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HealthCare & Wellness Breaking the Chains of Addiction. The Last Door Recovery Society
Mature discussion surrounding important health issues and concerns. Alternative therapies, healthcare questions, discussion of community resources, peer support help, group therapy, etc.

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Old 05-22-2010, 03:12 PM   #1
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Accutane - Acne problems

hello,

Just wondering if anyone in here is on accutane. I have been on 40mg for 1 month now and have noticed results, i did get 1 massive zit today and its keeping me indoors. Side effects that ive been getting so far:

dry lips (keep lip balm close)
dry skin all over
just recently got bleeding gums when I brush
small red dry skin patches

i have been taking photos of befor and after, if anyone is interested in seeing my progress just post here and I will have some photos up tonight.

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Old 05-22-2010, 03:41 PM   #2
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I used it prob 12yrs ago and it worked awesome. Having the dry skin is normal which of course you already know. I was on it for 6 months I think it was took some time off and went back on it.
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:31 PM   #3
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Are there any long term side effects to Accutane?
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:36 PM   #4
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Are there any long term side effects to Accutane?
It could cause birth defects if you knock someone up as well it could possibly destroy the liver so you have to get a blood test every 1-3 months (I forget). That was 12+ years ago so things might of changed. I never had any issues with it at all and was worth it in my eyes because I had really bad acne and thats the only thing that cleared it up.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
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i was on 2 separate courses of Accutane , and it completely cured my acne.

Accutane is like the nuclear bomb for killing Acne...this stuff works.

i suffered from all the side effects that you mentioned of, as well as nose bleeds and slight depression on and off. you are also not supposed to drink if you are on the medication (as the medication is already harsh on the liver).

remember to drink tons and tons of water when you are on the medication
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Last edited by albert116; 05-22-2010 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:15 PM   #6
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it will take longer than 1 month to fully notice the results...so don't get discouraged if your condition gets worse initially...it will get better

Acne is a cruel cruel condition. It has affected me for years (mentally)and i am glad i don't have to deal w/it anymore (although i still have scars from previous breakouts).
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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It could cause birth defects if you knock someone up as well it could possibly destroy the liver so you have to get a blood test every 1-3 months (I forget). That was 12+ years ago so things might of changed. I never had any issues with it at all and was worth it in my eyes because I had really bad acne and thats the only thing that cleared it up.
only if you are a female and get pregnant while taking accutane only then can it cause birth defects. but if you are male and get someone pregnant nothing will happen.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:53 PM   #8
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i have been taking photos of befor and after, if anyone is interested in seeing my progress just post here and I will have some photos up tonight.
sure, show us your progress ..
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:29 PM   #9
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Accutane is just sickeningly awesome. If you have acne, take it - don't even think twice. All the potential side effects are nothing compared to the joy you'd feel with your acne cured.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:48 AM   #10
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for those of you that have taken accutane, did you feel abnormally tired?
i am taking it right now, on my 3rd month, and i feel sickeningly fatigue all the time. i have a hard time getting up in the morning, no matter how much i sleep. my muscles and bones are all soft and weak, and have no sense in getting up. i could sleep for pretty much 10 hours, and yet, i don't have energy to do anything... study, do sports, sometimes just want to stay in bed for the rest of the day.

how did you guys take care of this problem?
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:30 AM   #11
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Accutane does hurt your liver and i guess your body needs to recover thus the fatigue. But think of it as a couple of cans of beer.

I did get pretty much every side effect the OP mentioned. Skin was so dry, i get paper cut all over my hands.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:48 AM   #12
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for those of you that have taken accutane, did you feel abnormally tired?
i am taking it right now, on my 3rd month, and i feel sickeningly fatigue all the time. i have a hard time getting up in the morning, no matter how much i sleep. my muscles and bones are all soft and weak, and have no sense in getting up. i could sleep for pretty much 10 hours, and yet, i don't have energy to do anything... study, do sports, sometimes just want to stay in bed for the rest of the day.

how did you guys take care of this problem?
bumping this question.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASG111 View Post
for those of you that have taken accutane, did you feel abnormally tired?
i am taking it right now, on my 3rd month, and i feel sickeningly fatigue all the time. i have a hard time getting up in the morning, no matter how much i sleep. my muscles and bones are all soft and weak, and have no sense in getting up. i could sleep for pretty much 10 hours, and yet, i don't have energy to do anything... study, do sports, sometimes just want to stay in bed for the rest of the day.

how did you guys take care of this problem?
I've taken five courses of Accutane over the past nine years and I have only noticed minor fatigue. I did notice that my progress in the gym was slowed or halted altogether while on Accutane, but I wasn't that much more tired than usual to be honest. I wouldn't worry too much, as fatigue is a fairly well-documented side effect and should disappear within a few weeks after you finish taking it. You could speak to your doctor about decreasing your daily dose and increasing the term of treatment. For example, you may see the same results but experience less side effects using 40mg a day for 8 months instead of 80mg a day for 4 months.

I don't know exactly what is causing your fatigue and I wouldn't want to hazard a guess... but I do know that hydration is important while on Accutane, so considering increasing your intake of water if you haven't already.

Accutane is a miracle drug for many users, although I'm skeptical of people who use it to treat mild acne. The side effects can potentially be severe. Granted, only a small percentage of users will experience any lasting side effects, but exposing yourself to the possibility of long-term side effects (ie.liver damage or debilitating joint problems) to cure a few pimples is pretty silly, imo.

After each course of Accutane, my acne basically vanished completely. I wish I had before/after pictures from my first course, but my acne went from "extremely severe cystic acne" (dermatologist's words) to "mild" over the course of six months. I would say my skin looked best about a month after the course of Accutane was finished, and it began to re-appear (albeit in a less intense manner) about 6-8 months after treatment finished. After five full courses, I am now able to manage my acne without Accutane. I finished my last course about 18 months ago, and my acne now is mild and generally very manageable.

I actually took some before/after pics during my fifth and most recent course of Accutane, about 2 years ago. They're nowhere near as impressive as my first courses, but still a decent turnaround.

"Before" Pic #1

"Before" Pic #2

"After" Pic #1

"After" Pic #2

(Yes, being clean shaven does help in the after pics, but I wanted to shave to illustrate how little scarring there was once the acne was gone. Pics were taken about 6 months apart.)

Anyway, good luck to anyone using Accutane currently... once you're finally finished and your skin is completely or nearly clear, you'll be thankful that you put up with all the bullshit side-effects.

(On a side note: Accutane is often blamed for causing depression and suicide. Maybe so, but how many people have avoided depression and suicide because of Accutane? Frankly, if I had to endure my teenage years with severe cystic acne, there's no question the thought suicide would have entered my mind. Accutane, for lack of a better way of explaining it, allowed me to enjoy my teenage years. Without it, the past nine years of my life would've been completely different... and my experience as a teenager definitely would have been completely devoid of the friends, girls, sex, parties, etc that made those years so enjoyable.)


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Old 05-25-2010, 10:55 AM   #14
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For those of you that had success with Accutane, did you have to manage your diet? ie. stop eating junk and oily foods that might prevent breakout, or do you think it's relatively a myth? My doc told me can eat anything you want, etc and it won't affect acne but obviously some studies say otherwise.

^Amaru- I guess it's not typical for one to just be finished with Accutane over 1 course. You said you took 5 courses... so that's what, relatively 5 years of taking Accutane (with 6 months on, and 6 months off)?
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
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i was on 2 separate courses of Accutane , and it completely cured my acne.

Accutane is like the nuclear bomb for killing Acne...this stuff works.

i suffered from all the side effects that you mentioned of, as well as nose bleeds and slight depression on and off. you are also not supposed to drink if you are on the medication (as the medication is already harsh on the liver).

remember to drink tons and tons of water when you are on the medication
I had to stop talking accutane after about 4 months(maybe 5), it worked great for the most parts, had all the usual side effects liek dry skin, prone to burning etc. The reason I had to go off it was due to the nosebleeds, I got them twice a day, sometimes more. The worst part was I would be at work dealing with customers and i'd have to run away for 5 minutes until it stopped

I'm on some sort of sister pill now, I only take it once in a while, but it's pretty effective and side effects are mild because I rarely take it.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:45 AM   #16
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Everyone says diet has zero affect on pimples, blah blah blah.. but whenever I eat a fair bit of chips, I ALWAYS get a pimple. I've tested this more times than I can remember.

So its my personal belief that diet can definitely impact your skin.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:03 PM   #17
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I didn't change my diet at all during/after accutane. They say diet has no affect on acne at all, but if eating right can make your skin better, I'm sure eating bad could make it worse.

Amaru: Were you taking really low dosages relative to your body weight? I was under the impression that if you took a high enough dosage over one 6 month course that you'd be relatively clear forever.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:35 PM   #18
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Everyone says diet has zero affect on pimples, blah blah blah.. but whenever I eat a fair bit of chips, I ALWAYS get a pimple. I've tested this more times than I can remember.

So its my personal belief that diet can definitely impact your skin.

Nocebo effect?
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:07 PM   #19
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FYI, there's an ad on Fox News and MSNBC every night for an accutane lawsuit for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohns and other stomach related issues so do your research before taking this stuff long term. I remember doing accutane for about month before I got off it. My doctor was very hesitant to put me on it and this was back in 1996 and I would only pop this stuff if I have major acne.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:35 PM   #20
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^Amaru- I guess it's not typical for one to just be finished with Accutane over 1 course. You said you took 5 courses... so that's what, relatively 5 years of taking Accutane (with 6 months on, and 6 months off)?
About half of all people who use Accutane for one full course never need further treatment. For each consecutive course, the number of people who need to use it again in the future decreases. I have/had a particularly severe and resilient case of acne, and I responded well to Accutane (minimal side effects) so I was able to take multiple courses.

My fourth course was actually a "long term maintenance dose" course of Accutane, where I did a "pre-loading" phase of 40mg a day for about 6 weeks then just took 10mg a day after that. The other four courses (1-3 and 5) were full courses ranging from 4-7 months (approximately 120mg/kg total, per course... which is generally considered the "ideal" amount for a single course).

I took my first course when I was around 13/14, and finished my fifth course when I was around 22. That was 18 months ago; I'm 23 now.

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Everyone says diet has zero affect on pimples, blah blah blah.. but whenever I eat a fair bit of chips, I ALWAYS get a pimple. I've tested this more times than I can remember.

So its my personal belief that diet can definitely impact your skin.
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I didn't change my diet at all during/after accutane. They say diet has no affect on acne at all, but if eating right can make your skin better, I'm sure eating bad could make it worse.

Amaru: Were you taking really low dosages relative to your body weight? I was under the impression that if you took a high enough dosage over one 6 month course that you'd be relatively clear forever.
Regarding diet: it's probably placebo. You won't be able to effectively control for other variables when you "test" to see whether or not a certain food causes you to break out. However, there have been some studies that showed food allergies can cause acne. Check out the Acne.org forums and you'll see some people who have "cured" their acne by cutting out a food they were allergic to, ie. citrus fruits, gluten, etc. (Unfortunately you'll also see a lot of wack jobs trying to cure their acne with coffee colon cleanses and strange Turkish herbal medicines and shit... be aware that most people have no idea what they're talking about, and dermatologists usually have a pretty solid understanding of acne.)

For at least 90% (or more) of anyone suffering from acne, the main cause is hereditary. You're prone to oily skin, the plugging of your pores, etc. Things like stress, tight clothing, poor hygiene, and hot climates can contribute to acne... but really, most of the time if comes down to genetics. In the other small minority of cases, acne is either misdiagnosed (ie. rosacea, etc) or it's caused by an allergy.

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FYI, there's an ad on Fox News and MSNBC every night for an accutane lawsuit for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohns and other stomach related issues so do your research before taking this stuff long term. I remember doing accutane for about month before I got off it. My doctor was very hesitant to put me on it and this was back in 1996 and I would only pop this stuff if I have major acne.
Yep. The way I see it, your acne has to be bad enough that you'd be willing to trade acne for one of the known side effects. In other words, would you be willing to battle joint pain or IBS symptoms for years if it meant clearing up your acne? For me, it was a resounding yes.

From what I can tell, taking Accutane is like playing Russian Roulette with a 100-barrel gun.... 99 people who pull the trigger enjoy huge positive benefits and see their acne practically disappear, while one unlucky SOB ends up with life-changing side effects. If your acne is bad enough, it's a totally worthwhile gamble. If you've just got a few pimples, you should avoid Accutane like the plague.

BTW, just for the sake of interest... the only other acne treatment that has been effective for me (and believe me, I've tried them all) is an off-label antiobiotic called "Bactrim". It comes with its own set of side effects, but they're less severe than those associated with Accutane. It has been very effective for me.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:02 PM   #21
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so i finally decided to go on this stuff.
will start tomorrow. hope it works for me. will keep yall updated
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:48 AM   #22
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shits not worth it man, horrible permanent side effects
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:58 AM   #23
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shits not worth it man, horrible permanent side effects
are you saying this from experience or is it just an opinion? please elaborate on the side effects
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:10 PM   #24
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personal experiences, IBS symptoms, some hair thinning, dry lips/skin (even after the treatment)

Just do antibiotic topicals/meds and wait til your body grows out of the acne.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:15 PM   #25
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i had pretty bad acne for a bit and i took accutane for like 5-6 months....and now its like completely cured.i havent had a pimple in the longest time.it was pretty shitty taking accutane though cause u cant drink while taking accutane...but it was worth it 100%
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