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Accutane Blog

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I came off the medication for a week due to my chest infection, but came back on once it cleared up to finish the course. I have my final appointment tomorrow to get my post-treatment check up.

All in all, it's been pretty smooth sailing for me. I still don't know if the medicine was behind taking a long time to recover from my chest infection, but aside from that it's been fine.

Skin and lips have been dry, but not overly so. Nothing some lipsalve and a bit of moisturiser can't fix. I have been a bit tired at times, moreso than usual. I find I'm fine when I wake up, but by the time I'm leaving work I'm pretty exhausted. I'm a bit of a night owl who naturally wakes up at around 8pm but now I find I'm always in bed by like 10pm.

I think I've had like 2-3 spots since my initial breakout at the start, and I haven't had anything at all for weeks. Skin's completely clear now and has been for a while now, for the first time since I was about 12 :)

I really hope that this continues after I am finished the treatment!

Everyone reacts differently of course, but I would recommend accutane for anyone considering. You read horror stories, but I can only speak for myself in saying it's been fine.

With three weeks to go, the end seemed in sight. So from the title I'm not saying my chest infection was caused by accutane. However I'm unsure if it's contributing to me being so unwell.

I got a cold about 2 weeks ago, and from that got a bacterial chest infection and infection in my trachea (tracheitis) from coughing so much. I'm on antibiotics which has stopped the symptoms such as coughing up blood (still coughing a lot though) but what has never happened to me before is the other ill effects I'm getting from this infection which I can't shake.

I feel nauseous and exhausted, ALL the time. I can't stay awake for more than a couple of hours at a time, and I have no appetite. I haven't wanted to eat anything in days. Even though I have been on antibiotics for 4 days now I'm not showing any signs of feeling better.

I raised with my regular doctor that I'm on accutane and he did seem concerned about all the side effects, and sent me off to get some bloodwork done. I'm wondering if it's possible the meds are making me feel this way in conjunction with the infection and are contributing to my inability to bounce back.

For now I'm not sure if I should come off them until I recover. With only 3 weeks to go its frustrating since its been relatively smooth sailing but hopefully I'll still get the benefits of the medication having been on it for 3 months and 1 week. :-(

So I’ve been on the Accutane for a good while now. Think I have about 6 weeks left to go, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

All in all it’s been good at treating my acne. I had a couple of zits come up recently which was odd because I haven’t had any new ones for weeks. Hoping that it’s a one off! They aren’t big ones at all, but they seem to take longer to come to a head, I guess it’s because there’s no oil or moisture on my skin.

Skin is very dry, there was one point where I was starting to look like I’d had a botched chemical peel, but it’s all calmed down now. My main issue is my friggin nose. It’s SO dry in my nostrils. I never thought that would be a problem but it’s quite uncomfortable and can be quite painful. TMI central but basically your snot dries out and sticks to your nostrils. There’s often blood when I blow my nose as well. I’ve not had an outright nosebleed though, thankfully.

To combat it I had a nasal irrigation kit (Neilmed) that helps to at least moisten things long enough for you to blow your nose properly. And failing that I have been known to on occasion put moisturiser up there… lovely.

Apart from that everything’s been fine side effects wise. No stomach problems. Not much joint aches (and I lift weights), maybe a bit in my wrists. Still feeling a little tired but I can’t work out if that’s the medicine or just burning the candle at both ends which I have been doing lately.

So I’m now on Day 44 of my course, been on the full dose for nearly a couple of weeks now. So far, my skin is still really good. I have one spot at the moment and the rest is completely clear. Even the red marks that are left after you have a bout of acne have cleared which is great. Was concerned that I’d get another IB when I upped my dose but so far so good.

On the side effects front, my main complaint is my stomach. I’ve always had light IBS, but assumingly the medicine is really not agreeing with it! It’s only been a few days of having problems so I’m hoping it’ll pass because it’s pretty annoying. Stomach pains normally followed by an urgent trip to the toilet… not very pleasant! But I have suffered from this before the medicine just not as bad. It’s very easy to just blame everything on Accutane!

I’ve had trouble sleeping a few times as well. More falling asleep easily but waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep. Again, could be unrelated as I’m a light sleeper anyway but it’s quite unusual for me to not be able to get back to sleep.

Skin is getting drier, and starting to spread to my hands and on my neck, I can feel little dry rough patches.

Oh well, I am nearing the halfway mark and it has gone quickly, so hopefully it’ll be over in no time J I miss not being able to get drunk!

So yesterday I started my full dose of 70mg. I spoke to my dermatologist about how I’ve had some great effects from the lower dose and mentioned the possibility of staying on the 40mg dose if it was working. He said he’d be inclined to stick to the plan, which I was expecting. He said it was good that I’m not getting too many side effects and that’s normally a good indicator that I’m not going to suffer too much on the full dose, but when I have my review in another 4 weeks if that changes they could discuss lowering it again.

Skin is still clear, which is great. Side effects wise, nothing to report. My skin is starting to get a bit flakey as well as feeling dry, but not problematic. I am still managing to exercise (weightlifting) with no problems such as sore joints. I really hope that this continues on the higher dose as I am really getting into it at the moment and would hate to have to stop.

So I'm into my 4th week of Accutane. It's been pretty smooth sailing despite the bumpy start with my initial breakout.

Start off the the positive, my skin is great! I'm surprised it's cleared so quickly that I'm thinking "this can't be it already". I still expect to get more breakouts particularly when I go to my full dose in a week or so's time (70mg, as opposed to the 40 I've been on now).

In terms of side effects, I'm still pretty tired a lot of the time though it is passing and not as bad as it was at first. I guess this is my body adjusting and getting used to the medicine.

Past couple of days I've felt like my nose is really dry/itchy. No nosebleeds, though. My skin is dry, and starting to flake a little but this can be kept at bay by moisturiser.

I've noticed on my hands I have little red marks, which is weird. I can't work out if it's a rash or little cuts. I seem to cut myself really easily and end up with scratches which I don't remember getting (pics attached). Like my skin is really thin or something. Is that normal? I was told to contact the doctor if I develop a rash, so I'll see how if it develops.

Skin looking a lot better today, I'm surprised it's cleared up so fast considering how bad it was just a few days ago. I hope it's not the calm before another breaktout...

Skin isn't too dry at the moment which is good. Little bit of moisturiser in the morning and before bed seems to be enough. Lips are a bit dry but nothing lipsalve can't fix.

Things have definitely settled since last week, I wonder if my body is getting used to the 40mg dose. I have another couple of weeks or so of that dose before I up to my final dose of 70mg which I'll be on for another 3 months.

One thing that I have noticed about 'tane is the tiredness, which is one of the things I was dreading. I feel like I am getting 8-9 hours sleep per night but by the time I get to work in the morning I feel like I hardly got any sleep at all. I'm normally completely shattered by the time I get home.

I've read some people saying that this gets better as your body gets used to the medicine in your system, and others saying it gets worse. I'd be curious to hear other's experiences.

So this is me where I'm at today. As you can see my 'initial breakout' has calmed as quickly as it came (praying this continues, though I expect another one in a fortnight when I up my dose). I only have a couple of 'active' ones at the moment, all the other ones are dead.

Other than that, no side effects. My skin doesn't even feel too dry today which is odd, though was a bit dry yesterday. I also don't know if it's the medication or over-analysing but I do feel quite tired despite getting a full nights sleep. Yesterday I felt like I'd been up all night. Today a bit better but I slept from about 10pm to 9am. I hope it's nothing as I am very busy with work so can't really deal with being tired all the time. Looking at the picture I do look very tired though haha.

Good lord - I thought I was getting away with the side effects but apparently not.

First few days were fine. Then I started noticing around Day 4 my skin was starting to go red - it kind of looked like sunburn, and felt exactly like it too (a bit stingy when applying moisturiser). Didn't look too bed just like I'd been in the sun. Dry lips generally kept a bay with chapstick, but if I don't apply it I could feel it starting.

Day 6 was when I started getting what I presume is my 'initial breakout', which I'm not gonna lie, is unpleasant. For me it was like 3 month's worth of spots all at the same time. Quite unpleasant and came out of nowhere. By today, day 8, it's whitehead central. And the strange thing they are in places I don't normally get spots like on my nose.

Apparently this is normal so I am trying not to let it bother me too much. Though when I see this picture it does!

Other side effects - I've been completely fine. A bit of dryness but easily kept at bay with moisturisor. No other effects on the 40mg dose.

I am currently a couple of weeks into my course but I have been keeping a log so I will post the entries up til where I am now!

So, a bit of background, I have intermittent acne, in that I always have a few spots, with the occasional really bad breakout. It comes in waves for me. I've had this since I was about 12. I have always thought I will wait and see if I grow out of it. Here I am, 15 years later and no different. In recent years I've had acne on my scalp, and when it got so bad that it was scarring (leaving bald spots where the hair didn't grow back!), which is why I decided to take the plunge.

I've attached a couple of pictures, one showing how my skin is now. As I said I don't have 'severe' acne, but it's been enough to damage my confidence and annoy the hell out of me for over a decade, so...

So... I'll be updating with my experience! Right now I am at the end of Week 1, so I will start from here.

Duration - 16 Week Course

Dosage - Weeks 1-4 - 40mg

Weeks 5-16 - 70mg

If anyone has any questions they want to ask me about my experience, or any advice if they are in the same position, let me know!

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