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FAQ for Accutane Users

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#21 leena

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 11:46 PM

i was on accutane for four months for moderate and persistant acne. i have been off of it for just over a month now and about three weeks ago i began breaking out again. i wouldn't say that i'm quite back to how i was before i began treatment but i'm getting there quickly and i'm very frustrated. does anyone know if this is a common occurrence or if it will go away as my initial breakouts on the drug did? any tips or advice? unsure.gif

#22 Rossignol

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 07:41 AM

I was talking about this to a fellow ex-accutane user last night, actually, Leena. She said that she had had quite a bad breakout a couple of weeks after finishing her course, and she was worried that she would just go back to where she started. However, she said that it cleared up again within a few weeks, and while her skin is not completely clear now, it is infinitely better than it was before accutane, and much better than it was in the weeks after the drug.
I didn't have any form of breakout after the drug. My friend suggested that her dosage hadn't been high enough, whereas mine had been.
I don't know about this. If your acne doesn't improve again, I would talk to your dermatologist over it.

Perhaps now that you have finished accutane and diminished the severity of your acne a great deal, you could look into trying to control your more minor acne through other means? You could look into high-dose zinc supplementation, cutting out certain foods from your diet such as dairy and sugar, and perhaps look into herbal remedies or internal cleansing, to find out what works for you.
Accutane often doesn't cure people completely, but reduces the acne to the level where it can be controlled, or completely subdued, by lifestyle changes that may not have worked before.

Good luck, Leena, keep up updated! smile.gif

#23 duluxdog

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 08:33 AM

alcohol = dehydrate + stress liver
accutane = dehydrate your face + stress liver

= bigtime mega headache.

#24 pface

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 08:25 AM

Does your liver have long time effects after accutane? Is it permanently damaged to some degree after accutane?

#25 Rossignol

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 11:29 AM

There are many people who feel this to be the case, and traces of accutane do stay in your liver for upwards of 4 years. However, there are many ways in which the liver can be damaged other than accutane, and it does have remarkable regenerative capacities.
If you are worried about the health of your liver, you should look into perhaps doing some internal cleansing. You could use herbs such as milk thistle, chinese bitters and indian Tejaswini, as well as alpha-lipoic acid, before perhaps moving on to attempting a liver flush.
There is detailed info on liver flushing in the diet/holistic health forum of this website.

I am also planning on including information on liver health in this thread in the near future.


#26 tarobson

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 06:03 AM

Hi everyone. This is my first post on here.

I just wanted to say that I've suffered from acne on my face since I was about 12/13 years old. I'm now 23!

I was first put on Minocycline at that age, and was also prescribed various topical solutions (looked like roll-ons that you have to put the affected areas) and tablets, but none of them worked. I tried all the normal things you can buy at the chemist too.

At 16, my doctor put me on the contraceptive pill Dianette, then after a few years I was switched over to Cilest (due to a new doctor saying Dianette wasn't very safe). I've switched between the two pills over the years, and I'm now on Marvelon.

Anyway, another doctor (who's only a couple of years older than me, and I think she understands the anguish that acne can cause better than my previous doctors) said 3 months ago - "Try Marvelon for 3 months, and if you see no improvement, I'll refer you to a dermatologist and give you a course of Roaccutane". Well the Marvelon didn't change my skin, and I've lately been suffering from a few nasty boils (gross, I know!) on my face over the last few months.

I went to see her last week after my 3 month course of Marvelon, and she's now referring me to a dematologist! I'm so happy! biggrin.gif I'm really fed up with having to attempt to cover up my acne (which never lasts the whole day anyway and always looks dodgy!), and hearing my clear-skinned friends moan when they get 1 teeny weeny spot!

However, I'm a little anxious about using this drug. I've been reading up on it on various websites. I hope I don't suffer any of the serious side-effects, and I'm not prone to feeling depressed - so fingers crossed! My doctor said I'd be prescribed a 16 week course. However, I've heard that you can't drink alcohol whilst taking Roacutane? I hardly drink anyway - usually a couple of glasses of wine over the weekend...but as I'll be on it for 16 weeks, this will fall over the Christmas holidays, when I'll be invited to various parties, work socials and New Years Eve....what's best to do? If I don't hardly ever drink, will the few units consumed over this period be really dangerous? Say if I went out for one party, and drank 4 glasses of wine?

Don't worry, I'll be asking the dermatologist these questions when I see them, but I wanted to get your honest opinions, particularly from people who have drank alcohol whilst taking Roaccutane.

Thanks for any advice you can give me, and sorry for the long post!

#27 Rossignol

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 12:41 PM

Hi,
My advice from a 'acne.org moderator' stance - "you should not drink any alcohol at all whilst taking the drug - it will increase risk of possible damage to your liver."

My advice as someone who has taken large amount of alcohol whilst on the drug: "I wouldn't worry about it too much - I went to several parties whilst taking the drug, and on a couple of occasions got so drunk that I was sick repeatedly - I realise that this was NOT the sort of thing I should have been doing when taking accutane, but I didn't experience any side effects from it, other than perhaps I got drunk more easily.
Of course, it is best to avoid alcohol, but if you drink a few times over Christmas I don't think it will do you that much harm."

My doctor told me that a little alcohol wouldn't cause problems but that she wouldn't advise making a habit of binge-drinking when on the drug.

Sorry if this is all a bit conflicting, but my general advice is: Don't worry too much but try and make up for it by being nice to your liver for a few days afterwards - ie: following the brief guidelines on liver health mentioned in this topic at the end of the FAQ.

#28 tarobson

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 10:31 AM

Thanks Rossignol. Thanks for being honest with me. Luckily, I'm not a big drinker. My doctor phoned today to tell me to book in for a blood test to check out my liver, and then if all is ok (it should be), I can start my medication :)

#29 Rossignol

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 03:19 PM

Good luck - let us know how you get on and stay positive.

smile.gif
Paul

#30 VANESSAROSE

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Posted 10 October 2004 - 06:24 AM

Hi. I tried accutane for 2 months, had to go off it cause I was psychotically depressed by week 3. Help? anyone else have similar experience?

#31 Rossignol

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 07:58 AM

Hi,
depression is a potential side effect of accutane, and whilst it is relatively rare, you are far from being the only one to experience it. If your acne is still quite severe, you might want to look into alternative treatments. You could try Retin-A - this has a similar drying effect to accutane, being basically accutane in a cream form, but won't cause any depression for you.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.

#32 Azur

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 09:21 AM

Hey guys!

Well, I've got a question for ya all!

My Accutane course is almost coming to an end! I have like a month to go and then I am finished. It will make a total of 7 months. My face is clear, has been for some time now and my chest is ALMOST clear. My chest has progressed the slowest and I still have these tiny red bumps that have been pimples like 2 months ago and still haven't gone away totally.
I am hoping that in the coming month those tiny bumps will dissapear as well. My derm said if they don't, to call her and she will wright a month extra of tane out.
Anyway, I still have some hope....

But what I am wondering about is what to do when my Accutane intaking really stops!

Should I keep on doing my routine, washing with a gentle wash and just moisturize?

Should I add acne products? Like a harsher wash, wih SA or something?
Or even BP? Start with the Dan Regimen?

Or wait until zits appear?

Or should I call my derm again if the acne comes back, even if it is not that bad like it was?

I just don't know what to do when I stop....and I don't feel like waiting for the zits to come back. Hey, maybe I am cured but who knows...


Btw, I have some redmarks. I know you have to wait 6 months to do peelings and stuff but is there something that you can use? SA might help a bit, no?

#33 NolanDW

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Posted 17 October 2004 - 08:48 PM

A question:

How much does Accutane cost? Thanks in advance.

#34 drmiguelsanchez

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 03:08 PM

Tonight will be the last night of my third week on Accutane. I am taking one 40mg capsule every night. I recently had my two week checkup and met only with a PA instead of a dermatologist and am unsure as to her experience and decision making. I have been taking one capsule every night, but I was reading the product information and it says: "The safety of once daily dosing with Accutane has not been established. Once daily dosing is NOT reccomended." If this is true then why would the PA put me on daily dosing other than her utter incompetence? Also, my acne has flared up and my lips and face have gotten significantly more dry in the first three weeks and these reasons were sufficiant enough for her to keep me on only 40g a day even though according to the product information says I should take 80g a day. Should I begin taking 80g every other night and see if it speeds up the process? And should I take a pill twice a day? Thanks -sorry so much.

#35 ::DrEaMeR::

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 04:21 AM

Hi guys,

I'm new member here n i have a few questions to ask.. hope u guys can provide me with some advices.. o ( ^ . < ) o

I'm actually suffering from light acne problems.. but my doctor put me on a Accutane course.. i did try out Doxycycline, used Akne-mycin and Differin together with it previously n it worked.. my face was clear for a while.. but my acne came back again after sometime.. so my doc suggested Accutane since i kept suffering from relapses.

I'm currently in my 2nd month of taking Accutane n my face has already cleared up.. (it actually cleared up totally after my 1st month).. so my problem is...

Should i continue taking Accutane or can i just stop at my current stage?

I read about taking Accutane between 120-150mg/kg is recommended to reduce the risk of relapse.. but since my face has already cleared up, i wonder if i should continuing spending on such expensive treatment.

N btw, i also suffered from dry lips n backache problems too..

Thank guys... o ( ^ . < ) o
O ( ^ . < ) O
If the world doesn't adapt to you, then adapt yourself to it..

#36 ueadian

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 06:52 PM

I'm just curious about how common it is for people to break out right after their cycle ends. It's happening to me too, was wondering 1) how common it is and 2) how long did it take to go away/ if it did / if you went on another cycle etc.

#37 Rossignol

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Posted 03 November 2004 - 04:17 AM

Hi, sorry for not having answered questions for quite a while - I've been very busy at university. I'll attempt to answer some of them now. smile.gif

Ueadian - As far as I know it's fairly uncommon to break out immediately after finishing your course of accutane. Personally I didn't start breaking out again until around 6 months later. The severity of the breakouts after accutane is usually reduced, but if you are breaking out very badly you may want to speak to your dermatologsist about the possibility of another course.
If you break out immediately following your course, it's likely that your course wasn't long/strong enough, so your derm will probably want to put you back onto accutane.

Also, bear in mind that accutane often doesn't cure the acne - what it does do is usually give you a base to work from - if you are clear following accutane you may need to work hard to maintain these results through changes to diet and perhaps forms of herbal supplementation, and being dilligent with the regimen or whatever anti-acne facial program you have. It may be tough, but I think it's worth it to stay clear.

Dreamer - I think you should stay on accutane for the duration of your course. If you come off it now, despite being clear, you may experience an immediate relapse. Your dermatologist will have experience of how people respond to the drug and consequently how long to keep them on it. If you are responding well the usual course is 4 months.

Drmiguelsanchez - 40mg per day is a typical dose to start accutane on. By starting on a lower dose, the side effects will be likely to be less severe, as your body will be able to acclimatise more gently to the drug. The theory goes that you will also experience less of an initial breakout this way. Your dermatologist will probably up the dose later in the course so I don't think you should worry too much.
With regards to the safety of taking accutane, 40mg per day is actually SAFER than 80mg per day! It's just that you might get better results through taking 80mg. I would definitely not recommend that you up the dose yourself. Wait and see what your dermatologist says at your next meeting. You shouldn't take matters into your own hands when your body's health is at risk. eusa_naughty.gif smile.gif

Nolan - I'm afraid I can't help you there. Over here in the UK accutane is available on the NHS and so we get it either for free or for very low prices (about 10 dollars for a 2 month supply). I'm unaware of how much it costs in the US, but I don't think the price is astronomical. It will probably be worth it in the long run as there is a good chance that it will clear your skin for a long time.

Azur - body acnce is typically most stubborn to respond to accutane. In my experience, it got better after finishing the drug, as accutane keeps working in your body for some time after you finish taking it.
Following accutane, I would wait about a month to allow your skin to recover slightly, and then begin the regimen. This will ensure that your chance of breaking out again remains very low. Don't use anything harsher than BP on your face, though.
For your red marks, acid peels can be effective, but DO NOT use these until AT LEAST 4 months after your course and preferably over 6 months after.

Hope these replies are of some help.
Good luck to everyone taking accutane at the moment. Keep positive! cool.gif



#38 blisteredlips

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 11:20 AM

I started taking accutane about 6 weeks ago. Within the last 2 days my lips have developed a bunch of little bubbles that resemble blisters. I know that extremely dry lips is a side effect of the med but I wasn't aware of blisters. Does anyone know if this is a side effect? Has this happened to anyone? Thanks!


#39 tarobson

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE(Rossignol @ Sep 28 2004, 09:19 AM)
Good luck - let us know how you get on and stay positive.

smile.gif
Paul

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Hiya,

I got a letter through from the dermatology department of my local NHS hospital telling me there is a maximum of a 17 week waiting list for me before I can attend my first appointment (and hopefully start my course of Roaccutane). So that means mid-February by the latest! Bit peed of, but also means I can hopefully have a couple of drinks over Xmas.

#40 kalimuse_maze

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 03:56 PM

For those of you considering accutane,

This is my first post to the forum. I am a former accutane user. I used the drug in my early 2o's to get rid of the acne that I had since 14. I am now entering my mid-30's and I have to say I have several side effects that if somebody had told me about I would have stayed away from the drug. First I still get some acne although it's much milder then before, I still get monthly breakouts. Second I have very dry skin although my hair is oily which doesn't really make sense. However the skin on my hands, arms and legs have a "scaly" look. And the skin on my hands seems to me to be prematurely aging. Keep in mind I was never a sunbather. As well I never had this appearance before accutane and I am only noticing it only in the past 3-4 years. No matter how much moisturizer I use my skin remains dry. My lips still peel not as bad as when I was on the medication but they look chapped even in the summer. The thing that annoys me the most is that my body does not heal properly. Again this is only within the last 3-4 years. It can take up to a full year for a small scratch to go away. What happens is the scratch turns into a quasi-scar and the "scar" will disappear usually within 6mths but can take up to a year. I also experience keloid scars on cuts that are bigger then a scratch but that, if in the past I got, would heal normally. (Note: I am a white girl and keloids usually happen more in people of color.)

My advice to anyone thinking about this medication is to stay far, far away. I wish my doctor had laid out all of the pros/cons to me in the beginning. The only thing he was worried about was my becoming pregnant. I must say early on the results were great, super clear skin~ blemish free, however years later I am regretting my decision as my skin now has a host of other problems that are not easily remedied. I am looking into ways to treat my "aging" hands because I cannot stand to have them look older then my years.

Well this is my take on the medication. I think the company should do 10 year anaylsis on former patients and see what they come up with in terms of long-term side effects. I do hope they pull this drug from the shelves.

Best wishes in whatever decision you make.
Kalimuse_maze




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