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Claravis Journey With Pics! Is This Normal?

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So I just took my first Claravis pill! I'm a 22 year old with mild to moderate, very persistent hormonal acne. I weigh 150 lbs and my derm prescribed 40mg per day for the first month which she said would be under-dosing me a bit, but that it's an easier transition if she doesn't put me on the maximum amount for my weight right away. I'm wearing make up now, but I do plan to post pictures in this log, because I'm really excited to see my progress. Right now I have 3 small active nodules (one on either side of my jaw, and one very high on my cheek bone--this is very weird for me), and two or three inactive nodules that are even smaller but they just wont go away. Those are the worst because I'm always afraid they're scars and will sit there forever, but I know they aren't because they occasionally flare up a bit and then go down again.

Anyways, I'm a little nervous about how fast the side effects will come on. I work in a very busy restaurant and today I start training to be a server (I was a host before). I know that will be a lot of running around and I'm hoping the fatigue/joint pain wont be too overwhelming. I also hope my face doesn't get so gross at first that it makes people want to skip dinner, lol. I'm hoping that since my face is always moderate, at worst, it won't get too bad of an i.b. Like, I hope it stays within the realm of severity that it's already in, just on the worse side.

The products that I bought to aid with dryness are Aveeno 24 hour dry skin relief for sensitive, over dry skin, Aquaphor, and Carmex Lip Balm just for the beginning so I don't go through the aquaphor too fast. I'm also considering my Nivea redness relief soothing night cream but it's a cream gel and I'm not sure it will be enough a few months down the line.

So! I guess that's all I really need to say for my first entry. I'll probably post photos tonight when I get home from work. I'd love any feedback from you guys, especially if you're in my weight range and have started with 40mg--I'd love to know how fast the effects come on.

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Okay. SO I just got home from work, and I have a few things to report about my first day on Accutane (Claravis):

One: It was really, really unfortunate that I had such a busy day on the day I started this medicine because I am literally exhausted right now, my whole body feels like jello, and I can't tell if it's from the drug or not. All I know is that I was running around all morning, and then I ran around all night (from 10 am to 3 pm and then 4 pm until 10:30 pm), up and down stairs, no less. I would be tired from that, regardless, but this feels a little out of the ordinary. Less physically tired from moving a lot, more like I just didn't have the energy to begin with. I guess we'll just have to see about this part.

Two: I'm pretty sure that I experienced a tane flush a few hours after I took the pill. I feel like that's crazy, to be saying I had such an apparent side effect RIGHT AWAY, but I'm pretty sure that's what this was. I took one pill and it wasn't even a particularly high dose for my weight. But before ya know it, I was sitting down folding napkins getting ready for my shift and talking with some of my co workers when I suddenly felt really really hot and I could feel my face burning up. I was worried there was more to it than just that so I stood up really quickly and got some water. I half expected to pass out when I stood up but the opposite happened--it just sort of passed and went away. I'm glad that that was all that happened, but I'm a little worried that this is a sign I'll be really really likely to experience the side effects regularly. Please cross your fingers for me.

Three: I'm uploading some photos of my face right now. I just washed my face with a very gentle cleanser, used my tea tree oil pads to remove any excess dirt/oil that the cleanser missed, and moisturized with aveeno 24 hour super dry skin relief. I may have picked a teensy bit before washing :X As you can see my left side is wayyyy better than my right. Most of the hyper pigmentation seen in the photo is left over form past spots and I know my skin well enough by now that I don't scar permanently with that kind of discoloration--it goes away in time. There's a very small nodule on my left jaw though, and a spot i just picked at on my upper cheek. The right side though is nodule city!! The one on my jaw and upper cheek bone are new and active, the others are lamely just sitting there--slightly raised, discolored, and really irritating. But that's the kind of acne I have. It's not unbearable, not a thousand at once, but the ones I have hurt, are very obvious without make up, and totally come out of nowhere and take forever to leave.

I really, really hope that a few months from now I will be writing a post in the 'positive accutane stories' thread like so many of the ones I read before making the decision to try the drug. Unlike a lot of people on this site, I HAVE had bouts of 100% clear skin randomly throughout my young adulthood. Heck, I don't think I wore ANY make up at all my first semester of college. I know I'm fortunate in that way, I'd never argue that-- but sometimes I wonder if it's worse. I know EXACTLY what kind of person I am when my skin is clear, and I see how much something like this changes me entirely. It's like I go from being an extrovert to an introvert at the drop of a hat and it stinks.

Anyway, on a positive note, I'm off tomorrow and ready for day 2! good luck to everyone else in the same boat!

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Okay, day two today.

I luckily had the day off and MAN was I wiped out. Again, I had a really busy, very physically strenuous day yesterday, so it's really hard for me to figure out if I'm so tired today because of that, OR because of Claravis. I will say though--I slept for 9 hours from last night into this morning, all morning I felt I was in a very tired, groggy haze--that feeling when you're just like 'man, I just never actually woke up today'--and then I actually took a NAP from 4 to 6. After the nap I felt a lot more energized but like, I barely did anything today, it's hard to think accutane doesn't have some sort of role in it.

One thing I should mention--I tend to be really reactive when it comes to medication. In fact, I was worried about accutane and avoided it for a long time because I was afraid of the risk of depression. I've never suffered from depression before, I'm a very upbeat and proactive person normally, but when I was prescribed minocycline at a moderate dose for my skin a few years ago, within two days I was literally crying every ten minutes and couldn't leave the house. I also had some really bad stomach issues. At that time I was in college and home for the summer so luckily I had my mom with me to help, and she looked up the drug online and found out that its more severe side effects are depression and queasiness. I had to stop taking it right away. I've also been on BC on and off for most of my young adulthood and that has also affected my moods pretty deeply. It's never caused depression, but I can just always tell the feeling of having it in my system versus not. I don't know if it's technically possible, to have a person who is more receptive to medication than other people, but it's something I can't help but thinking that's what's going on with me if I'm experiencing extreme fatigue and that flush thing after just two days of a low dose for my weight.

I'd really love to hear anyone's input on that subject--I think it would make me feel a little better.

The good news is: My skin is definitely not worse. I didn't wear any make up today and it's been a WHILE since I've had the chance to do that. I think it's even a little less oily? But that could just be from lack of make up and physical exertion. My lips are a little dry, but it's also winter so it's nothing noteworthy. Most of what's on my face now is completely static. The kind of nodules that no longer hurt but don't seem to be going anywhere. I'd almost rather a face full of zits than just a few of those because I worry so much that they'll just never ever go away :/ I'm staying positive though and I'm just super excited to see results from Claravis!

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Day 5 today!

A little bit of an initial break out but nothing I couldn't handle. I started claravis on a good week and the breakout now seems like it'll just surmount to my skin on a bad week, normally. But knock on wood, hopefully I haven't spoken too soon! I'll post more pictures tonight or tomorrow!

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Good luck on the rest of your course :)

I am very sensitive to drugs as well and I experienced dry lips and fatigue the probably around day 2 /3 in my course. I felt an intense pressure in my ears and a stuffed up nose the first pill I took. started off with 30mg and then had to lower my dose to 10mg two weeks later, I then worked my way up to where I am now at 40mg and where I'll be staying for the rest of my course. My derm won't raise my prescription because of my severe IB and sensitivity.

I work at a restaurant as well (as a cook) and totally understand what you mean by it getting busy.

I'd say that months 1-3 are the worst months of treatment, the side effects are really apparent. But I'm halfway through month 4 and I rarely feel any fatigue / side effects. Only thing that's really bothersome is sore joints but omega 3's help a lot : )

hope all goes well ~

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Hey, thanks SlowAndSteady! I wish you the best of luck as well! Do you have a log of your own? And how is month four going... Are you seeing the results you were hoping for?

Today was day 6 for me. I still think that the stuff I experienced the first couple of days was accutane related, but it seems that was just my body adjusting to the drug because I really haven't experienced anything like that since then. Right now the only things I've got going on are slightly dry lips--but my Carmex is still winning that battle for now--and what seems to be a slight I.B. OR an ovulation break out. Either way it's not too bad but it is annoying. Oh. And I do feel like my head or the skin on my body is mildly itchy every now and again.

Here's a few pics of the progress. I will say that the stuff that was on my face before has seemingly flattened. And the breakout I did have was composed of much smaller spots than I usually get. A lot of the red spots I have are flat and recently picket at because they came to a head so quickly. I'm really really bad with that. Anything under the skin I know to leave alone. But if it's something I know I can do something about, it's so hard for me to keep my hands off :/

Anyways, the more days that pass, the more excited I am to increase my dosage. I feel like I'm ready for the absolute worst and I just want to deal with it all at once and get it over with as fast as possible. On the bright side, I'm using my time on accutane to be a little more liberal with my diet. For the past few years dairy has 100% equalled a breakout of some kind. My favorite thing in the WORLD is frozen yogurt and I had to give it up when this whole skin thing started. Well, I figure accutane i going to do what it's going to do, dairy or no dairy and I might as well allow myself to indulge once and a while. I'm not going crazy but it felt very freeing to put a little half and half in my coffee this morning again.

Hope everyone is having a good day. I'd love to hear anyone's advice on how to deal with the IB. Right now my face isn't that dry yet so I'm wondering if I can still use my usual spot treatment stuff or if it'd just be setting me up to get even drier later on?

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Day 7 today!

I woke up and every spot on my face was at least a little bit smaller and flatter. There were no new spots either. I don't think I'm out of the woods yet or anything, but today is a pretty good day and it gives me confidence that the medication is doing its job!

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Hey, thanks SlowAndSteady! I wish you the best of luck as well! Do you have a log of your own? And how is month four going... Are you seeing the results you were hoping for?

Today was day 6 for me. I still think that the stuff I experienced the first couple of days was accutane related, but it seems that was just my body adjusting to the drug because I really haven't experienced anything like that since then. Right now the only things I've got going on are slightly dry lips--but my Carmex is still winning that battle for now--and what seems to be a slight I.B. OR an ovulation break out. Either way it's not too bad but it is annoying. Oh. And I do feel like my head or the skin on my body is mildly itchy every now and again.

Here's a few pics of the progress. I will say that the stuff that was on my face before has seemingly flattened. And the breakout I did have was composed of much smaller spots than I usually get. A lot of the red spots I have are flat and recently picket at because they came to a head so quickly. I'm really really bad with that. Anything under the skin I know to leave alone. But if it's something I know I can do something about, it's so hard for me to keep my hands off :/

Anyways, the more days that pass, the more excited I am to increase my dosage. I feel like I'm ready for the absolute worst and I just want to deal with it all at once and get it over with as fast as possible. On the bright side, I'm using my time on accutane to be a little more liberal with my diet. For the past few years dairy has 100% equalled a breakout of some kind. My favorite thing in the WORLD is frozen yogurt and I had to give it up when this whole skin thing started. Well, I figure accutane i going to do what it's going to do, dairy or no dairy and I might as well allow myself to indulge once and a while. I'm not going crazy but it felt very freeing to put a little half and half in my coffee this morning again.

Hope everyone is having a good day. I'd love to hear anyone's advice on how to deal with the IB. Right now my face isn't that dry yet so I'm wondering if I can still use my usual spot treatment stuff or if it'd just be setting me up to get even drier later on?

Yeah I do have a log of my own, somewhere along the first two pages of this forum :P Month 4 has definitely been my best month, around month 3 is where my skin started to improve since my IB. I have a lot of hyperpigmentation and some light scarring on my face from my IB unfortunately. I suppose I don't get breakouts anymore (well I got a small one the other day because I was on my period but nothing much, just a couple small zits) but my skin is no where near where I;d like it to be and theres still a long way for me to go. The good thing is that everyday its getting better. I am supposed to be on accutane for about 2 month months, maybe 3

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Well hang in there! Just think in another 4 months this will all be behind you, either way! The reason I decided to go for accutane was because despite the controversy over the side effects, the results are definitely inarguable. If you can suffer through it you'll definitely be happy you did. At least that's what I keep telling myself and I'm only on day 8, haha.

I dropped by to give another update: My face just really isn't that dry. In fact I would say that if I wasn't constantly looking for subtle changes in dryness, I'd porbably not have noticed anything different at all. This worries me slightly. I know Im starting on a lower dose so I'm sure this will change when I go back to the derm and get a bigger scrip, but I feel like I'm wasting time, sort of. Like if I'm going to break out from this medication I want it to all be in one shot. Oh well. I suppose I should at least give it another week before expecting to see a real difference right?

Here's what my face looks like with makeup, just as a reference. My hope is that no matter how bad my IB gets, I will still always be able to hide most of it if I really need to. My biggest nightmare is having things get uncontrollably worse first, leaving me with a bigger mess than I started with.

Anyway, I'm going out to dinner with some friends tonight and then going to stay with my boyfriend for a couple of days. Hopefully this will be a nice little vacation from Accutane Watch and next thing I know things will be moving along! Hope everyone is having a good week :)

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Day number 9:

Well, looks like I spoke to soon. Today was the first day that I noticed a marked change in the dryness of my face. I washed with a gentle cleanser and moisturized as I have been since beginning claravis. I put on makeup pretty much as soon as I got out of the shower and finished my morning routine. I walked around a LOT today and even took a brief 20 minute nap and my face was totally matte and even a little bit dry ALL DAY. That's like unheard of for me. Especially after napping, I usually wake up to a pool of oil. I know this is just the beginning but I think it was just what I needed to give me the faith that this medicine is really going to do its job. Additionally, a lot of that first little break out I had is mostly dried out now too. I still have the red marks and raw skin from where they were but I'll take that over actives any day. I'll keep you posted on when this dryness turns into a nightmare but right now I really can't complain!

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Day 11!

Okay, I feel like this is finally the point where things have kicked into gear. First of all, my face is dry. Not outrageously peeling, not painfully so (not yet, anyway), but it's definitely, definitely, definitely DRY. So are my lips. I'm still breaking out, kind of... but it's really just not that bad. I'm wondering if this is the IB? Like I get 1-2 new spots every 2 days, roughly, but in that time a lot of old spots dry up and go away. Tonight some of the nodules that i thought were all dried up started having a small resurgence, but I think that's actually FROM the dryness, or possibly because I had dairy again today. Either way, it's completely bearable right now. In fact, the semi-break out seems like an even trade for the disappearance of oil. It's amazing! I have side bangs. And until claravis, I usually got about 4 hours of nice normal dry bangs before they turned into a greasy, stringy mess on my face from sopping up the oil on my forehead. Today I had my bangs down ALL DAY and here I am at 1:30 am and they are still dry, looking just like they did when I did my hair this morning. This is literally like HUGE. It just feels like one small step in the right direction.

On another note, my urine is like yellow-orange and cloudy (sorry, super gross). It's very similar to the consistency of having a yeast infection, but it's definitely NOT one of those because there is no urination pain involved or any of the other side effects. I posted about this on the accutane drug forum and someone said they thought this was a fairly typical side effect because it causes more protein in your pee. This sounds reasonable to me and I'm not overly concerned, but I would love to know if anyone else has experienced it? Any ideas on what might help reduce this? I'm thinking that drinking more water is a simple solution that might really help, but I'm wondering if there's anything else I can do?

I'm starting to overcome the fatigue, I think. I expect it will worsen when my dosage increases, but for now it seems like my body just adjusted and now I feel pretty normal. I haven't experienced any sort of flush since the very first day, and while I did have a slightlyyyyy achey hip joint the other day, it was so mild and so normal, it could just as easily have had nothing to do with accutane whatsoever.

I'd say that all in all, right now I'm still winning the battle. I know it might not be the case for the entire course, but for now I will definitely take it!

Goodnight everyone! Hope all is well! Please leave any feedback you might have!

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Oops I was wrong. Yesterday was day 12, and today is day 13!

One thing I want to note--my hair is definitely shedding.

I'm wondering if this is what people mean by hair loss, or if I should be expecting it to like fall out in chunks (um, PLEASE NO!!!). What I'm experiencing now is nothing more than an average hair shedding cycle--girls definitely know what I'm talking about. When you have long hair it kinda goes through phases... sometimes there's a big clump of hair in your shower drain for a week or two, then there's none for a while. I think if this continued all 5 months of treatment it'd be minimally noticeable, but right now I'm at a stage where I still have to wash my hair daily. I can tell that this won't be the case in about a week or two because of the gradually increasing dryness, so I'm figuring that the less I wash it, the less I'll shed, and the less this will be a problem. I think I'm going to start taking biotin and fish oil for good measure, though!

Also, my face is flat and matte. It's awesome.

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Another update about day 13:

I'm experiencing 'swollen pores' I think? Like nottttt severely at ALL... but I've read about other people noticing their pores getting bigger in the places that they aren't breaking out just to push out any excess oil, I guess? This is happening on my forehead. I never break out on my forehead (knock on wood) and it doesn't seem like there's one on the way (it always hurts a little when you press on the area if there's a cyst coming), but I have like slightly raised uneven skin there when it's normally flat and smooth.

It's really REALLY not noticeable unless you look closely and I'm hoping it stays that way. It's kind of nice to know that getting more blemishes is not the only way for this medication to make a difference. Hopefully I'll just continue to break out where I normally do until I just don't anymore, and the rest of my skin will change without needing to explode first. Fingers crossed!

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Day 14:

Being dry is fantastic! Seriously. I hope I stay this way. I can tell that my cheeks are pushing some stuff out which is great, but it's causing them to be kinda bumpy and gross. BUT because I'm dry throughout the day, it looks pretty mild with make up. I didn't realize how much the shininess of oily skin drew attention to the imperfections. Does that make sense?

Anyways, today I bought CeraVe moisturizers for AM and PM. Just used the PM one and I like it so far. I'm wondering if it will be enough in a few weeks, but right now my face feels moisturized and smooth but there's no residue to speak of. That's awesome.

I also bought Biotin to take for my hair and nails. I'm hoping it prevents any of the hair loss symptoms, and I generally have really brittle nails so I'm excited to see the results in a few weeks. I felt it couldn't hurt to try it.

That's all I have to report for now. Oh, my eyes are getting kinda dry. I predict I'll be back to the drug store in a few days to get some eye drops too.

I have a job interview tomorrow and the rest of the day off! I'm going to need to cross my fingers that I can make myself look presentable and clearish (at least) for the am interview but then come home and remove my make up to let my skin have a nice break for the rest of the day.

Goodnight all! :)

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Hey I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with your course! I got my accutane prescription the same day you started, but I've been really reluctant to start in fear of what the IB would be like. This is my second course and my skin is a lot like yours at this point, so your pictures have given me the boost I needed to stop worrying and just start already! Thank you :) I'll be checking in!


(Age 18-19) Second Course

Feb. 14, 2012 -

(Age 16-17) Accutane Log

Dec '09 - Aug '10


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Oh wow, I'm really happy to hear that! Keep me posted on how it goes for you! So far I have no regrets. Just as I was hoping, it seems like the worst of the IB is still just going to be like a bad day for my skin, not like, so outrageously bad it's nothing my skin has ever done before. And as of right now the pros are definitely outweighing the cons! Did you reach the max. dosage for your weight the last time around? One worry I have is that since mine is hormonal it will be more likely to return, but I'm trying not to think of that!! Thank you, again, and good luck!!

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Just took my 19th pill!

I have to say, once I hit day 15 and was drying out--time started flying by. I feel like the hardest part about accutane is the waiting. Waiting for a derm to actually agree to prescribe it. Waiting 30 days before you can actually take it. Waiting for it to start showing that it's working. Waiting to get bumped to a higher dosage. But once you do see that it's working, it's a lot easier to not be checking up on it and worrying every 5 minutes.

Anyway, there really isn't much to report. I've been very dry and oil-free for about a week now. But not crazy dry. Just my face and my lips, and kinda my hands. My skin has not been breaking out much (though I'm definitely getting a new small nodule on my jaw as we speak, but I'm also totally due for my period so I guess that was unavoidable), but it has also been pretty slow to clear. Small nodules that I thought were really over with (like that I even got some gunk out of at one point), will just go down to almost gone, and then one day I'll wake up and they'll be flared up again with a little more gunk that I'll have to wait for to get out. It seems like the dryness is helping them go down but making it slower for them to fully heal. Anyone else experiencing this?

Also I gotta say I'm a little confused about terms here. What I call nodules are like mini-cysts on my face, that I can tell are just like super inflamed and swollen clogged pores that form an annoying red bump, a hard one. When I push down on them, it sometimes feels like I'm able to massage some of the inflammation down in a way, and I can feel that it's just centered around this on pore with gunk to drain. Idk if that's actually wat a nodule is but that's what I've been calling it. I think I just have a really hyper active inflammatory process in my body.

Anyway, I'm still at a stage where I'll gladly take my current blemish situation if it means I can be oil free like this. It just makes life so much easier! Make up looks better, I don't have to worry about accidentally wiping some of my face off on my boyfriends shirt, etc. It's not perfect, obviously, but it's a nice change. And for day 19, I'm ok with that. I will say, though--I can't wait for my dosage to go up so I can just get this over with! I'm hoping she bumps me to 60 and I stay on that for the course. For some reason, 80mg scares me a little. But I trust her, so who knows, maybe I'll be taking that in no time!

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yes flutterby i had the same thing happen to me it was super wierd!!! just when you think they would be gone, when i would wake up in the morning they would be refilled and painful just like they just got on my face! im glad you posted this because i was wondering the same thing if anyone else had this happen! your not alone!

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glad i found this post. Im not sure how far along I am, have lost count but must be around 40 days or so. I was doing so great and suddenly ive got cysts again. I hope its just a temporary blip!

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You might still be experiencing the IB, mine lasted for about a month and a half. After that things started calming down a little. Just be prepared, once you think your in the clear another round of breakouts happen. Today marked month 3 for me and I only have 1 active pimple right now. So much better from the 10 I had when I started! I hope your journey keeps on progressing! And you are very pretty btw!

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Good luck with your course! I never had an initial breakout, so maybe you won't get much of one either. My skin just went dry, my FAVORITE side effect. My makeup has never looked so fantastic. I am almost done with my course, so I'm a little anxious to see how my skin behaves without accutane. The hair loss you mentioned could just be normal shedding and you are just noticing it more because you know it's a potential side effect. I did the same thing in my first month, but it turned out to be nothing. My hair has not been affected by the accutane.


Current Regimen: Solodyn, BeYaz, Atralin, Aczone

1 course of Accutane completed March 2012


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hey there! i'm 22 as well and JUST STARTED claravis today, on 40mgs! i'm really excited and will be following your log too! here's to good skin by may-june range!! <3 keep in touch, i'll be posting frequently too hope we both don't have too bad side effects!


accutane log!

5'5 / 120-125 lb / female

accutane started feb 9, 2012 -- feb 29, 2012 @ 40 mg

feb 29, 2012 -- ? @ 60 mg and 10 mg prenidsone

month 1 (2/9 - 2/29) 40 mg

month 2 (2/29 - 4/9) 60 mg + 10 mg prenidsone

month 3 (4/9 - 5/9) 60 mg + 7.5 mg prenidsone

month 4 (5/9 - 6/9) 60 mg + 5 mg prenidsone

month 5 (6/9 - 7/9) 60 mg + 2.5 mg / went off prenisone

month 6 (7/10 - 8/6) 80 mg

month 7 (8/7 - 9/4) - 120 mg

month 8 (9/5 - 10/9) - 120mg

products: dr. alkatis cleanser, aqua gel exfoliant, herbal toner, skinceuticals phloretin CF, dr. alkatis soothing gel and oil, egyptian magic

makeup: most days - skin79 bb cream & maybelline age rewind concealer / more coverage days - kat v d tattoo concelaer and nars


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Hey guys!

Thank you so much for all of your responses. You said some very nice and relieving things to hear and I'm so glad I'm not alone on the 'never going away' thing. I haven't written in a while because I just started a new job (yay!) and because there really hasn't been very much of a change (...eh). The basic scenario is that my face is dry. Slightly more so than would be absolutely ideal--but it's still pretty sweet. I cut bangs for the first time in years because now I finally have skin that won't make them greasy and disgusting after 2 hours. I figure I'm gunna take advantage of this particular side effect for as long as it graces me with its presence. Everything else on my face is basically a scab or a very small remnant of a nodule that JUST WONT GO AWAY. This freaks me out a little because I fear that it's a permanent scar. Realistically though, I don't think that's the case. My skin has never been prone to scarring before and you guys saw my before pictures. I'd be kidding myself if I tried to argue that I had the worst acne ever before starting my prescription. People who were a lot worse off than me when they started end up with immaculate skin. I'm sure my weird dry flattened nodules will disappear eventually. Knock on wood.

I'm at a stand still. I'm not really breaking out anymore, but I'm not clearing too much either. The big, clogged pores on my nose unclog and vanish more and more each day. That part is truly incredible. I think I've had those since I was like 11. Otherwise, there's still some stuff under the skin in my cheek area (the right cheek in particular) that I know just needs to get pushed out, but is being really stubborn. I don't think that's going to make an appearance until my dosage is increased.

I have my second derm appointment at 4pm on the 15th--this Wednesday. I'm hoping that I can get a higher dosage. She did say she'd be underdosing me a bit the first month, so I'm prepared for a hike in side effects at first (maybe even another IB) but ultimately a hike in results too. Sigh. I'll write again after my visit and see what I end up with!

Good luck to everyone! Hope all is going well for you guys! Let me know if you have any advice for handling the dosage increase! Any way to fend off the increase in side effects or another possible IB? Words of wisdom, even?

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Day 30!!

Wow. So, I just swallowed the final pill of my first month on Claravis. My derm appointment was today, as well, so as long as everything goes according to plan (knock on wood), I should be getting a phone call from them tomorrow morning telling me to go go ahead with the ipledge questions and filling 2nd my prescription!

Having the appointment today was a really great way to recap on this month's experiences. When my derm asked how the first month went, I found myself really happy to respond. I realized I literally have no complaints about this medication so far. Did my skin clear amazingly? No, of course not. But I was definitely not expecting that just yet. BUT my breakouts did not get worse. They stayed the same or as of today have become ever so slightly less frequent. My oil literally DISAPPEARED. I had a little fatigue the first two weeks but that's been a mind over matter thing for me so far, so for the last two weeks it hasn't been an issue. I realized I've been able to forget about my skin just a little more each day because A. I'm seeing changes that are letting me know this medication WILL work and B. more practically, I just really don't need to maintain my face throughout the day as I did when it was oily. No blotting, no touching to see if I need to blot when I don't have a mirror to look in, no makeup smudging all over at the slightest touch just because it's too oily to stay on. Within two weeks I could include dairy in my diet without the immediate cyst popping up, and my hair is amazingly no longer greasy after 12 hours. EVEN IF MY SKIN STAYED EXACTLY AS IT IS RIGHT NOW, MY LIFE WOULD IMPROVE QUITE A BIT. That's amazing considering I'm only one month in. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I'll break out plenty and that the dryness will worsen, but I feel like I'm starting off on a really great foot.

ANYWAY... She bumped me up to 80 mg per day. She said she could bump me gradually by doing a month on 60 first, or go to 80 right away. She said she personally suggested jumping right to 80 and getting it over with. I was totally in agreement with this, we basically said it at the same time, so alas, that's what I'm doing. I will say--I'm a little nervous that doubling the dose will literally mean doubling the side effects. I don't think it necessarily works like that though, so here's hoping! She also said that month two is when people start to see really big results. I was always under the impression that this was something more like month 3 or 4, but I trust her. I KNOW I'm going to break out on the 80 because I can feel some stuff under my skin, in the cheek area especially, that just wasn't coming out with the 40. I'm sure it will be lump city for a little while this month but my hope is that once that stuff is out it'll mostly calm down. As I've said before, I was definitely not the world's worst acne sufferer before starting this so I'm hoping nothing outrageous happens and that my skin doesn't take 8 million years to start looking better.

Oh! She gave me some advice on hair loss!! I'm not experiencing hair loss (so far, fingers crossed BIG TIME for this one), but when she was going down the symptoms asking if I'd experienced any of them, I mentioned that for a day or two I thought I might be losing more than usual, but then it stopped and I realized that it was just some routine shedding, and also that since my scalp is dryer I just don't need to wash my hair as frequently. She said two things. One--if you're having accutane related hair loss, it kind of all happens in one shot. Like you might have a mass shedding in one particular shower. More than you've ever seen come out of your head at once. It's easy to worry about the symptom and then think it's happening to you when it's really not. Hair falls out. You're not necessarily going bald, and it's very likely not from this drug. Number two--and this one is the thing I really wanna share with you guys--she said that letting your hair go unwashed for more than two days can actually cause hair loss or scalp issues while on accutane as well. Basically the 'every other day' ideal works both ways. Even though your hair is dryer and requires less washing on the meds, you should still not go more than 1-2 days without cleaning it, just like you should not be washing it every day or more than once a day, either. I know I've personally been doing the every other day thing for a while now, something I could NEVER have done before claravis, but if she hadn't said this, I might have gone even longer once I started drying out more, thinking the less you wash it the better, but now I know that that isn't the case.

Okay. So that's all for now. I'll update either tomorrow or in a few days about how the bump to 80 mg is affecting my experiences. I'll be taking 2 40mg capsules per day. She said ideally to do one in the am and one in the pm but if I forget easily or need to do so for convenience sake, I can take them both at once. My goal is to always separate them by a few hours at least. I'd really, really appreciate if anyone has any advice for such a big jump in dosage, or any good and bad experiences to share. I'm just not entirely sure what to expect from the change, and I'd love any advice you have.

Thanks everyone! I'm really excited to be moving forward at such a fast pace, and I really hope everyone is having some great experiences!

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I stayed on the same dose for my entire course, but I know some other people on this forum have jumped to 80. Most people seem to say they feel more tired, a little more back pain, and more skin dryness. Just make sure to drink even more water than you were before, since accutane makes us need more water.

Thanks for including that information about hair. Mine was the same way. I used to have to shampoo daily because my scalp was so oily, then it dried up with accutane and I was tempted to see how long I could go only conditioner washing. I only did 2 days and decided it was probably bad for some reason. I still wash every other day now and my hair is doing really well with that. I hope it stays this way when I finish my course in 12 days!


Current Regimen: Solodyn, BeYaz, Atralin, Aczone

1 course of Accutane completed March 2012


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