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14-Year-Old Son About To Start Accutane

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Hello everyone. Just joined the site today to connect with others who have been dealing with the heartbreak of severe acne. I am the mother of a 14-year-old son who has tried everything to help his cystic acne, which is currently out of control. He was on Doryx for 4 months with minimal improvement. He has had some success with Tazorac on his forehead but can't use it as often on his mouth area because of sensitivity. His self-esteem is at an all-time low and we fight nightly over washing his face, putting on creams, etc. He is just fed up and so am I. I am very afraid of Accutane but I don't see that we have any other option at this point. He is still actively growing (5' 7 1/2 inches right now) and is an athlete (cross-country running, track, basketball) so he is very active and out in the sun a lot. I'm worried about the possibility of this drug stunting his growth and causing joint and tendon issues. Also concerned about the possibility of inflammatory bowel disease while on this drug.

I would like any opinions and experiences of those who have taken this drug, especially from those who are around my son's age. Has anyone had success with taking a lower dose to avoid some of the side effects?

Thanks in advance everyone!

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I took one course of accutane, and from my experience I would be very wary of letting my children take accutane, and I most definitely would not let my 14 year old son take accutane. I would be too afraid of the side effects for someone still going through puberty. If I were you I would exhaust all other options first. Here are some more you could try: Benozyl peroxide, retin-A, sodium sulfacetamide, azelaic acid, aczone, differin, etc. I'd also check out alternative stuff like green smoothies and diet changes. Those things are really helping my acne which came back after accutane.

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You are such a sweet mother.

Anyways, there is a thread here were people discuss of how to get rid or the side effects of accutane that still occurs with them even after years. I also watched a youtube video of a man who took accutane who got permanent side effects.

I hope you and your son can find a way to get rid of his acne.

My best wishes for you.

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I agree with the poster above. I am 27 now and took accutane when I was 25 and was very active. Once I was on accutane for a few months I felt like I was a 80 year old woman. Very sore lower back, knee and ankle pain and swelling beyond what you can believe, I sometimes needed help down and up the stairs my knees would flare up so much. I needed oxycodon to deal with the pain plus steroids to bring down the swelling. I still have issue with my joints a year later. I've had to pay out the nose for X-rays and medications and ultra sounds ands cat scans just for this problem alone. I have migrains aswell. Another issue I had is hair loss after my accutane course, 3 weeks after my course my hair started falling out. It's corrected itself in the meantime but something to think about.

Also accutane is supposed to be a medication for severe acne or presistant beyond feasible treatments. At 14 I'm highly doubting he has tried more than a handfull of medications. It's a awful big risk to have your son take medication that is a chemotherapy drug because you guys argue about washing his face and using creams. My guess is he wasn't using them regiously for a 3 to 6 month time period to really give the medication a chance. Theoretically let's say there is 25 different ance treatments. ( I know there is more this is just a example) your son should have spend over 8 1/2 years at the least trying these different treatments. That's giving them a 3 month try. It's something you should put a lot of thought into. It may or may not give him lasting results at his age probably not because he still has years and years of puberty left with his hormones going all over the place.

There is a real risk of him stunting his growth at 14 years old. Not to mention all the other side effects he could get. I justified taking this medication after 10 years of treatments failing me time and time after time.i was starting to scar badly and my acne was painful and was effecting my career and my life in all aspects. I had exhausted all over options and I felt the risk was worth all the side effects I could potentially get. I did a 7 month course at 40mg my first 2 months and then 60 mg the remainder of my course. I finally was clear and when I stopped the medication I was as happy as ever. I was clear and all the side effects were going to wear off soon! I thought I have my life back! 3 months after my course my acne returned. Different acne lighter and in places I didn't break out prior but still acne. Accutane became less and less worth it with every week that passed and my joints still feel like a persons with arthritis.

I started treating my acne hormonally and I am now taking spiro to control my acne and it is working great and I am clear from that medication. Now I do believe that accutane did its job, it cleared me. But my hormones are out of whack and my body still wanted to break out. Not accutanes fault. But it wasn't a cure for me and for many many others. Take a look into the accutane logs you will see people keeping logs about their 1st 2nd 3rd 4th even 7th accutane courses. It's not a fix for lots of people. It's temporary just like antibiotics. But with way more side effects. I also suggest you reading logs both the good and bad logs or the positive and negative logs. Get a look at both sides, have your son read a detailed log from a male or female so he can see for himself what he should be expecting and if this is something he does want to do. He should be well educated with what he's signing up to do! So should you. Read around and see how often these side effects hit people and how long term some of them are too.

If he does take accutane I wish him the best of luck and make sure he takes the very best care of himself while on this medication it's almost like you have the flu for 6 months. Make sure he is using good gentle products nothing with a acne treatment in it. I recommend CeraVe products. I would not go a day without them while I did my course and I still don't go a day with out them now.

Good luck!

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Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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It's been pretty tough for me so far. I'm 22 years old, on 90mg. Pushing through though and I don't think I'll regret it. Really wish I got this over with at 14!

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My 14 year old, he will be 15 in August, has been on acctuane for 4 1/2 months, he came to me last week and said thank you. He had just seen a photo of himself from 6 months ago and could not believe how bad his skin was back then. He is now happy that he has nearly the clearest skin of his friends not one of the worst.

He has had the usual side effects but I have helped him ensure he takes care of himself via sun cream, lots of water, lip balm etc (and remembering to take his tablets at the right time every day)

You need to balance up the risks, and there are risks, make sure you speak to a trusted medical professional, read lots (don't believe it all), but take care through the whole process and make sure you talk things through openly and regularly, though avoid being over protective (I struggled with this to be honest)

Finally the first couple of months will be the worst especially the initital breakout so make sure you son is prepared

BTW, I took accutane when I was 30, made a huge difference, I was sorry I did not take it when I was much younger and swore I would not let my kids make the same mistake.

If you need any further advice message me

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Thanks everyone. I appreciate all of the comments and suggestions. We have been pretty diligent with the Tazorac on his forehead but can't use it every day yet around the mouth area because of sensitivity. His acne is cystic and inflammatory and is getting worse. I would definitely not be considering Accutane if it weren't so bad.

He has a very healthy diet, as he is an athlete and takes care of his body. I know there are people who have had success with cutting out all dairy, wheat, and sugar and adding in Zinc supplements and probiotics and we have already tried some of this, but not all of it.

This is such a difficult decision for both of us. We did find a dermatologist who is willing to try a lower dose to mitigate side effects. He says these lower doses can be just as effective for many people.

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What does ur son think about this?


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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He is at the point now where he wants to do it. He is an intelligent boy and we have reviewed all of the pros and cons. I am losing sleep over it though.

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I think it is wonderful that you and your son are working on this together. I have tried accutane a few times.

Pros: It did clear up my skin while I was on it for the 6 month period I tried it

Cons: after a few months it came back just as bad, I had a very upset stomach while on it and I have a much more sensitive digestive system because of it. The first time I tried it I was very happy and didn't suffer any depression because of the success. The other times I had some low lows and scary moments when honestly I would cry over how poorly I felt about myself.

Every experience meds are different.

I personally would not recommend accutane, however I think it is great you and your son have done your research and are looking at all the options.

Has he been doing the regimen regularly?

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I would be concerned that since he is not completely done with puberty he may take accutane, become clear, and then have another surge of male hormones and wind up in exactly the same predicament. Also, I believe that accutane can reduce your levels of male hormone during the course, and that is something that you really, really do not want when you are a 14 year old boy in puberty. If he cannot tolerate tazorac, then try something less drying like sodium sulfacetamide.

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@LennysTomatoes - We have been pretty consistent with the Tazorac now. He has also tried Duac gel but the antibiotic stopped working after a period of time. Using Benzoyl Peroxide on his chin area when the Tazorac starts to irritate him. Definitely concerned about the psychological side effects of this drug and the possibility that he would need more than one course.

@paigems - I share all the same concerns. We need to make a decision soon because school is starting again in less than 6 weeks

Again, thanks for everyone's opinions and suggestions. rolleyes.gif

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If you and your son decide to proceed with Accutane (and considering his age and acne severity), I think the biggest issue you have to worry about is a relapse of his acne post-Accutane, although even if his acne returns it may not be as severe.

http://content.karger.com/produktedb/produkte.asp?DOI=90646&typ=pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835909/pdf/de0103_0162.pdf

Once Accutane clears him (and it's likely that it will), I would strong recommend asking the dermatologist about a maintenance therapy such as a topical retinoid. Topical retinoids other than Tazorac include Retin-A and Differin.

post-145613-1306647069_thumb.jpg

(Click graph)

http://www.jle.com/en/revues/bio_rech/vir/e-docs/00/04/26/E3/texte_alt_jleejd00254_gr1.jpg

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/data/Journals/JAMA/4939/JCR40042.pdf

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/118/3/1188.full.pdf

Acne lesions typically recur for years, and so acne is nowadays considered to be a chronic disease. It has been shown that microcomedones significantly decrease during therapy but rebound almost immediately after discontinuation of a topical retinoid. Hence, the strategy for treating acne today includes an induction phase followed by a maintenance phase, and is further supported by adjunctive treatments and/or cosmetic treatments. Therefore, a maintenance therapy to reduce the potential for recurrence of visible lesions should be considered as a part of routine acne treatment. However, it is important to emphasize the lack of definitions surrounding the topic. One possible definition is: ‘Maintenance therapy can be defined as the regular use of appropriate therapeutic agents to ensure that acne remains in remission’.

Since 1973 it has clearly been shown that, after a controlled intervention phase with oral antibiotic and topical tretinoin, patients continuing to receive the topical retinoid in a controlled maintenance phase experience a significantly lower relapse rate. Several controlled trials have now been performed with topical retinoids to show the value of maintenance treatment, with a topical retinoid decreasing the number and preventing the development of microcomedones in different severity grades of acne.

To date, adapalene regimens have been most extensively studied as maintenance treatments for acne in four controlled trials (one on micro comedones) and two uncontrolled trials.

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I'm also concerned he's not fully through puberty. I took Accutane first when I was 20 (I believe). My feeling is wait until he's done puberty and done growing. His joints and tendons are still developing. His glands in various regions are developing. Notice the black box warning for pregnant people? It's because it hurts developing fetuses.

Obviously your son is no longer a fetus :) However, it can be inferred that it interferes with growth and development. I am a HUGE advocate for this drug, but I wouldn't recommend it for a 14 year old. Wait a few more years. The risks come down significantly after that.

Tazorac is a great topical. You can push the dose if you moisturize regularly. For really bothersome dryness/irritation, use a cortisone cream like hydrocortisone.

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Accutane Log - Started April 5, 2013


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Go visit a holistic doctor, one that specializes in both western and alternative medicine. Most traditional doctors make you feel like there are limited options, but visiting someone outside the mainstream will open your eyes to other treatments. I did the whole antibiotics/birth control/ topicals and my acne came back worse. The best results I got so far was with diet changes (again, the doctor will help you figure out the best diet), addressing digestive issues, herbs to balance hormones, high frequency facials, and some supplements. Your son is too young to be taking strong medicines, so try a gentler approach. Also, avoid products with sulfites (such as SLS) and salicylates as they may aggravate his acne if his skin is sensitive.

And by the way, my mom started me on acne meds since I was 14, am now 30 and paying for years of acne drugs in health issues. My mom recently said to me that if she had known the long term damage to my body, she would have never put me through all those ineffective treatments.

Basically, a holistic doctor will assess your son holistically - that is, the acne will be treated as a symptom of the "big picture." They thoroughly assess a person's health to try and figure out the cause, which might be a combination of things (hormones, irritating products, vitamin deficiencies, food intolerances, stress, etc). It can be a slower process, but in the end not only will his skin do better, but his health will also improve. You said he has a healthy diet, but there might be things in his diet that are healthy in general but not necessarily for him. I recently found out that tomatoes are bad for me, and I have been eating them all my life!


Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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Hello!

I'm a 14 year old girl and I started Accutane when I was 13. Like you, my mum was worried too. My mum and I always used to fight whenever she brought up my acne too:( Reading your post, there is only one issue. Your son seems very active, and Accutane can give you such severe back and muscle pain:( I find it painful just to lie flat on my back or raise my arms above my head as it strains my back. So unfortunately your son may have to give up athletics for a while or just not go through with the treatment :/

I am on a 60mg dose, so 3 tablets a day, but if I feel I am in pain or my skin is way to dry, I either skip a day or only take 2 tablets.

Good Luck to your son, I know it can appear scary! As I am the same age as your son, I hope it gave you some advice?<3

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I was 15 when I started and am now 16 and still on it. I've been on it for 7 months and have had no side effects other than dryness and hip pain during 1 month but it has now gone away. I'm also very active and I'm a dancer. I've had no problems with anything else while on it and I think its because I started at 10mg and slowly worked my way up each month but it also caused my acne to go away slower than if I started out on 60mg. Good luck to you and your son! And don't worry too much!

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Hi everyone. We have decided to go through with the treatment and he took his first dose on Sunday. I started another thread discussing that and I may start a blog to document his progress.

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I think that's the right decision.

I'm 15 (I was 14 when I started my course) I'm on month 3 now. Yes, I'm young, but acne has caused be enough emotional and physical scarring already, I just couldn't handle any more.

I wish your son the best if luck with his treatment, just be extremely careful and make sure he tells you if even the slightest thing feels wrong :)


16th May-27th October 2013

15 Years Old/Female/52kg

Month 1- 20mg

Month 2- 40mg

Month 3- 40mg

Month 4- 50mg

Month 5 and 1/2- 50mg

Also see page 4 on my log for the before and after photos :)

"You can't make a rainbow without a little rain"


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I think that's the right decision.

I'm 15 (I was 14 when I started my course) I'm on month 3 now. Yes, I'm young, but acne has caused be enough emotional and physical scarring already, I just couldn't handle any more.

I wish your son the best if luck with his treatment, just be extremely careful and make sure he tells you if even the slightest thing feels wrong smile.png

I think that's the right decision.

I'm 15 (I was 14) when I started my course, I'm on month 3 now. Yes, I'm young, but acne has caused be enough emotional and physical scarring already, I just couldn't handle any more.

I wish your son the best if luck with his treatment, just be extremely careful and make sure he tells you if even the slightest thing feels wrong smile.png

Thank-you for your insight. It's nice to hear from someone his age who is going through the same thing. I agree that it was time. I didn't want his face to scar any more and he was starting to get depressed about his acne. I am reminding him to let us know if anything feels out of the ordinary. Curious to know how you are doing in your third month. Has your acne gotten better? When did you first see some results? I wish you well during the rest of your treatment smile.png

Hello!

I'm a 14 year old girl and I started Accutane when I was 13. Like you, my mum was worried too. My mum and I always used to fight whenever she brought up my acne too:( Reading your post, there is only one issue. Your son seems very active, and Accutane can give you such severe back and muscle pain:( I find it painful just to lie flat on my back or raise my arms above my head as it strains my back. So unfortunately your son may have to give up athletics for a while or just not go through with the treatment :/

I am on a 60mg dose, so 3 tablets a day, but if I feel I am in pain or my skin is way to dry, I either skip a day or only take 2 tablets.

Good Luck to your son, I know it can appear scary! As I am the same age as your son, I hope it gave you some advice?<3

Thank-you for taking the time to reply. I hope the rest of your treatment goes well and that you have success!

I was 15 when I started and am now 16 and still on it. I've been on it for 7 months and have had no side effects other than dryness and hip pain during 1 month but it has now gone away. I'm also very active and I'm a dancer. I've had no problems with anything else while on it and I think its because I started at 10mg and slowly worked my way up each month but it also caused my acne to go away slower than if I started out on 60mg. Good luck to you and your son! And don't worry too much!

Thank-you very much for your reply. I am hoping he can continue with his running, at least in some capacity so that he doesn't lose his fitness.

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My 14 year old, he will be 15 in August, has been on acctuane for 4 1/2 months, he came to me last week and said thank you. He had just seen a photo of himself from 6 months ago and could not believe how bad his skin was back then. He is now happy that he has nearly the clearest skin of his friends not one of the worst.

He has had the usual side effects but I have helped him ensure he takes care of himself via sun cream, lots of water, lip balm etc (and remembering to take his tablets at the right time every day)

You need to balance up the risks, and there are risks, make sure you speak to a trusted medical professional, read lots (don't believe it all), but take care through the whole process and make sure you talk things through openly and regularly, though avoid being over protective (I struggled with this to be honest)

Finally the first couple of months will be the worst especially the initital breakout so make sure you son is prepared

BTW, I took accutane when I was 30, made a huge difference, I was sorry I did not take it when I was much younger and swore I would not let my kids make the same mistake.

If you need any further advice message me

Thank-you so much. The poor kid has had enough and I knew it was time to start. He just completed week one! Skin and lips are drying out but we are trying to keep on top of it. Really wish we would have started this at the beginning of Summer!

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Hi

The first couple of months are the worst especially the inital breakout.

My son fisihed his course on 31st July, he is totally clear and the best part was that at the end he said "Thanks Dad, that was a great idea", what more can you ask for

Hope things are going well

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My gosh, people get so tied up with the "side effects" of accutane like its gonna kill you.

Me and my brother both took accutane, 40mgs twice a day (That is alot) and 0 side effects, some joint pain here and there but who cares it goes away. Put your son on accutane and get rid of the acne so hopefully it doesnt get to much scarring.

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Hi

The first couple of months are the worst especially the inital breakout.

My son fisihed his course on 31st July, he is totally clear and the best part was that at the end he said "Thanks Dad, that was a great idea", what more can you ask for

Hope things are going well

Thanks! Things are going ok. He just started week 3 and the initial break-out is happening. It is pretty bad and I feel so sorry for him, especially since today was the first day of school. He has a good attitude though and is keeping his thoughts on the bigger picture. Skin and scalp are drying out and lips of course. The doctor is going to keep him on 40 mg for the first two months. I hope this breakout starts to calm down soon.

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Hi

The first couple of months are the worst especially the inital breakout.

My son fisihed his course on 31st July, he is totally clear and the best part was that at the end he said "Thanks Dad, that was a great idea", what more can you ask for

Hope things are going well

Thanks! Things are going ok. He just started week 3 and the initial break-out is happening. It is pretty bad and I feel so sorry for him, especially since today was the first day of school. He has a good attitude though and is keeping his thoughts on the bigger picture. Skin and scalp are drying out and lips of course. The doctor is going to keep him on 40 mg for the first two months. I hope this breakout starts to calm down soon.

Breakout should only last up to 3 weeks. Is it just white heads or cystic acne?

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