Isotretinoin, which is used to treat acne, was found to develop eye problems. According to a study conducted in Israel.

Apart from causing eye problems it is also known to cause bone growth delays in teenagers and miscarriage and birth defects. Isotretinoin is known by its many brand names which include Roaccutane, Claravis and Amnesteem. Major side effects and warnings about Isotretinion are given in the website ‘drugenquirer’.

In a new study involving 15,000 Israeli adolescents and young adults, it was found that 14 percent of participants taking isotretinoin were treated for eye conditions within a year of starting the drug compared to 7 percent of acne-free group and 9.6 percent of participants with acne who had never taken isotretinoin.

"I would give parents the advice to (have their children) see an ophthalmologist before they take it, and every three months for the first year they take it, because if we catch things early we can fix them and not leave you with permanent side effects," Dr. Rick Fraunfelder, a professor at Oregon Health and Science University and an expert in eye problems related to medications told Reuters.

Researchers at the Tel Aviv Medical Center (one of Israel’s largest and most progressive full-service healthcare treatment and research institutions) to study how isotrtinoin causes eye problems, collected information on users and non-users from the records of a large managed-care organization.

“Each year about one percent of adolescents in the Maccabi Healthcare Services system start isotretinoin treatment to clear up their acne,” Gabriel Chodick, a researcher at Tel Aviv University told Reuters.

The study conducted by Tel Aviv University showed 2000 people developing inflammatory eye. Their average age was 16. The predominant eye disease among this group was pink eye.

“One likely explanation for the increased risk of eye problems is that isotretinoin can disrupt the function of the meibomian glands on the eyelids,” Chodick told Reuters. "In addition, the presence of isotretinoin and its metabolites in the tear film may have a direct irritating effect on the (eye's) surface," he added.

"Many of the adverse effects of systemic isotretinoin can be avoided or minimized if proper measures are introduced with, or soon after, introducing the drug." Chodick told Reuters.

"The beneficial preventive and therapeutic effects of using artificial tears should be discussed with the patients, especially for contact lens wearers, it's a relatively dangerous drug. The best way to avoid these side effects is if you do not take the drug at all." Chodick told Reuters.

Despite its potential hazards, the drug is still worth it for some patients, Chodick told Reuters.

The study was detailed in the April issue of ‘Archives of Dermatology.’