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Does accutane RREAALLYYY damage your liver??


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#1 Guest_ThereIsHope_*

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 08:48 PM

Okay, so I know tane puts your liver under alot of stress. Very few people would disgree with that. But does it REALLY actually DAMAGE it? Derms deny it, health nuts rave that it does.......what does accutane really do to your liver??? Both of my older sisters went on tane, and my second oldest sister's acne came back after a year or so but its sssuupperr mild now. She has great skin. My second oldest sister also cleared up on it 8 years ago. BUT 2 years ago she developed horrible cystic acne, something she had never had before. Being a health nut, she went to a hollistic doctor and he said that is was the combo of years of antibiotics and accutane that ruined her liver and made her acne come back and cystic as well.

Can accutane or antibiotics really do that SIX years later? I dont get why both of my sisters had the exact same treatments at the exact same time and that only happened to one of them six years later.

The only other thing I can think of is that my oldest sis has been on birth control several times and my other sis hasnt done BC at all. Maybe a connection there?

Im not scared of going on tane. I doubt I will have the same thing that happened to my sis happen to me. (heck, my acne is ALREADY cystic) Im just curious now as to what accutane really does to your body without any biased derm sugar coating it.......

#2 JR86

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 09:20 PM

accutane can damage your liver, but it is pretty rare and you get blood tests to make sure everything is going ok. you sister probably just had an acne relapse. it could be from coming off birth control pills.

#3 lifesux

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 10:41 PM

Great. This is scaring me.

I just did some research, and read about a story or two were some started out with mild acne, took accutane, then ended up with severe acne later on in life. I also read that a lot of people who take accutane end up with diabetes a few years later. Also I read that even if your blood tests while on Accutane come out normal, that doesn't necessarily mean your liver isn't being severely damaged.

#4 RobDude

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 12:13 AM

QUOTE(lifesux @ Oct 21 2006, 11:41 PM) View Post

Great. This is scaring me.

I just did some research, and read about a story or two were some started out with mild acne, took accutane, then ended up with severe acne later on in life. I also read that a lot of people who take accutane end up with diabetes a few years later. Also I read that even if your blood tests while on Accutane come out normal, that doesn't necessarily mean your liver isn't being severely damaged.


It's very easy to get scared when you read the horror stories - I went through the same thing. What you need to remember is the internet is HUGE - so if you find one or two stories (that may or may not be truthful) that is only a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage of the population's experience.

If you google for the dangers of peanuts - I'm sure you'll find some terrible stories about children with severe allergies being killed because they were in the same room as peanuts. Here, like this

http://allergies.about.com/cs/peanuts/a/aa122898.htm
An accidental casual contact with peanuts, or even inhaling small amounts of peanut particles can cause a severe allergic reaction and even death for those who suffer from this condition.

If I spent time researching peanuts, I'd be a little worried about eating them. Same with Accutane.

The truth is, when you put it into a context you can understand Accutane is pretty safe. The most dangerous side-effect, by far, is the birth defects. That only applies to women who get pregnant while on Accutane and of those women, only 25% of the children are affected by it.

Accutane has a greater than 85% chance of clearing a patients acne for one year, and in many cases forever. It's without a doubt the most effective way of getting rid of acne.

90% of people using it will experience dry lips.
80% will get dry skin
80% will experience at least one nose bleed while on the drug

In other words, expect those three. You'll want something for your lips and skin. Nose bleeds from dryness won't be very bad nose bleeds, but it's something to be aware of.

40% will experience eye irritation. If you wear contacts that's something else to consider. Basically your eyes will get dry. Over the counter eye-drops will help.

15% will experience muscle aches.
<10% will experience *temporary* hair thinning
5% will experience sun sensitivity
5% will experience headache
1% will experience decreased night vision
<1% will experience depression

Truthfully I wonder about the 5% and less groups. If you give people a placebo, they'll often report side effects from it - even though it medically isn't doing anything.

In very rare cases (significantly less than 1%) anemia and elevated liver enzymes are reported. That's why ou need the blood tests - less than 1 person in a group of a hundred will actually benefit from that blood test - I don't have any real numbers, but it very well could be 1 in a 1000 for all I know.

Part of the problem with acne medications is that there is so much myth around it. You've got sites like this: http://www.natural-a.../accutane-.html that exagerate the hell of the risks because they want you to buy their 'secreat natural cure!!!'. Their cure is crap and won't work - but it's 100% safe....*rolls eyes*. If you read the warning label on really *any* medication there are going to be scary and severe side-effects listed. I read my GF's birth control box once - it was scary as hell too.







#5 lifesux

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 12:59 AM

I guess you're right, but it's still scarey. They make it sound like the majority of people who take accutane will end up with either diabetes or worse acne then what they started out with.

#6 Guest_Locked In Grace_*

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 01:13 AM

QUOTE(lifesux @ Oct 22 2006, 04:59 PM) View Post

I guess you're right, but it's still scarey. They make it sound like the majority of people who take accutane will end up with either diabetes or worse acne then what they started out with.


Do you honestly believe that, given the fact it's been around for over twenty years, and taking into consideration the amount of people who still use it?



#7 belgium32

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 04:36 AM

My derm has prescribed it daily for 4 years, she says, and she has not once seen elevated liver enzymes to a point where she would have to cut treatment. And they have always gone down afterwards. I have a sensitive liver and for many years I had elevated liver enzymes following a mononucleosis but I have no problems with accutane so far. You should worry more about triglycerides and cholesterol, she says, which is why I am taking extra care to eat cholesterol lowering food (fish, veggies and lean meat, no or little diary)

#8 Platinum007

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 07:49 AM

QUOTE(ThereIsHope @ Oct 21 2006, 10:48 PM) View Post

Okay, so I know tane puts your liver under alot of stress. Very few people would disgree with that. But does it REALLY actually DAMAGE it? Derms deny it, health nuts rave that it does.......what does accutane really do to your liver??? Both of my older sisters went on tane, and my second oldest sister's acne came back after a year or so but its sssuupperr mild now. She has great skin. My second oldest sister also cleared up on it 8 years ago. BUT 2 years ago she developed horrible cystic acne, something she had never had before. Being a health nut, she went to a hollistic doctor and he said that is was the combo of years of antibiotics and accutane that ruined her liver and made her acne come back and cystic as well.

Can accutane or antibiotics really do that SIX years later? I dont get why both of my sisters had the exact same treatments at the exact same time and that only happened to one of them six years later.

The only other thing I can think of is that my oldest sis has been on birth control several times and my other sis hasnt done BC at all. Maybe a connection there?

Im not scared of going on tane. I doubt I will have the same thing that happened to my sis happen to me. (heck, my acne is ALREADY cystic) Im just curious now as to what accutane really does to your body without any biased derm sugar coating it.......



All I know is that they test your liver every month while on accuatane. Certainly it wouldn't be on the market if it was causing liver damage years later. The media would be all over that, don't ya think?.

Have your sisters had their liver tested lately? And the healthnut sister should be careful. The holistic doc may try and scam her into hair tests. These are not accurate. Have her go to a real doctor and get her liver checked. My bet is that she's fine (unless her skin is yellow and she can't hold down food, in which case she may have liver damage).

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#9 lifesux

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE(Locked In Grace @ Oct 22 2006, 07:13 AM) View Post

QUOTE(lifesux @ Oct 22 2006, 04:59 PM) View Post

I guess you're right, but it's still scarey. They make it sound like the majority of people who take accutane will end up with either diabetes or worse acne then what they started out with.


Do you honestly believe that, given the fact it's been around for over twenty years, and taking into consideration the amount of people who still use it?


I did, because I hear so many bad things about it. My derm. says it's a safe drug, but I always hear otherwise.

#10 JR86

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 02:35 PM

QUOTE(lifesux @ Oct 22 2006, 04:27 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Locked In Grace @ Oct 22 2006, 07:13 AM) View Post

QUOTE(lifesux @ Oct 22 2006, 04:59 PM) View Post

I guess you're right, but it's still scarey. They make it sound like the majority of people who take accutane will end up with either diabetes or worse acne then what they started out with.


Do you honestly believe that, given the fact it's been around for over twenty years, and taking into consideration the amount of people who still use it?


I did, because I hear so many bad things about it. My derm. says it's a safe drug, but I always hear otherwise.

it is safe, but the vary rare side effects (all drugs have side effects, most are very rare and the benefit outweighs the risk) are blown way out of proportion because people already are so against accutane because of the birth defect issue.

#11 beentheredonethat

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 03:45 PM

Some people have damaged livers from Accutane, yes. But this is a rare side effect - it doesn't happen to everyone. This is the primary reason that doctors order lipid and liver bloodtests - to detect liver damage before it becomes serious.

#12 thEneXtChaPter

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 07:58 PM

ok lemme sum it up. your liver could re-generate itself.. but heres how imma sum it up to make it easy as possible for you to understand..

will being an alcoholic for 6 months damage your liver? the answer, is no. To have liver problems you have to be an alcoholic for decades.

Will going to mcdonalds everyday like the guy in the movie supersize me did, for 6 months damage your liver? No.

Now those 2 things aren't healthy, and it will ware your liver out and exhaust it for those 6 months, but afterwrad it will recover.

so accutane is just like that. 6 months isn't gonna do serious harm.