The drug isotretinoin (Accutane) is related to vitamin A. It is used to treat severe acne.

Trade Name: Accutane

Vitamin A

Probable Harmful Interaction

Both vitamin A and isotretinoin can cause toxic symptoms if taken in excess. It is presumed likely that simultaneous use of vitamin A and isotretinoin would tend to amplify the risk. For this reason, people using isotretinoin should not take vitamin A at doses higher than the recommended daily allowance; in fact, because most people get enough vitamin A from the diet, it might be preferable to take no vitamin A supplements at all. (Supplements that use beta-carotene to supply vitamin A are probably safe.)

St. John’s Wort

Indirect Harmful Interaction

Because isotretinoin can cause birth defects, women who use it are often advised to take oral contraceptives (birth control pills). The herb St. John’s wort is thought to interact with birth control pills and reduce their effectiveness, raising the risk of pregnancy. 1-3 For this reason, people taking accutane and oral contraceptives should avoid using St. John’s wort.

Vitamin E

Possible Helpful Interaction

One preliminary study hints that vitamin E might reduce side effects of isotretinoin. 4