My name is Matt. In the early '90's, I took a 3 month course of Accutane. During treatment, I experienced many side effects. Of the three most prominent of these, depression was the most disturbing. My girlfriend at that time complained that during my course, I was moodier and had become angry, aggressive and just "different". Although I didn't experience any joint pain then, my face did become much more sensitive to sun and so I followed my dermatologist's directions to refrain from physical activities and to keep out of the sun until finishing my 3 month course. In addition, I experienced soft stools and bloating in my stomach. Over the years, I have experienced a worsening of these symptoms and more to boot. I was diagnosed with IBD, possible Crohn's disease. My muscles become sore with the most moderate physical activities. I believe it is called Fibromyalgia. Fatigue, reduced sex drive, aggressive behavior, anxiety, panic attacks multiple times over 18 years plagued my life. I have taken SSRI's which helped but had unacceptable side-effects. I began to get pain in my joints. My face still becomes red after exercise or any alcohol drinks. People regularly ask me if I have been in the sun. After visiting too many Accutane forums and discovering so many other people who have had a similar time and experienced that same side effects, and also finding very few methods for treating them effectively, I became inconsolably depressed.
There was, however enough information so I was able to discover the effects of Accutane on our bodies. Serotonin is necessary for the proper functioning of the human body, including proper digestion, muscle function, and our brain and nervous systems. Accutane somehow alters the body's ability to produce or Serotonin. Many symptoms associated with Accutane side effects are a result of this deficiency. The naturally-occuring amino acid 5-HTP (5 hydroxytryptophan) is usually sourced from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia. Sold in the UK, United States and other many countries over the counter at any health food store, it acts by converting tryptophan (Thanksgiving turkey) into serotonin. Instead of preventing the re-uptake of whatever little Serotonin my body produces, as do the SSRI class of anti-depressants, 5-HTP immediately creates new serotonin in the body. It is relatively safe. Because it is plant-derived, it holds the chemo-structural wisdom of the earth and its evolution instead of big pharma's profit-motives. Some indications include recommended dosage and warnings about combining it with SSRI's or alcohol. Unfortunately there isn't enough information available online about this naturally-occurring amino acid. Check out the CAM page at the Nation Institutes of Health in which it is mentioned as a sleep aid.
Now for the good stuff...5 HTP totally eliminates several Accutane long-term side effects. My digestion is now normal! My muscles feel normal again and my anxiety and depression is absolutely gone. The beauty of 5-HTP is that instead of the SSRI's sexual disfunction, buzzy feeling and fatigue, my sexual function has increased several fold. With decreased anxiety, I am far less prone to addictive behavior such as overeating or smoking. I feel energy, mental clarity and physical wellness. 5-HTP's cost averages about 9 dollars for a month supply of quality caps or tabs. It does not seem to help the joint pain I still have but luckily, over-the-counter Glucosamine does that trick. Hopefully I will find natural remedies for my other side-effects as well soon. Be well, my friends and prosper.
Edited by CHIRON, 25 July 2011 - 09:04 PM.