Accutane (isotretinoin) reviews
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Isotretinoin in 10-mg, 20-mg and 40-mg soft gelatin capsules.
Beeswax, butylated hydroxyanisole, edetate disodium, hydrogenated Soybean oil">soybean oil flakes, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and Soybean oil">soybean oil. Gelatin capsules contain glycerin and parabens (methyl and propyl), with the following dye systems: 10 mg - iron oxide (red) and titanium dioxide; 20 mg - FD&C Red No. 3, FD&C Blue No. 1, and titanium dioxide; 40 mg - FD&C Yellow No. 6, D&C Yellow No. 10, and titanium dioxide.
Items marked with red have tested a 3 or above (out of 5) in comedogenic (pore-clogging) testing.
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Male. 6'1". 155lbs or 70kg. 18 years old.
1st month: 40 mg
side effects: dryness, minor lower back pain, a little bit of stomach problems, tiredness.
2nd month: 80 mg
side effects: dryness, bearable back pain, tiredness, unmotivated (not too extreme), dream like feeling.
i am familiar with this dream like feeling because of my anxiety. but it has gotten abit worse because my anxiety towards the medication is high.
I have had anxiety for around 7 years. one of my biggest fears i always worry about is going insane (crazy). and i noticed one of the possible side effects were psychosis. so i'm constantly worrying (every day all day) about what if i'm going crazy. i've had these what if i'm going crazy thoughts for years, but it has gotten worse bacuase of the possible side effect of accutane. to the point where i get stressed and feel mentally drained or ruins my day.
how possible is psychosis on accutane?
is my dose too high?
other than that i feel okay, the side effects are bearable.
I want to begin this by saying that i was in your position. I had bad acne. I'm writing this to provide some insight to what it's been like the last 3 years after my course of accutane (some information that i would have eaten right up before i started treatment).
Let me start off by saying - this drug works. For most, if not all of middle/high school, I had very bad acne that was resistant to doxycycline, minocycline, proactiv, Murad products, benzoyl peroxide, sailicylic acid, and all the wipes i could get my hands on. You more than likely will be free from acne at least for a few years after treatment, and it's absolutely wonderful! Being able to walk around without having to check mirrors for a new red/white bump on your face is as great as you think it would be. Looking back it seems like i was a completely different person.
You're probably thinking: if it works so well, why the lackluster rating then?!
This drug works wonders but there is absolutely a reason as to why they're so serious about prescribing it. They are very cautious because this stuff is freaking legit - it alters your body in a permanent way. Once you've finished your course there is no going back. In fact, at the time of writing they still do not understand exactly how it works - but it affects acne. This was originally made to be a drug for cancer patients (yeah, people that had nothing left to lose and were willing to try something that could potentially debilitate them if it meant surviving! crazy right?)
So I went on the medication and throughout the course felt nothing but the normal side effects of dry lips, skin, nosebleeds, dry eyes and easily scarring (just a scratch on accutane can turn into a permanent scar hah, i have a few reminders). Things went through without a hitch and i was acne free! I would notice people staring at me, and if i could guess what they were thinking it would be "How in the hell did that pizza face get porcelain clear skin?!"
Strangely, the side effects of this medication slowly ease their way into your life after treatment (the effects are permanent after all). Expect something along the lines of joint pain, gastrointestinal issues, and mental health dips. These tend to be the most serious. When people get these issues they disregard it as natural, how in the world could they be associated with something they took 3, 5, even 10 years ago? Long story short in convincing you this are legit, the original manufacturers of accutane (Roche) went out of business due to lawsuits and had huge payouts of millions upon millions of dollars to peoples lives they had negatively changed (mostly focusing on permanent gastrointestinal issues).
I could talk about this for hours but to avoid making it THAT lengthy, here's the summary:
I can't stress enough how EXTREMELY important it is for you to consider these potentially permanent side effects. When i took it i couldn't care less about side effects, all i wanted was my acne to be gone! But there are people who used to play sports, ran, and workout - now experience severe pain by simply walking due to joint issues (and it's seemingly permanent unfortunately). If your acne isn't really that bad, or could go away within a couple of years normally, it is up to YOU to consider taking this drug. There are dermatologists out there who will prescribe this to people with just a few pimples, which is unecessary given how serious the side effects could be. Read up on peoples experiences years after their treatment and make an informed decision!!! God bless :)
I went through an accutane treatment when I was 16. I am 28 now. I recall being extremely dry, and no moisturizer would help. I also remember being so depressed that I asked for help and went on antidepressants shortly after my accutane round (about a yearish). My skin cleared up while I was taking it, but the drawbacks were not worth it. My acne returned as soon as the treatment was over.
I know now I have hormonal acne and rosacea so perhaps Accutane wasn't the best choice. I personally think it's too severe of a treatment for anyone under 18 - heck, for any age really - and if you are considering it, please go through all other possibilities first, like getting a blood test done for hormonal imbalances and attack the acne that route. I also suggest seeing an esthetician as they can do some amazing, cleansing facials. It won't solve the problem permanently but it's a far more enjoyable experience than Accutane - you are pampering yourself and won't be poisoning yourself with vitamin A. Plus de-stressing can help with acne ;)
My acne is exactly the same as it was before I took it. I don't mean to sound doom and gloom - this is simply my perspective on it. It could work beautifully for you if you have severe cystic acne that is unresponsive to hormonal treatments. Just be wise and perhaps see it as a last resort.
I had been working with my dermatologist for nearly two years when she suggested I take Accutane to combat my persistent acne. I am a woman, (a young woman at the time) so I was given two large packets of warnings and agreements, contracts practically stating that I understood the risks I was going to be facing etc, etc (these contracts I had to sign). It was vital for my doctor to know that pregnancy while on this medication was absolutely unlikely and I was put on birth control and (would have been) required to take monthly urine and/or blood tests to prove that I was not pregnant (and that my liver was not failing me). I did more research, very in-depth research, a few weeks before I was due to start taking Accutane. I read that Accutane was originally introduced some years ago as a cancer drug but was a failed cause. Now, whether this is completely true or not.. it scared the life out of me. Reading the side effects listed in the packets given to me also made me feel as though risking my health was NOT worth it. So I decided not to go forth with the treatment. Luckily I found the Acne.org Regimen and my skin is completely blemish-free because of that. I strongly recommend exhausting all of your options before considering Accutane, especially if you are a (romantically active) girl or woman. In my personal opinion, a drug so harmful that it can cause absolutely horrific birth defects is a drug not taking a chance with. Be wise in your choices please and think about it thoroughly! Best wishes! :)
I used it for 2 months but didn't complete the dose because I traveled and couldn't get supply. I've been off accutane for almost 2 months. Can I continue with the dose or I'll have to start all over? My acne was clearing but it seem to be coming back
Accutane is like a miracle medication, it does what no other generic, over-advertised, over-the-counter treatment can do. If you at a point in life where your acne is absolutely unbareable, choose accutane, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
I had acne for for 5 years and nothing would get rid of it I tried other medications until my doctor referred me to have accutane. It was tough and I did have many side effects such as dry lips, eczema and I was tired constantly and found playing sport difficult as my muscles ached. My acne did clear up though and I've been off it for 3 years now and haven't had a major breakout since but I still have acne scarring which I'm now looking at getting rid off. It really is a miracle drug and I would recommend weighting up the positives and negatives of the side effects before taking it. My acne made me depressed and since getting rid of it I've felt my confident in myself. However since taking the tablets on tests my liver has been damaged as a result and I find myself still years later having less engery and muscle aches than I did before taking them. Overall I'm glad I took them.
I started breaking out ever since puberty hit me. As far as I can remember, I started getting light to mild acne during my tenth standard. I didn't resort to any medication as such, but I simply started a course of some antibiotic that my father had advised to me. The results were okayish, since the severity of my acne did alleviate but they again came back after a few weeks. My skin remained clear for quite a while after that. I was in my twelth standard when these monstrous zits made their came back in my life leaving me uncertain about my appearance and confidence. I sought medical advice from a reputed skin doctor, but didn't see a considerable change in my skin. I changed doctors only to face disappointment and despair. Acne started taking its emotional toll on me. I started wearing tons of make up which invited mockery from my classmates. Every second aunty would give me a piece of her unsolicited advice just to make me feel worse about my skin and appearance. After a few months, I resorted to Accutane with great hope and expectations. Thank to Accutane, I wasn't let down this time. It's been a while since I have a clear skin, but since last week, these stubborn zits have been attacking my face at different spots. I am really depressed and worried about my skin... I feel really low when I see my cheeks covered with pimples.
I really wanted to leave a positive review as I had read so many negative side effects, I almost didn't go on it at all. To date, I have been off of Accutane for 6 months now (I was taking it for 8 months). My skin is still amazing (occasional spots, but no more cystic or problematic acne). I spent around two years debating whether or not to go on Accutane and read horror stories online that deterred me for ages. When I first saw my dermatologist (who recommended it right away) I expressed my concerns and told her I want to try other methods first. After trying out some other topical creams and medications for about six months and not seeing any results, I agreed to meet with my doctor just to discuss it. I had a lot of questions and below is how she answered them for me. Obviously I am not a doctor so you should do your own research and seek your own medical advice. This is just what my dermatologist said to me:
One of the major side effects I read about was extreme dry skin.
My doctor's opinion: She did confirm this and told me that my face and lips would definitely dry out but she was able to provide me with sample size lip balms and moisturizers to keep me hydrated.
My experience: My skin was soooooo dry. Especially as I was first transitioning onto the medication. I literally had to take all of my makeup off at lunchtime (some days) and exfoliate, and moisturize my whole entire face and re-apply my makeup because if not, my chin would be visibly peeling like crazy before the end of the day. This did massively subside as my body adjusted but I had to use very strong lip balms all throughout my treatment (multiple times per day) otherwise, the sides would crack and scab. This was the one negative side effect I experienced but it was 100% tolerable and worth the end results
After Accutane: My skin completely returned to a normal balanced complexion within only a few weeks of terminating Accutane and is never dry anymore.
Depression (I had read a lot about people becoming severely depressed, and in extreme cases committing suicide)
My doctor's opinion: My doctor told me that there is no proof linking Accutane to depression. She said there was a very famous case of a boy committing suicide while on Accutane that gave the drug a very bad rep. Apparently he came from a very wealthy family that was able to sue the medical company and have it taken off the shelf for a few years before it was re-introduced. The boy had a history of depression before the drug, and no one could prove that the drug made it worse, or that he wouldn't have committed suicide anyways had he not gone on the pill. My doctor told me that while some people do report feeling depressed (she personally had one patient advise they were indeed feeling depressed, but the treatment was working so well, they wanted to continue taking the pill until the end of the treatment anyways), apparently far more people actually report they feel BETTER while on Accutane. Their confidence boosts as their skin clears, thus resulting in feeling happier. Apparently some of her referrals came from therapists whose patients had complained about their skin as a factor in their depression.
My experience: I was very nervous because I am an anxious person as it is. I never once noticed a change in my mood, or any signs of depression during the entire course I was on the pill. My doctor always told me if I ever start to feel it (even a little) to let her know right away and she'll take me off the pill. Never happened!
After Accutane: Again, no signs of depression
Crohn's Disease (there have been reports of people developing Crohn's disease and other stomach problems while on Accutane)
My doctor's opinion: My doctor told me that again there is no proven causation to this. The age in which acne becomes prevalent in people (teens to early twenties) is the same age that Crohn's becomes prevalent. She told me if I ever have any stomach issues to let her know right away
My experience: I never had any digestive or bowel issues while on Accutane
After Accutane: Still no issues
All in all, I have no regrets other than the fact that I didn't do it sooner. My acne is honestly cured and I think there is no harm in giving it a chance as long as you have honest communication with your doctor and speak up if you experience any symptoms. I hope this helped some of you.