I was on Accutane 2 and a half times. I say a half because the last time I started it for about 2 weeks and decided to stop.
The first time, the doctor had me start with birth control, which would not pertain to you, and then had me start on the accutane after a month of starting on the pill. I must say I never had any horrible side effects. I did have the dry skin, lips, eyes, etc. I took care of the lips by being EXTREMELY diligent about putting carmex on my lips every 30 minutes or so. My friend, who also tried accutane, wasn't so great with her moisturizing and her lips were black and dry. It got pretty bad for her.
Also, I kept some quality omega 3 oil on hand and slathered my face and hands. If this is too heavy for some, have a light lotion near at all times and make sure to apply to your face every so often, before your skin has a chance to dry out. Also, I made sure to keep eyedrops with me, and I drank plenty of water. I think if you are organized and prepared, you can minimize a lot of the problems.
I never experienced any joint pain, but then I wasn't really looking for it. Sometimes if we are hyper-aware of the symptoms we start to think everything is a result of the accutane.
Also, don't ever make the mistake of trying to pick your skin on Accutane or do anything abrasive. The drug thins your skin out and picking your face will cause major scabs which will take forever to heal.
After I ended my first course, my skin actually stayed clear for over a year, but then I noticed I started to get steady breakouts again.
The second time on Accutane I tried it without birth control and it did not work as well. Obviously my acne was more hormonal. I still continued to get some breakouts. It worked well and the acne became pretty light. I decided to try a third time but once I started I just didn't feel like going through the hassle of creams, salves and moisturizers by my side at all times.
I have to say with good exfoliation using my clarisonic brush, the use of glycolic peels, good skin care products and very minimal use of face make-up, I have gotten my acne under control and my skin is the clearest it's ever been.
Accutane works great for most people but one has to be organized and on top of their moisturizing.