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Accutane

Symptom Questions From First-Time User

depression joint pain lower back pain mood change side effects tingling tongue bone pain supplements

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#1 amt

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:41 PM

I recently began taking 40mg of Accutane, once at night (I am male, 17 years old, and weigh 155 lbs). I am currently on day 20. I have already seen some noticeable improvement in my face. However, I have some symptom-related questions.

 

So far, these are the symptoms I have experienced:


-Dry skin / lips (Minor at this point. I have chapped lips, but they aren't cracking.)
-Lower back pain

-Knee pain (Subtle)

-Tingling of the skin / tongue (I have experienced a tingling sensation in my tongue on several occasions and once on the right side of my neck. These sensations lasted approx. 1-3 minutes then faded).

-Mood change (Fatigue, less motivation to exercise and go to social events).

 

My first question is: How long does it generally take for dryness of the face and lips to reach its peak? This side-effect has been very minor so far. What confuses me is that I am experiencing few common side-effects and seem to be developing some of the more rare side-effects.

 

Will my lower back pain likely subside throughout the course? It was more severe in the beginning (days 5-15) and seems to be improving. I am noticing pain less throughout the day. It is worst when I get into bed at night and lie down. The knee pain less of an issue, but it is something I am monitoring.

 

I run frequently and practice Taekwondo. These activities are a large part of my life. I do not want to be limited in my ability to do these things after my accutane course has finished. Will my join/bone pain symptoms stop after accutane? Is it likely that I will develop new side effects? What can I do to minimize damage/avoid damage?
 

I would like to begin taking some supplements to aid with the bone/joint pain. However, I have taken no medications or supplements since beginning my course because I want to wait until I confirm with my dermatologist and get my first blood work results back.

Has anyone else taken any of these supplements and/or have recommendations from personal experiences? Fish oil, calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.

 

Next, I understand that tingling sensations are common, but in the tongue too? Has anyone else experienced this?

The last question I have is about my change in mood. I don't want to label this as depression because that sounds like a big conclusion to jump to. However, I definitely feel less motivated to hang out with friends and family. I have isolated myself to a certain extent. My Mom had noticed this change in behavior and mentioned it to me today; she is concerned. Is it normal to feel like you want to be alone more often while accutane? It's hard to describe my emotions directly, but I have certainly been more emotional. I feel sort of "empty" in a waydrained. This is weird because I have never felt like this in the past. I feel that I should be happy and more upbeat now that the acne is beginning to clear, but I don't. I have read and researched quite a bit about depression and accutane. I understand that it is very rare and that there is no definite association between accutane and depression. Before taking accutane, I thought "Why would I experience depression on a drug that will ultimately make me feel better about myself?" Now that I am on it, I am confused. I don't want this moodiness to get worse or result in the development of depression. Can this be permanent? I am still in the very early stages of my 5-7 month course.

 

Obviously, I will bring up these side-effects and questions with my dermatologist in my next appointment, but I wanted to hear from others who have experienced and are currently experiencing the drug.
 

Feel free to respond to any questions I have asked that relate to you.


Thank you to those who take the time to read this and offer advice.
 



 


Edited by amt, 22 February 2014 - 10:22 PM.


#2 VioletAsh

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 09:54 PM

Hello! I am in the middle of my 3rd month, 20 yo male 160 lbs on 80 mg/day.

 

 

My dryness did not get any worse than it was around day 15.

 

So far muscle/back aches continue but my derm assures me this will go away 2-6 weeks after ending accutane.

 

 

I'm introverted anyway but I def. feel less motivated... don't worry its just fatigue but if you're worried about it ask your derm when you go for your 1 month check up. Keep in mind too that it my just be psychological... how often do you think about accutane and the side effects? try to put it out of your mind and see if that doesn't help.

 

I have continued to run as normal. Keep exercising, this also helps keep your blood tests normal since accutane can mess with your liver.

 

I would not recommend taking any supplements I've found them to be ineffective. 


Edited by VioletAsh, 06 March 2014 - 09:51 PM.


#3 OilyAcneQueen

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:11 PM

I recently began taking 40mg of Accutane, once at night (I am male, 17 years old, and weigh 155 lbs). I am currently on day 20. I have already seen some noticeable improvement in my face. However, I have some symptom-related questions.

 

So far, these are the symptoms I have experienced:


-Dry skin / lips (Minor at this point. I have chapped lips, but they aren't cracking.)
-Lower back pain

-Knee pain (Subtle)

-Tingling of the skin / tongue (I have experienced a tingling sensation in my tongue on several occasions and once on the right side of my neck. These sensations lasted approx. 1-3 minutes then faded).

-Mood change (Fatigue, less motivation to exercise and go to social events).

 

My first question is: How long does it generally take for dryness of the face and lips to reach its peak? This side-effect has been very minor so far. What confuses me is that I am experiencing few common side-effects and seem to be developing some of the more rare side-effects.

 

Will my lower back pain likely subside throughout the course? It was more severe in the beginning (days 5-15) and seems to be improving. I am noticing pain less throughout the day. It is worst when I get into bed at night and lie down. The knee pain less of an issue, but it is something I am monitoring.

 

I run frequently and practice Taekwondo. These activities are a large part of my life. I do not want to be limited in my ability to do these things after my accutane course has finished. Will my join/bone pain symptoms stop after accutane? Is it likely that I will develop new side effects? What can I do to minimize damage/avoid damage?
 

I would like to begin taking some supplements to aid with the bone/joint pain. However, I have taken no medications or supplements since beginning my course because I want to wait until I confirm with my dermatologist and get my first blood work results back.

Has anyone else taken any of these supplements and/or have recommendations from personal experiences? Fish oil, calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.

 

Next, I understand that tingling sensations are common, but in the tongue too? Has anyone else experienced this?

The last question I have is about my change in mood. I don't want to label this as depression because that sounds like a big conclusion to jump to. However, I definitely feel less motivated to hang out with friends and family. I have isolated myself to a certain extent. My Mom had noticed this change in behavior and mentioned it to me today; she is concerned. Is it normal to feel like you want to be alone more often while accutane? It's hard to describe my emotions directly, but I have certainly been more emotional. I feel sort of "empty" in a waydrained. This is weird because I have never felt like this in the past. I feel that I should be happy and more upbeat now that the acne is beginning to clear, but I don't. I have read and researched quite a bit about depression and accutane. I understand that it is very rare and that there is no definite association between accutane and depression. Before taking accutane, I thought "Why would I experience depression on a drug that will ultimately make me feel better about myself?" Now that I am on it, I am confused. I don't want this moodiness to get worse or result in the development of depression. Can this be permanent? I am still in the very early stages of my 5-7 month course.

 

Obviously, I will bring up these side-effects and questions with my dermatologist in my next appointment, but I wanted to hear from others who have experienced and are currently experiencing the drug.
 

Feel free to respond to any questions I have asked that relate to you.


Thank you to those who take the time to read this and offer advice.
 



 

Hey I just finished my 5 month accutane course and factoring in my current weight (i dropped a few pounds during the course, 108lbs-98lbs), I've reached a cumulative dose of approximately 180mg/kg, so I was on a pretty high dose.  I had all of those side effects you listed except for the tingling.  The tongue is a mostly muscle, so I wouldn't be too concerned if it just tingles, but seek immediate medical attention if it swells as this could indicate a serious allergic reaction.

 

I felt and still kinda feel the same way you do in terms of the tiredness, mood changes, lack of motivation, isolation, emptiness, moodiness and eventually started to have crying episodes (when not PMSing!) for no reason which is very unlike me.  This happened in my second month when my dose was upped from 30mg to 60mg.  I saw my primary care physician shortly after the crying episodes started for another purpose and mentioned that I was feeling down lately and maybe it had to do with the change in seasons from fall to winter.  She said I was the 6th person to tell her this today and she then wrote me a prescription for prozac, which helped my mood tremendously and got rid of the crying spells and emptiness feelings.  Unfortunately, I still was tired most of the time though and not as motivated to do things, but at least it helped the other depression-like side effects.  I don't know for sure if my depression-like side effects were from the accutane or seasonal affective disorder (seasonal depression) or a combination of both.

 

My knees hurt pretty bad throughout my course so I ended up taking a glucosamine supplement and that actually helped ease the knee pain a bit for me.  My back hurt in the beginning of my course, but not at the end.  Fish oil didn't help the knee pain for me either.

 

The skin on my face hit its peak in dryness in the last (5th) month.  Although it wasn't too bad as I moisturized day and night and didn't experience much flakiness or peeling.  My lips got really really bad in my second month and again the 3rd month.  I discovered cortizone cream helps when they're really severely dry, followed up with a constant coating of aquaphor.  I continued with just using aquaphor at all times after that and exfoliating gently with a towel every day when wet and they've been great ever since then.  I'm noticing that I can go longer and longer without lip balm/aquaphor now that i'm off acctuane.

 

I've been off accutane for about 2-3 weeks now and I can happily report that the tiredness and lack of motivation side effects are slowly but noticebly getting better smile.png.  I've also noticed my knee pain slowly diminishing too.  Best of all, my skin is still clear and not oily, yay!  Hope this helps!


Edited by OilyAcneQueen, 27 February 2014 - 10:35 AM.


#4 amt

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:28 PM

Thank you for the responses. My one month follow-up is this Friday, so I will address the symptoms then and get to review my blood work. The tingling is occuring less frequently and my back pain has gone down slightly. I have begun running more often now, so I feel that is helping with my mood symptoms. I'm feeling better than last weekI'm currently on day 24.
 



#5 Michelle Reece

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:58 PM

Even though I haven't taken Accutane, I can offer you some bits of advice and knowledge.

 

Dryness usually kicks in around the 2nd week, and when you increase your dose. It really depends on the dosage, moisturizers you apply, what other diseases you have, if you wear sunscreen, and the climate whether it'll linger or get worse. You'll very likely have dryness throughout the course, and still around 6 months after discontinuation.

 

The vast majority of knee pain/osteoarthritis supplements are ineffective. The most you can do with pain is heat compresses and painkillers. It's possible for residual joint pain after discontinuation, too, but dryness is more documented. Residual joint pain is more common with 80mg dosages.


Edited by Michelle Reece, 26 February 2014 - 05:58 PM.


#6 OilyAcneQueen

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:47 AM

Thank you for the responses. My one month follow-up is this Friday, so I will address the symptoms then and get to review my blood work. The tingling is occuring less frequently and my back pain has gone down slightly. I have begun running more often now, so I feel that is helping with my mood symptoms. I'm feeling better than last weekI'm currently on day 24.
 

Just be aware that due to the bad publicity surrounding accutane and depression and suicide, especially in teenagers and especially because you are a teenager, your derm may take you off accutane if you tell them you're feeling depression-like side effects of anything other than just tiredness.  That's part of the reason I told my primary care physician and not my derm regarding my more depression-like symptoms of moodiness, isolation, lack of motivation, feeling of emptiness, and crying spells.  I don't want you to think that I'm advising you to not tell your derm all of your symptoms and do what I did (which is bad!), that is not my intent, I just want to make you aware.  If exercise is helping those mental side effects then that's definitely awesome.  Those mental side effects will go away after you stop accutane, including the tiredness, but it is will be really annoying to deal with for these few months.  The tiredness was definitely my most hated side effect.  Light exercise and lots of caffiene got me through those few sleepy months.






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