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Katie's Claravis Log

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#1 PharmD2017

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:40 PM

Hi there! My name is Katie and I'm 21 years old. Unfortunately, I've battled acne vulgaris for years despite my attempts with tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, cortisone injections, creams, and gels. I believe I experienced adult onset acne because my skin became much worse a few months ago and led me to visit the dermatologist with the intent of beginning oral isotretinoin. My parents were against this decision from the start, but now they realize that its impact is not as extreme as the media suggests. I was prescribed 40 milligrams of Claravis daily on September 27th, so today was my 44th day or 6th week. My initial breakout was so severe that I developed a painful acne lesion under my upper lip and I was given a kenalog injection for the first time in my life. Although I've noticed my skin is at its smoothest I've ever seen, I struggle with looking in the mirror and discovering new pimples almost every day. I pray there will be a point where each day I can see visible improvement; however, I'm aware that I need to be patient as tough as that is. I see my physician on November 26th for my 2nd appointment, so I hope she can remind me that this difficult process will result in a perfectly clear complexion. She told me I should expect to be on this medication for 6 months, so I won't have that flawless face I've dreamed of for a while. Even though I've dealt with the usual side effects associated with such an intense drug, I should mention that I never felt pain around my breast implants until a few days ago. Oddly enough, said pain was only on my right side and hurt similarly to as if a nerve was pinched. Luckily, I'm no longer having that problem. If any fellow Accutane (and other brands) users could reassure me that this journey is worth the price (I mean that not only figuratively, but also literally), please feel free to comment here. I'm not fortunate enough to know many people that can relate to me in this sense, so I'd really appreciate hearing what you have to say. I'll try to keep this log updated at least on a weekly basis. Thank you so much for listening to my story Posted Image

Edited by PharmD2017, 09 November 2012 - 08:41 PM.


#2 James9

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

Hang in there!! I have a picture journey on my profile if you want to take a look. Also I have my own log called 'accutane video journey' Expect it to get worse and then better! Don't give up!

#3 PharmD2017

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:22 PM

Hi James! Thanks for the encouraging words. I looked at your pictures and video. I don't think your acne is that bad. You have great features that most people will notice long before they look at your neck. You mentioned that your skin was slightly peeling, so I recommend CeraVe moisturizers. I prefer the night one because it's incontrovertibly effective without feeling greasy. My guess is that the morning version wouldn't be as relieving for dry skin. I'd also suggest Cetaphil, but my opinion is that its products aren't as efficacious for flaking skin. I completely understand why you feel self-conscious, so don't feel alone. Personally, I wish I could enjoy hanging out at bars and clubs with friends since my 21st birthday was just last month, but I feel like my confidence is at its lowest. Let's hope that both of us can have our self-esteem restored in the end! You're 5 weeks ahead of me, so have you noted significant progress yet? How many months do you have left? I'm in my 6th week, so should I expect any important changes between now and the 11th one? :)

#4 James9

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

My face and hair started to get WAY less oily right at about the point you are now. I'm not sure how severe your acne is but right about now is when things dhould start to get slowly better. Don't panic if YOU don't see it right away. You are probably constatly checking your skin, like me, and won't notice much change. But it is changing and other people will notice! I'm a perfectionist and my skin is not perfect so I'm still pretty bummed out and think my acne is still really bad, but other people (Mom, doctor) are like 'Your skin is getting much better!' Just hang in there :) keep me updated on here though and you can message me if you have any additional questions or amything!

#5 PharmD2017

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:58 AM

I'm a perfectionist as well, so I can relate. Is your dose still 20 milligrams like you said in your video? That seems low because I weigh about 90 pounds and I was prescribed 40 milligrams. Also, I feel better when I apply foundation to cover some of my cysts, so that may help you if you have trouble being seen in public like I do. I can't wait to be complimented on my face like you have been! I need to remember that I won't see an overnight miracle :)

#6 James9

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:37 AM

I'm at 60 right now! 20 for the first month; 60 for the 2nd and third.

#7 Taylor13

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

the journey is worth it, trust me!

i discovered acne.org towards the end of 2008 when my acne was out of control bad. after researching accutane on this site, i went to a new derm and got on it in january of 2009 and took it for 7 months. my course was pretty easy, the side effects weren't nearly as bad as i thought they were going to be. my acne did get worse before it got better though. but at the end of the 7 months my face was clear and beautiful. in fact, i was completly clear since like month 4. i loved it. i stayed clear for 3 years until this past June when it started acting up again. i'm bummed to be back on acne.org and bummed to be back on my second course of accutane, but i'm thankful for those 3 years of clear skin. it was amazing. and in truth, i know accutane is the only thing that will ever help my face since my acne is genetic.

just stick with it and stay strong. you will be sooooo happy in the end when people compliment your nice skin and you won't have to spend forever piling on makeup to cover your breakouts. trust me. :)

STARTED ACCUTANE 8 NOV 2012 Posted Image
MONTH 1 - 40MG




"keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart"


#8 James9

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:42 PM

7 months? Do you remember what MG you were on?

#9 Taylor13

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:21 AM

7 months? Do you remember what MG you were on?


not exactly. i believe i was on 40 for a few months. then 60 for a few and my last month was 30. something like that.

STARTED ACCUTANE 8 NOV 2012 Posted Image
MONTH 1 - 40MG




"keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart"


#10 PharmD2017

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

Taylor, did your acne return to what it was like before you were on Accutane? That's unusual that your dosage would be increased, then decreased. My dermatologist told me I'm staying at 40 milligrams the entire time.

#11 blondie4336

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:05 PM

Goodluck!! I also just started using claravis (accutane) in september, started on 10mg a day, then october went up to 30mg a day and now just started this past Friday with 30 mg twice daily.. Hoping I will start to see some results soon :( I am so discouraged...

#12 PharmD2017

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:20 PM

Blondie, I think your dose is too low. I weigh less than 100 pounds and I've always been prescribed 40 milligrams. Research on Accutane suggests 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/day is appropriate for treating acne.

Edited by PharmD2017, 12 November 2012 - 11:20 PM.


#13 jamie o

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:56 PM

Goodluck!! I also just started using claravis (accutane) in september, started on 10mg a day, then october went up to 30mg a day and now just started this past Friday with 30 mg twice daily.. Hoping I will start to see some results soon Posted Image I am so discouraged...


Hey blondie your dose is right. Some people are started on a really low dose to limit their initial breakout and also it limits the risk of an allergic reaction. You are on a higher dose than me, so long as your dose is equal to or above the 0.5mg/day than all the dose effects is how long your Accutane course lasts. Good luck with your treatment.

Blondie, I think your dose is too low. I weigh less than 100 pounds and I've always been prescribed 40 milligrams. Research on Accutane suggests 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/day is appropriate for treating acne.


Katie the 0.5 to 1mg/kg/day is for your accumulative dose, but that doesn't mean that some can't start on less. I am around 74 kg and I started on only 20mg/day, for three months,because my derm was concerned about me getting a horrible initial breakout and scarring from it. I am on my 170th day and a lot of the people who have started around when I did have had success with Accutane. Good luck with your treatment.

Edited by jamie o, 13 November 2012 - 04:53 PM.


#14 BeautifulCRYS

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

Hang in there!! I started he medicine last week and I am on 60mg.

#15 blondie4336

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

I started the 30mg twice a day, so 60 mg total a day, on Friday, so 5 days now... Have you started seeing results yet on the 60mg?! Thanks :)

#16 PharmD2017

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:30 PM

Jamie, I definitely agree that an initially low dose would mean a calmer breakout. My breakout was pretty severe, so I can see the benefits of that treatment plan. Thank you, Crys! I hope you have amazing results :)

#17 Taylor13

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:27 PM

Taylor, did your acne return to what it was like before you were on Accutane? That's unusual that your dosage would be increased, then decreased. My dermatologist told me I'm staying at 40 milligrams the entire time.


heyyyy. no my acne didn't come back nearly as bad as before. i'd say it was about 1/4 as bad as before. before i took accutane for the first time my spots were huge, red and deep under the skin and my face was just ANGRY lol. when i started coming back this past June it was mostly just small whitehead spots on my chin/jawline/sides of my face. but i know that for me, nothing will help it besides Accutane so i just went right for it instead of wasting time with topicals or perscription washes. those just irritate my already DRY skin and make matters worse.

my derms "plan" for me is to start me out at 40 for the 1st month then go up to 80 for the next 4 or 5 months, but i told her i don't really feel comfortable with taking 80 MG. honestly my acne isn't THAT bad to be on 80 MG. she's totally cool with that and says it's up to me what i wanna do. so i'm gonna increase to 60 MG next month and see how that feels.

STARTED ACCUTANE 8 NOV 2012 Posted Image
MONTH 1 - 40MG




"keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart"


#18 PharmD2017

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:41 PM

Week 7! Should I worry about drinking while on Accutane? I know I'm going to a wine walk on Saturday with a couple friends, but I don't want to compromise the efficacy of Accutane with alcohol. I think I'm experiencing more muscle aches now. Sometimes it's tough for me to get comfortable, especially when I'm sitting in a lecture for almost an hour and can't stretch much. Otherwise, I'd say my skin is slowly, but surely improving :)

#19 jamie o

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:29 PM

My derm said I could have the odd drink, 1-2 drinks (three on the rare occasion), every two-four weeks. I think he said that because he knew I wasn't going to abuse it and my blood tests were perfect. Did your derm mention how your blood tests came back? Also there is alcohol free wine, might not help you for this Saturday, but it may be an option for a different time.

My derm also said that a lot of the things they list as side-effects listed are just to prevent people taking lawsuits against the medication's company. How can someone blame some medicine they took ten years ago for their health problems, when it could be from abusing their bodies both prior and post accutane. That's why there are so many potenital side-effects. Not saying people should drink much or often, especially if the blood tests are dodgy.

In saying what I've said I'm probably going to aim at having a non alcoholic beer, damn I miss my spirits.

Have fun this weekend

Edited by jamie o, 14 November 2012 - 11:22 PM.


#20 whoartthou1

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:37 AM

any photos?