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Claravis Log - 30 Year Old Female


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#1 Sensitisma

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 03:45 PM

Hi Everyone,

I'm Jess. Seeing all of the support here, I decided to start a log too so I can share my experiences and watch all of yours.

I just started Claravis 40mg once a day and I'm on day 3. I've been dealing with acne for about 10 years and have tried numerous acne kits over the years: Clinique Acne Solutions, Exposed Skincare, Proactiv... I've also done some prescriptions, most recently I used Ziana and Solodyn (first 3 months) beginning last year about this time. The Georgia summers are brutal for those of us with acne prone skin. That combo worked beautifully for about 6 months, then in May my step-mom died from cancer and my skin started breaking out again from the stress and grief, although I continued using Ziana religiously. I started Solodyn again, but got some big, red, hard pimples on my jaw and chin, despite being on an antibiotic for about a month and a half! I went back to my derm and she recommended isotretinoin. I did the initial pregnancy test that day, got my scary orange book and began treatment this past Wednesday night, the 21st after my derm appt. So far, I don't think I've had any side effects or an initial breakout, though I do have some pimples already. I had a headache on Thursday, but it felt like my typical sinus headache I get sometimes. I've felt fine today and just took today's pill about an hour ago. I am also on Zarah (generic Yasmin) since women have to use 2 forms of birth control (the other being my husband's vasectomy. I know that pill supposedly helps with acne, but I've only been on it for a month so it only made my acne a little bit worse or had no effect (it's hard to tell).

Anyway, we'll see how it goes!

Jess

#2 Orchidsummer47

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:50 PM

Hi Jess!

My name is Melissa. I just started my 2nd round of Accutane (Claravis 20mg 2x/day) on September 21 so we pretty much started around the same time. I never finished my first round 4 years ago because my insurance ran out (what a nightmare) and I couldn't afford the extra $300 for the pills. But I'm trying it again. I'm finishing it this time regardless of insurance. You said you had a sinus type headache? I actually kind of did too. I never get headaches but I got one the first day I took it. It felt like I had a cold in my head. Then it "moved down" into my nose and now I really do have a cold. They say Accutane lowers your immune system so I'm guessing that's the reason. One day at a time right? :-)

#3 Andante

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:24 PM

Hi Jess, I've recently started too (August 29). Good luck!

Melissa - I'm also on my second course.

Since I've started Accutane I've had two colds and had never thought about the drug lowering my immune system until now. Interesting!

#4 Orchidsummer47

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:28 PM

Hi Andante.

Are you on your 2nd course because the first one didn't work? I was clear for a full year then it slowly started to come back but wasn't bad enough to go back on it until now. Plus I'm getting married in April and I want clear skin for my wedding. I'm hoping since I plan on finishing a full course this time that it will be permanent. Fingers crossed.

#5 Andante

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:33 PM

The first course worked wonderfully until about five months post-treatment when I became pregnant with my second child. I think it must of been the hormones that set everything off again. I waited until my son turned one, stopped breastfeeding him and got back on Accutane. I have no intention of having any more children, so hopefully this time it will stick!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I'm sure if your first course got you clear, you will have beautiful skin in time for the big day! I was married this past January and by some stroke of luck my skin was the clearest it's been since right after Accutane. the day after the wedding my acne exploded again.

#6 Orchidsummer47

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 08:10 PM

Thank You!! Wow yea you lucked out with clear skin for your wedding. That's great. I am actually worried that my even though my skin will be clear after I finish Accutane that once I get pregnant (in like 2 1/2 years or so) it will come back. And I really want this to be my last time that I go on it because it's so strong. But it's still worth it for me to go on it now.

#7 Sensitisma

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:39 PM

Good luck to all of you on your second courses out there! This is my first time taking Claravis & I really hope it works well for me.
That's pretty interesting that some of you have had cold-like symptoms from this stuff; my nose has been a little stuffy this week, but I haven't had another sinus headache yet. My skin got really oily yesterday, but I haven't had that initial breakout yet. The way my skin is, this oil surge usually precedes a breakout so I'm sure it's coming. I've also been feeling pretty fatigued in the afternoon, like I really need another cup of coffee (which I'm drinking now). Other than that, no side effects to speak of.

Jess

Melissa - That really sucks about your insurance the first time around! Hopefully everything will work out so your skin will be flawless for your wedding.

M

I'm having some major formatting issues here today for some reason. That random M will not delete & I couldn't put my name below my comment to Melissa...weird...

#8 Mamato3

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 03:30 PM

Hi! My name is Jean Marie. I've suffered with acne since I was about 12. I'm now 34. I've tried everything under the sun since then a d nothing has ever worked. Antibiotics seemed to help but as soon as I went off them the acne would come back just as before. Anyway, I finally made the hide decision to start Clavaris! It was a big decision for because of the side effects. I kept thinking is risking my health worth it? I came to the decision after a lot of research that I had to do it because I was tired of constantly being self conscious of skin everyday. I hate that I won't go out of my house without makeup. I actually get horrible anxiety if I go in front of my house with no makeup. I'm hoping the first round will work for me. I started in Sept 11th. Only side effects I have are dry lips and inside my nose is dry. Can't wait to see the end result! Good luck everyone!

#9 Sensitisma

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:19 PM

Hi Jean Marie! It's nice to see someone else in my age group trying Claravis for the first time. I'm glad your side effects are minimal so far. My derm said the most common ones she sees are dry lips, followed by back or joint pain. I can relate to your relationship with makeup. I actually yearn for the day I can go grocery shopping without putting makeup on and feeling okay about it.

#10 PaulH85

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:57 PM

Hi Jess, welcome aboard! :)

Sorry to hear of your loss and the stress it's caused you. I can relate there, suffered a bereavement for the first time about five months ago and my skin hasn't been right since. Until that point, I was getting it on track. Since then, I've struggled to deal with the loss and I've struggled with my skin as well. Although it's annoying, it's equally as fascinating how in tune our skin can be to our bodies and our emotions.

Anyway, good luck with your course, here's hoping you get the results you want.

Great to see a few new people joining the Org and getting straight into it, sharing stories and supporting each other. The logs are brilliant for that, it's surely a huge boost to everyone knowing that there are others who can relate and who can be there for advice if things get tough.

:)

#11 Mamato3

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 07:28 PM

Hi Jesili...well today while showering I noticed hair coming out on my hands as well as when I brush when its wet. It was enough hair that I called my derm and she told me to stop taking it. I'm so upset! My skin is finally not oily after 2 weeks of being on it. I go back Oct 8th to the derm. I'll see what she says. :(. I just want clear skin for once!!!


#12 Sensitisma

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 12:21 PM

That is so scary! I know that hair loss is one of the possible side effects, but it is frightening that you lost so much hair. Were you on a particularly high dose (more that 1mg/kg of your body weight)?

Snap Happy - you are right that our skin is in tune with our emotions, as is the rest of the body. When I'm stressed, I feel it in my stomach, sleep poorly and my skin breaks out. As if the stress trigger wasn't enough in itself!

#13 Mamato3

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 05:44 PM

I was on 30mg twice a day....I weigh 145 lbs. I'm so scared my hair is going to get terribly thin! I just hope it stops shedding. It's worse in the shower. I was on it for 2 weeks so I'm praying it will stop shedding soon! So upsetting bc my skin was starting to look good too. But I don't want clear skin and no hair.


#14 Sensitisma

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:39 PM

I hope that resolves for you soon!

So far, I'm on day 8 of 40mg once a day (I weigh 100 lbs). I have not had many side effects so far, but my skin seems to be clearing. My scalp is sort of itchy and my eyes are a little dry and that's it so far. I am really good about keeping my lips moisturized anyway; my hands are always dry because I work in healthcare, so I've been really diligent about keeping them moisturized too since starting. My face is pretty oily still, so I'm thinking it will break out, but I hope I'm wrong. I treat my skin gently; I use CeraVe hydrating face wash morning and night, CeraVe PM moisturizer at night and Paula's Choice Hydralight lotion in the morning under my makeup - Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 and Clinique Even Better Foundation SPF 15 with Makeup For Ever Full Cover Concealer where needed. I don't use any acne products on my skin now because my derm told me not to while taking Claravis. So far, so good. It's actually pretty nice to have a simplified skin care routine.

#15 Mamato3

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 06:11 PM

That's great! I didn't get an initial break out. My skin got a little oiler for a few days and it subsided. And the simpler skin care routine was so nice, I agree! Good luck to you.

#16 accushame!

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 02:59 PM

I was on 30mg twice a day....I weigh 145 lbs. I'm so scared my hair is going to get terribly thin! I just hope it stops shedding. It's worse in the shower. I was on it for 2 weeks so I'm praying it will stop shedding soon! So upsetting bc my skin was starting to look good too. But I don't want clear skin and no hair.


Hi Mamato, I just wanted to share something with you. In december of last year I started accutane @ 30mg/day and everything was fine until the third day when I started noticing my hair thinning (seems crazy after 3 days right?) and I was losing a lotttt more hair than normal. I stopped treatment. The hair kept falling out for about 3 months but it all grew back - tiny baby hairs everywhere. Anyways, after lots of thinking and researching I am attributing the hair loss not to Accutane (because there's no way 3 days could've caused THAT MUCH thinning) but to stopping birth control after many many years. When I look back I realize by hair was probably falling out pre-accutane (I had stopped BC a month before I started tane) but I simply hadn't noticed because I was too preoccupied with my acne. When I started reading all of the accutane horror stories on this website I started paying attention to my hair because it was the side effect that scared me the most, and that's when I realized how much hair I was losing! PS its always worse in the shower because that is when you notice the hairs that have "shedded" during the day. 100 hairs a day is normal. If you're someone who doesn't wash their hair everyday, then remember that the hairs you lose in the shower on the day you wash are accumulated. (like 200 hairs if you wash every other day).

I'm rambling but I know how scared you must be (it was a nightmare for me) and I want to bring you some comfort. You know your body and you know if you have increased shedding - but also consider the fact that it may seem worse now because you are paying soo much attention to it. What helped me was showering in the dark, not studying your scalp under a light, NOT counting your shedded hairs, and practicing some stress-releasing techniques like positive visualisation or yoga.

Think about that past 2-3 months.. have you changed anything? have you started or stopped birth control? anti depressants? have you had major stress or surgery? .. These could all be factors! It's your decision to stop or keep going with accutane, just know that your hair will grow back, I lost almost 1/5th of my hair (again, most likely due to stopping Diane 35 after 5 years as well as Effexor an anti depressants) but it all regrew and it is healthy strong hair. If I could go back, I would have finished my accutane course and avoided the most miserable year of my life.. Thankfully I am now back on accutane, my hair loss has stabilized (I still find I lose more than average but after a year of this shedding I'm not bald or noticeably thinning) and I am trying to move on with life. If you can, speak with more than one derm, express your concerns and think about your priorities. Most of all keep your chin up and PLEASE REMEMBER this will get better, it will grow back, and you will be fine. :)

#17 Sensitisma

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:14 PM

Day 9

I had a pretty wicked sinus headache again today. I tried not to take anything for it, but it got worse so I took some sudafed & ibuprofen. I'm an idiot for taking the ibuprofen because I just recently found out I have an ulcer and sure enough my stomach hurt after taking that, but my headache went away. It bothered me until I took my prilosec before dinner, so I felt okay to take the Claravis once my stomach stopped hurting; I almost skipped it because of the stomach pain. So far, my skin is looking okay: still sort of oily, most of the pimples are gone except for a stubborn one that shrinks and comes back. I was really tired last night and went to bed early, but I don't know if that was a side effect or just being tired. I think I've been managing my stress better lately, so hopefully that will help my skin and ulcer.

#18 Sensitisma

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 12:38 PM

Day 14

I'm starting to really feel the dry eyes and lips from this stuff now. I constantly use Aquaphor on my lips and Systane eye drops a few times a day; some nights I use eye ointment if they're feeling especially dry (it's basically sterile eye vaseline and it is wonderful if your eyes are super dry). I haven't worn my contact lenses since I started treatment because my eyes are naturally a bit dry & I don't want any problems with that. My hands are usually dry because I work in healthcare, so I've been really diligent about applying lotion to my hands. I also use a thick hand cream and cotton gloves at night to keep them moisturized. My face is still somewhat oily, but it seems to be less so than normal though I have been moisturizing since I started treatment. I did not apply lotion to my face during the day under my makeup before I started because that kept the greasiness at bay for longer. I have not had an initial breakout to speak of, although I do have a few pimples that aren't very big. For my skin, it's pretty good. My scalp, hair and the rest of my body are still normal. My scalp doesn't itch at all today and the rest of my skin is neither oily nor dry. I have been feeling more tired than normal, but it isn't all that bad.

Anyway, that's my day 14 update.

#19 Sensitisma

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:55 PM

Day 17

Getting pretty dry. My lips, hands and eyes have been quite dry and now my face is going in that direction. I haven't been greasy at all for the last couple of days. My chin was peeling a little this morning, but nothing too bad. I have no active zits, only a couple small ones that are going away. So far, my side effects (other than dryness) are headaches, fatigue and a little joint pain. None of them are bad; I seem to get a headache 1-2 times a week and that's the worst of it. I also have a round, dime-sized rash patch on my stomach. It doesn't itch or anything, but it's there. I'm paranoid about the potential for liver damage with this drug and I keep checking to make sure the whites of my eyes aren't turning yellow because they aren't as white as normal since they're bloodshot from the dryness.

#20 Sensitisma

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 06:41 PM

Day 19

Definitely getting more dried out. I switched to a heavier moisturizer yesterday (Olay Complete for sensitive skin SPF 15). I also changed my foundation to Make Up For Ever HD Foundation because the Clinique one looked too much like I was wearing foundation & seemed to exaggerate every texture flaw. I like this new one much better; it's very liquidy and highly pigmented so I hardly need any and it feels very light on my skin. I developed one pimple next to my mouth, a place I often break out. i hate getting them there because it probably looks like a cold sore to some people. I think this one came from the Aquaphor because I put it on pretty thick & I think I accidentally got it on my face, oh well. The rest of my face is just dry, especially on my chin and it peels a little by the end of the day. It's weird to need moisturizer during the day now and really weird to not need to blot the oil from my skin mid-day. I'm not complaining, it's just weird to me.