, what a great question! 🙂 While isotretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A, I’ve not found any studies that directly translate vitamin A to isotretinoin, because they are different things. If vitamin A is converted inside the body into isotretinoin, I’ve not explored how this pathway works, but could find references to this conversion (if there is) resulting into very tiny amounts of isotretinoin. What I did find however, is that in order to match up to the results delivered by isotretinoin, the dose of vitamin A needed would be dangerously high.


That is, a very low dose accutane may actually be safer than taking large quantities of vitamin A to control acne. An upper limit of 8000- 10,000 IU per day is generally considered safe for vitamin A.


So even if that data about 5 mg of iostretinoin translating to 20,000 IU of vitamin A is true (I’ve not found any evidence), that much of vitamin A daily isn’t safe for most people even if 5 mg of isotretinoin might be. Another thing, low doses of isotretinoin have been shown to cause a greater possibility of relapse of acne when discontinued. So 5 mg isn’t going to be very effective anyway but will still expose a person to all the risks.


Thanks AM.As always,your answer is very informative,helpful and dependable.


It is a retinoid, meaning it is related to vitamin A, and is found in small quantities naturally in the body.

So its not exactly Vitamin A. But Interesting Theory. Will definitely looks up Vitamin and Its effects on Acne.


Hi kev,
hope your skin is acne-free now:-)with isotroin.
I found people on the net posting that at 50,000 iu of vitaminA everyday,there is remarkable improvement everyday.But there is also content about a woman developing cirrhosis after having taken the same everyday for 5years.Also there are reports about a man having taken 300,000iu(yes 300,not 30)for 7years before becoming bedridden. Its defenitely toxic.i guess the safest max one can go upto is 10,000-15000iu which wil not make a drastic improvement in acne,but does make a small difference.


@kriya i ve been on tetracycline for more than a month and i see 80-90% reduction in derma prescribed me this when i didn’t want to has serious side-effects like isotertnoin, but chances of them to occur are lesser compared  isotretinoin.

you can refer if you are interested.

have a good day!


Hi @bargavi-ramachandran,

I have taken tetracyclines atleast 10 times in the past twenty years! It does work, but like wit all antibiotics,loses its efficiency, after its stopped..The bottom line is , if its hormonal acne, nothing  can eradicate it.Medications, both oral and topical, can control it to an extent..Hopefully something might come up that will give as miraculous results as isotroin but will not be toxic, so, that it can be used indefenitely.


Sorry @kriya 🙁 .seems it doesn’t work for everyone.but i don’t ve efficiency problem. i ve already stopped them for 15 days and observed my’s is alright.hope you find a solution soon.

Good Luck!

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