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Forced To Discontinue Minocycline- What Now?

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First off, it's important to consider that my acne is caused by lithium. I take lithium for mental health purposes and while it helps my mood tremendously, it causes a lot of side effects, including acne. Before taking lithium, I had very very mild acne (the occasional blemish or two). I started taking it two-ish years ago, and because it's such a lifesaver for me emotionally/mentally, going off the lithium is not an option.

My psychiatrist prescribed minocycline to control the acne the lithium had begun to cause, and it helped a ton. My acne was almost completely gone. Unfortunately, my doctor recently discovered that the mino was causing a high level of liver enzymes and medication-induced autoimmune hepatitis (after I had been taking it for six months). I completely discontinued the mino immediately, as the doctor instructed. To my extreme discontent, the acne has been gradually reappearing.

I wouldn't call the acne I experience "extreme" or "severe" by any means, but the blemishes I get are fairly abundant and sometimes even painful. Like every other person with acne, I would really MUCH rather be without it.

I wash my face with Murad clarifying cleanser for acne and use an oil-free moisturizer and the occasional clarifying clay mask to combat the blemishes. Unfortunately, I have found that there is little I can do about the acne on my shoulders and back. Not ideal for summer/swimsuit season.

If any of y'all have advice on how to combat these spots without the use of oral medications, please please please do share! Because of my depressive tendencies, I won't be taking Accutane or any other medication.

I would also prefer to avoid the dermatologist if at all possible. The last thing I need is another doctor to visit. :P

Thank you!

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Well I can understand not wanting to go off the lithium since it has helped you so much and it makes sense why the minocycline was discontinued because both medications hit the liver hard. So with that being said you are right that oral medications for acne may not be appropriate for you because how sensitive your liver is on the lithium. A good topical prescription medication for facial and body acne is the sodium sulfacetamide wash. I have heard many positive reviews for it, so it may be worth looking into and this can be prescribed by a GP, not a dermatologist. Or if you want to go a cheaper over the counter route, a sulfur bar soap is good too. I use the Sal-3 soap and it works well for me, here is the link

http://www.amazon.com/Salicylic-Acid-and-Sulfur-Soap/dp/B00685KUGA

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Well I can understand not wanting to go off the lithium since it has helped you so much and it makes sense why the minocycline was discontinued because both medications hit the liver hard. So with that being said you are right that oral medications for acne may not be appropriate for you because how sensitive your liver is on the lithium. A good topical prescription medication for facial and body acne is the sodium sulfacetamide wash. I have heard many positive reviews for it, so it may be worth looking into and this can be prescribed by a GP, not a dermatologist. Or if you want to go a cheaper over the counter route, a sulfur bar soap is good too. I use the Sal-3 soap and it works well for me, here is the link

http://www.amazon.com/Salicylic-Acid-and-Sulfur-Soap/dp/B00685KUGA

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I was on lithium post-Accutane for about 9 months for mood issues (that are now controlled well by a high-blood pressure medication, go figure) and it caused quite a case of acne again.

I went to my dermatologist and begged to go back on Accutane, and she (who prescribed creams for self-harm scars on my legs a few months earlier) looked at me and said, "You're not emotionally stable enough right now, and you don't need more Accutane. I'll put you on Bactrim so you clear up." I literally started balling and said through sobs, "But I AM emotionally stable!"

One day that'll be funny. One day.

However, at that point, I was off lithium for about 2 weeks, so nothing had cleared yet. Bactrim is my saving grace, so it's my go-to medication. It never interfered with lithium, and if you don't have problems with sulfa drugs, I'd run it past your derm. Good luck!

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