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#1 Clare M.

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 11:18 PM

Hello everyone. Acne had never really been much of an issue until I hit 20...then my skin seemed to turn for the worse overnight. It probably had something to do with going on/off birth control pills. I've tried pretty much everything...birth control pills, oral tetracyclines, several topicals including BP, clindamycin, Aczone, Retin-A, etc., you name it, I've probably tried it.

It's about time to really do something about this skin issue...finally and (hopefully) permanently. I'm scared to death to put something so potentially dangerous into my body. I know the end result will be amazing though and 100% worth it.

Edited by Clare M., 15 August 2011 - 01:44 PM.


#2 ar06

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:24 AM

Good luck! The side effects are pretty managable at first, at least for me. I'm about a week in and I've been using a lot of lip balm and mosturizor and I'm not peeling yet. Just drink a lot of water and be diligent with protecting your skin from dryness for as long as you can. My skin is already improving so much! And I think that most doctors feel comfortable prescribing Accutane for patients who have tried many other solutions unsuccessfully, so you shouldn't have a problem getting it (hopefully). Then you have to deal with iPledge! But good luck!

#3 Clare M.

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:30 PM

Thanks for the comment. Glad to hear you are having a good experience so far! Yeah, I'm pretty nervous about the dryness and not being able to apply makeup cause I have so many spots! I really hope my doctor prescribes me it but I'm pretty sure he will cause he brought it up as a last resort at my last visit. Ughhh, such a hassle to finally get clear!

#4 Clare M.

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:41 PM

Went to the doctor today. I told him my acne was persistent and getting progressively worse and asked him if we can start Accutane. He is fine prescribing it to me, as I was pretty sure he would. I have to fast today and can only drink water for my blood tests tomorrow. After my blood tests come back okay and a pregnancy test comes back negative then I can get the prescription. It's such a long process but I know it's worth it. I'm pretty nervous to start this drug but very hopeful. I'm worried it's going to damage my organs or cause some serious problem in the future. And I hope I don't lose my mind and become psychotic!! (I doubt that though haha.) I plan on eating a very healthy diet, mainly organic fruits and veggies, while I'm on the course of Accutane.

So, what I'm wondering is if I can continue using the topicals duac and differin while on the drug? I've decreased how much I use of each just because the dryness was really irritating. I'm stopping the minocycline (it wasn't working anyway) and I'm on my second week of Ortho Tri Cyclen. I use Mary Kay cleanser and toner and was thinking of switching out my current moisturizer to Paula's Choice moisturizer. Any opinions on that?

Well, any tips or suggestions of products from any post/present Accutane users would be great. Wish me luck! I'll be keeping track of my progress here for my entire course...



#5 Clare M.

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 11:08 PM

My blood tests came back good. Next, I have to answer questions for IPledge, then I get a date for the next pregnancy test, and THEN I get a prescription. Sheesh. I'm supposed to star ~July 15th.

I started Ortho Tri Cyclen three weeks ago. The first week I was covered in hormonal zits on my chin and cheeks. Over the last couple weeks though, my skin has been getting clearer and clearer - and I'm starting my period next week so I should be breaking out now but I'm not. It feels smoother and I don't have any active acne at all. I don't want to jinx anything. I think it's the birth control responsible for my clear skin but I can't know for sure unless I'm clear for another month or two. The problem is I don't know if I should do the Accutane now. I'm sort of stuck in a Catch 22. I know the birth control is the lesser of the two evils and if it can control my acne I probably shouldn't do Accutane. However, the birth control is temporary. When I go off of it, I'm probably going to break out worse than ever. The Accutane, most likely, will rid me of acne completely. But Accutane has serious side effects and I don't know if I should risk it if I have found a "solution" in birth control. Ahhh... so confused... I apologize for this long rant.

#6 PoppyK

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 08:23 AM

I had the same problem! I ended up going with the accutane.. just because even though some other drugs are able to tone the acne down, accutane will (hopefully) get rid of it for good, and you won't need to take a ton of pills each day!

Good luck in your decision!

#7 elle.beth

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 10:45 AM

QUOTE (Clare M. @ Jun 19 2011, 01:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My blood tests came back good. Next, I have to answer questions for IPledge, then I get a date for the next pregnancy test, and THEN I get a prescription. Sheesh. I'm supposed to star ~July 15th.

I started Ortho Tri Cyclen three weeks ago. The first week I was covered in hormonal zits on my chin and cheeks. Over the last couple weeks though, my skin has been getting clearer and clearer - and I'm starting my period next week so I should be breaking out now but I'm not. It feels smoother and I don't have any active acne at all. I don't want to jinx anything. I think it's the birth control responsible for my clear skin but I can't know for sure unless I'm clear for another month or two. The problem is I don't know if I should do the Accutane now. I'm sort of stuck in a Catch 22. I know the birth control is the lesser of the two evils and if it can control my acne I probably shouldn't do Accutane. However, the birth control is temporary. When I go off of it, I'm probably going to break out worse than ever. The Accutane, most likely, will rid me of acne completely. But Accutane has serious side effects and I don't know if I should risk it if I have found a "solution" in birth control. Ahhh... so confused... I apologize for this long rant.



We will be starting around the same time. I think I will be starting maybe a week ahead of you? I can't wait. But, my derm did things a bit different - first just a preg. test and then after 30 days I will get my blood drawn and another preg. test. So I am hoping my blood test will come back fine.

#8 Clare M.

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 11:26 AM

QUOTE (PoppyK @ Jun 19 2011, 07:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had the same problem! I ended up going with the accutane.. just because even though some other drugs are able to tone the acne down, accutane will (hopefully) get rid of it for good, and you won't need to take a ton of pills each day!

Good luck in your decision!


Thank you. So did you go off of birth control after Accutane and not experience a breakout?

#9 Clare M.

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 11:28 AM

QUOTE (elle.beth @ Jun 19 2011, 09:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Clare M. @ Jun 19 2011, 01:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My blood tests came back good. Next, I have to answer questions for IPledge, then I get a date for the next pregnancy test, and THEN I get a prescription. Sheesh. I'm supposed to star ~July 15th.

I started Ortho Tri Cyclen three weeks ago. The first week I was covered in hormonal zits on my chin and cheeks. Over the last couple weeks though, my skin has been getting clearer and clearer - and I'm starting my period next week so I should be breaking out now but I'm not. It feels smoother and I don't have any active acne at all. I don't want to jinx anything. I think it's the birth control responsible for my clear skin but I can't know for sure unless I'm clear for another month or two. The problem is I don't know if I should do the Accutane now. I'm sort of stuck in a Catch 22. I know the birth control is the lesser of the two evils and if it can control my acne I probably shouldn't do Accutane. However, the birth control is temporary. When I go off of it, I'm probably going to break out worse than ever. The Accutane, most likely, will rid me of acne completely. But Accutane has serious side effects and I don't know if I should risk it if I have found a "solution" in birth control. Ahhh... so confused... I apologize for this long rant.



We will be starting around the same time. I think I will be starting maybe a week ahead of you? I can't wait. But, my derm did things a bit different - first just a preg. test and then after 30 days I will get my blood drawn and another preg. test. So I am hoping my blood test will come back fine.


Oh good luck!!! It's such a long process to finally get the drug but it will be worth it. Your blood tests should be fine... I was kind of worried about that also because I had been taking antibiotics for so long but my results were great. Well, let me know how it goes when you finally begin. smile.gif

#10 Clare M.

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 08:15 PM

So I'm waiting to be mailed a password so I can log into IPledge to answer questions... I don't know why it has to be mailed to me?? Has anyone else had to do this? (The nurses at my doctor's office were giving me a bunch of different information so I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do next)

#11 methatgirl

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:49 AM

Hey you have a log!
Are you going to post pics so we can see your progress? I'm so excited for you. Yay to clear skin!

#12 Again!

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 09:57 AM

Hi Claire!

I just wanted to throw my two cents in as far as the birth control goes. So, as you know I have already been on Accutane twice before. Well, each time I was on the pill. After 9 years of being on the pill, I felt it was time to get off. I really just didn't feel comfortable messing with my hormones anymore, plus I was starting to get severe headache from the pill. I got off the pill January 2010 and that is when my acne came back with a vengeance! This time when I do accutane, I won't be on the pill which I am happy about for a few reasons. For one, I want to see if it will work as well without the pill and two, if I will stay clear without the pill. Plus if it does work, I don't want what happened when I went off the pill to happen again.

I will admit that it is going to be tough to be abstinent for 7 months! But, it is worth it if it works. I feel blessed that my husband supports me in this as I know it us a huge sacrifice in his part. I by no means want to worry you about being on the pill. With that said, I would want someone to tell me their experience if they thought it would help. I wish you the best! Keep us all updated! smile.gif

#13 Clare M.

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:49 PM

methatgirl: Ah, I don't know if I'm going to post pics! I am really self conscious about that. But we will see. How are things going for you??

Again!: Sorry my response has taken so long! I haven't been on this site much lately. Anyway, good luck with the Accutane round. Honestly, I was contemplating the same thing. I'm not sure if I should stop the BC after my Accutane round for fear it will return. In all honesty, I believe it may since my acne is so deep and hormonal and I feel will find a way to surface. But keep me updated! I'd like to know how everything turns out for you. It's great you've got support from your family, as well as the people here. smile.gif



So I took the pregnancy test on Friday. The results should be back in time for my doctor appointment this Monday. I hope he gives me the prescription then! I'm not sure if he can since he has to input all of my information into that IPledge website...does anybody here know when? It's just a pain to make appointments with him since he's booked for weeks at a time. :/

Ahh, I can't wait any longer. My skin has taken a turn for the worse during this second month on the BC. I'm SOOO glad I'm about to start Accutane.

#14 Clare M.

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 05:58 PM

So I went in to see my doctor today. He's supposed to enter my pregnancy result into the IPledge website and then I answer a few questions and THEN I finally get it! Sheeeesh. So much regulation and it's pointless (for me) since I'm not having sex so can't possibly be pregnant.

Anyway,
He's prescribing me 20mg three times a day; so a total of 60mg. Is that a high dose? I think it is. I thought normal was 40mg?... Well, that means I'm going to probably experience the side effects full force. Ah, it's also kind of annoying because my prescription insurance isn't too great. I was estimating 30 pills to be ~250 without insurance, and my insurance usually covers at least half leaving me to pay ~125. Manageable. But he's written me for 90 pills?? That will be ~$350 at the best.

Here we go... :/

#15 elle.beth

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:37 PM

QUOTE (Clare M. @ Jul 18 2011, 07:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So I went in to see my doctor today. He's supposed to enter my pregnancy result into the IPledge website and then I answer a few questions and THEN I finally get it! Sheeeesh. So much regulation and it's pointless (for me) since I'm not having sex so can't possibly be pregnant.

Anyway,
He's prescribing me 20mg three times a day; so a total of 60mg. Is that a high dose? I think it is. I thought normal was 40mg?... Well, that means I'm going to probably experience the side effects full force. Ah, it's also kind of annoying because my prescription insurance isn't too great. I was estimating 30 pills to be ~250 without insurance, and my insurance usually covers at least half leaving me to pay ~125. Manageable. But he's written me for 90 pills?? That will be ~$350 at the best.

Here we go... :/


Do you mind if i ask how much you weigh? I am about 120 and started on 40 mg....i actually had some side effects the first few days (headaches, EXTREME thirst, joint pain). now those have stopped (although im starting to get dry) and i am breaking out. I am sorry about your insurance sad.gif atleast you will meet your dedctible faster!

#16 Clare M.

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:55 PM

QUOTE (elle.beth @ Jul 18 2011, 05:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you mind if i ask how much you weigh? I am about 120 and started on 40 mg....i actually had some side effects the first few days (headaches, EXTREME thirst, joint pain). now those have stopped (although im starting to get dry) and i am breaking out. I am sorry about your insurance sad.gif atleast you will meet your dedctible faster!


I don't mind at all! I weigh 125 lbs and am starting at 60mg a day. I thought this seemed like a pretty high dose so hopefully my body handles it. How many days have you been on it?

#17 Clare M.

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:05 PM

Day 1

IPledge went really smoothly and I was able to get the prescription this morning! I'm starting at 60mg/day and I weigh 125lbs. It seems like a high dose to me so I'm kind of nervous about that

I know you're supposed to take it with a fatty meal so I ate an avocado with it. I want to keep healthy while on Accutane but I'm not sure what other healthy fats there are... I guess I can google it. What does everybody else take it with?

Got myself a huge bottle of Cetaphil lotion, Aquaphor, and eye drops for the dry eyes. I'm so stoked to finally be starting! My skin feels pretty chaotic right now. This recent breakout has really affected my cheeks. It's healed over pretty much but it looks so bad when I turn my face. confused.gif

#18 jkalex05

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:16 PM

Might want to look into other moisturizers, Cetaphil Lotion broke me out bad.

#19 Clare M.

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:46 AM

QUOTE (jkalex05 @ Jul 19 2011, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Might want to look into other moisturizers, Cetaphil Lotion broke me out bad.


The Cetaphil moisturizer I bought seems like it's meant for the body. It doesn't say anything about using on the face - only that it's non-comedogenic. Thanks though, I was thinking about using a Neutrogena moisturizer I have that hasn't broken me out in the past.

#20 elle.beth

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE (Clare M. @ Jul 20 2011, 11:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jkalex05 @ Jul 19 2011, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Might want to look into other moisturizers, Cetaphil Lotion broke me out bad.


The Cetaphil moisturizer I bought seems like it's meant for the body. It doesn't say anything about using on the face - only that it's non-comedogenic. Thanks though, I was thinking about using a Neutrogena moisturizer I have that hasn't broken me out in the past.


I really hate cetaphil for my face. right now im using a ponds moisturizer and i like it but although it says noncomedogenic, its not oil free so i am a little bit scared about it. i am going to try clinique moisture surge i think...