Pimples can be painful, both literally and figuratively (it's hard to feel confident with a face full of acne). Luckily, there is no shortage of over-the-counter and prescription products to treat skin issues. And acne sufferers will happily shell out cash to get a clear complexion: People spent more than $2 billion in the treatment of acne, including costs for prescription and over-the-counter products, according to a 2005 study. [American Academy of Dermatology]
That money is well spent; we know that oral acne medications work. They tackle the root of your acne problems—bacteria that's clogging skin follicles—internally so improvements will show up externally within four to six weeks, says Dr. Bobby Buka, section chief Mount Sinai School of Medicine, department of dermatology. But do these acne medications come with unwanted risks? Read on to learn more about the oral acne medications available and the risks you need to discuss with your doctor before deciding on a treatment plan.