Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:22 PM
Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:05 PM
Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:01 AM
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?
Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:15 PM
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!
Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:31 AM
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!
Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:35 PM
Today was day 31 and my first day of 80mg!!
I didn't get the call from my derm's office approving my blood work and telling me to answer my questions until like 3:15pm This dermatologist I'm seeing is literally the best doctor I've ever been to, across the board. She's really liberal and up to date with what new treatments are working, and she actually listens to you and treats you like a pal, kind of... BUT her office staff kinda blows. The people at the front desk seem to know nothing about medicine whatsoever and they're like perpetually confused. It's in SoHo so they're like a bunch of fashionista hipsters paying their bills with a medical office job, it seems. I wouldn't care about this normally. I'd probably think they were cool and like the way they accessorized with their lab coats. But iPledge is such a pain in the ass as it is, it sucks when you don't really trust that the office is on top of their game. My derm is going to be out of the office for like 4 days right in the middle of my next seven day window, and before that is a weekend. I should have an appt on March 15th but my next one is on March 8th instead. They're going to have to do my bloodwork and preg. test but wait a few days to enter it and she'll have to post date my scrip as well. I really, really hope this goes the way it should. I'm nervous for what will happen when she's not in the office.
Anyway. Because I got my new supply so late today, I took both pills at once with my dinner. Tomorrow I'll start the one in the am and one in the pm thing. So far I feel pretty ok. I just showered and am a little itchy, and I swear I'm just ever so slightly dryer already. Otherwise everything is normal. I just worked out for an hour (after taking the meds) and I felt fully capable. Not achey, not exhausted. Granted it's just one day so far, but I'll take it as a good sign.
Woo! I'm expecting to see some noteworthy changes over the next week because of the dosage increase so I will update once things start happening. Hope everything is going well for everyone until then!