Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Took Spiro For 7 Year... Finally Clear With Low Dose Accutane.

20 posts in this topic

Hello! I used to come on this board all the time. So desperate to fix my skin. I took Spiro for 7 years. I had so many side effects and just felt awful. At a high dose my skin was perfect but I felt terrible. At a lower dose I felt better but my skin would break out still. I couldn't win. A year ago I started working for a dermatologist. He does not perscribe Sprio EVER. Spiro is a bandaid. Accutane is the cure.

I went back and forth for SO long. Not wanting to take accutane. But trust me.... it's AMAZING when taken in a low dose! And I regret waiting so long. Yes.... I may have to repeat my course because I have hormonal acne and my hormones will always wanna go crazy. But who cares! I feel the best mentally and psycially that I have in SO LONG. And my skin is clear. I have no side effects from the accutane. I take 20mg every other day. Sometimes every three days. My skin is flawless! If you are healthy... taking that low of a dose will not effect you. Other than to dry up your oil. The key is the low dose to keep your body healthy.

Oh and I have rosecea as well. And accutane treats that too. So double win win!

I wrote big post in the accutane forum. Here is the link. I talk about a bunch of different topics and what I do. Take a look here.

Figured even if I help one person it would be worth it. I know when I was breaking out and miserable I would want to know what works for people. Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please do not make absolute claims about accutane not hurting anyone. It's a gamble, noone knows for sure how their body will react to it.

Plenty of people manage to clear their acne without medication.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please do not make absolute claims about accutane not hurting anyone. It's a gamble, noone knows for sure how their body will react to it.

Plenty of people manage to clear their acne without medication.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had better results with supplements and healthy lifestyle changes than all the crap doctors prescribed over the years. Doctors want to make you feel like you have no other choices because they want to make money. But whatever, it's your life, your choice.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Crab76.

First, I have been enjoying your posts. I completely agree that we 'overdose' people by trying to get as much Accutane into them all at once as possible. There is zero good research to show that higher daily dosing leads to better outcomes. As a society we tend to have a 'more is better' attitude, and a need to get results as fast as possible. I think lower doses and longer courses will become much more common in the coming years.

However, I do think that you insistence that nothing else 'cures' acne like Accutane is a bit odd. First, you stated that after you stop Accutane, you may have to repeat your course. So it is not necessarily more of a permanent cure than anything else you have to continue to take, either intermittently or consistently. You also stated that you had great results for your acne with spiro, and did not like the other side effects. Many people do not have such negative side effects from that medication, and it is a great 'cure' for them while they take it. On the other side, many people have negative experiences with Accutane, even on low doses, and would prefer not to take it. Accutane is not necessarily the one best drug for everyone, the only way to get clear, or a cure by any means.

Personally my acne is hormonal like yours. I have taken Accutane, and it is indeed very good, but the only thing that keeps me consistently clear is Diane (a BCP). Personally, I would rather be on that (I have no side effects except a larger chest which is cool with me), than Accutane for years (side effects include ocular issues, the tendency to bruise easier, chapped lips).

I do think Accutane is great, and I do think that many more people could be helped by it if we changed the way we looked at dosing and multiple courses. However, I also agree with Wishclean that it is NOT the only way, and that many people find remission from their acne using other methods, including hormone therapy, topicals, natural remedies, or dietary changes. Some of these may be more suited to particular people than Accutane.

So, thank you for your post. I think it is important for people to know that super high dosing is not usually the best option. But please keep in mind that just as spiro was not right for you, Accutane is not right for everyone either, and not ALWAYS the best option.

:)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it's nice to see that low dose can be a good option for some people. If low dose works, that's a pretty good deal compared to trying such a high dose right off the bat, since accutane does have a lot of negative side effects (esp at the high doses)

I'm going to try a different birth control first, as topicals have only cleared the top half of my face (amazingly well though) but if I that doesn't help, or if my back is still a mess after trying a new pill and the regimen, I'd rather try accutane first than resort to antibiotics, or spiro (I'm not a good candidate because I have issues that make raising estrogen levels past a certain point not a great idea- yes finding a pill that works is going to be really tricky!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Crab76.

First, I have been enjoying your posts. I completely agree that we 'overdose' people by trying to get as much Accutane into them all at once as possible. There is zero good research to show that higher daily dosing leads to better outcomes. As a society we tend to have a 'more is better' attitude, and a need to get results as fast as possible. I think lower doses and longer courses will become much more common in the coming years.

However, I do think that you insistence that nothing else 'cures' acne like Accutane is a bit odd. First, you stated that after you stop Accutane, you may have to repeat your course. So it is not necessarily more of a permanent cure than anything else you have to continue to take, either intermittently or consistently. You also stated that you had great results for your acne with spiro, and did not like the other side effects. Many people do not have such negative side effects from that medication, and it is a great 'cure' for them while they take it. On the other side, many people have negative experiences with Accutane, even on low doses, and would prefer not to take it. Accutane is not necessarily the one best drug for everyone, the only way to get clear, or a cure by any means.

Personally my acne is hormonal like yours. I have taken Accutane, and it is indeed very good, but the only thing that keeps me consistently clear is Diane (a BCP). Personally, I would rather be on that (I have no side effects except a larger chest which is cool with me), than Accutane for years (side effects include ocular issues, the tendency to bruise easier, chapped lips).

I do think Accutane is great, and I do think that many more people could be helped by it if we changed the way we looked at dosing and multiple courses. However, I also agree with Wishclean that it is NOT the only way, and that many people find remission from their acne using other methods, including hormone therapy, topicals, natural remedies, or dietary changes. Some of these may be more suited to particular people than Accutane.

So, thank you for your post. I think it is important for people to know that super high dosing is not usually the best option. But please keep in mind that just as spiro was not right for you, Accutane is not right for everyone either, and not ALWAYS the best option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI, I had SEVERE cystic acne as well as other forms of acne. My face was a mess. I wasn't lucky, I just did my research and listened to my body. In 10-20 years' time is when the after effects of acutane and other drugs start to appear, so of course it's easy to say it's working in the short term.

And it's a stupid excuse to say supplements are not covered by insurance, so why not medicate yourself because it's cheaper. Just my opinion, I am here to show people that there are alternatives.

I'm not saying all naturopaths are knowledgeable about acne either. You have to do your own research before going to any doctor otherwise they'll use trial and error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How long do you plan to take accutane every other day?

I don't care what the dose is, it's still accutane and it's still a very strong drug. There is a huge list of side effects that can happen by taking it (some minor and some very serious), and I have even read some saying that they have permanent damage even after stopping. Spiro and other pharmaceuticals have their side effects too but that's another topic.

Accutane works by shrinking oil glands and reducing inflammation/bacteria. Of course you're clear on it, but if you stop it there will be a chance of your acne returning especially if your acne is indeed hormonal. I was naive and let a dermatologist prescribe me Accutane back in high school. It cleared my severe cystic acne but after the course and a couple years, it all came back. It wreaked havoc on my body and mind but luckily I recovered from all the side effects it caused. I cannot even imagine taking it daily long term.

I'm glad your skin is clear, and it is your body and your choice as WishClean stated already... I just want to warn people that this treatment shouldn't be taken so lightly and has the potential to cause more problems. Also, I don't consider accutane a hormonal treatment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI, I had SEVERE cystic acne as well as other forms of acne. My face was a mess. I wasn't lucky, I just did my research and listened to my body. In 10-20 years' time is when the after effects of acutane and other drugs start to appear, so of course it's easy to say it's working in the short term.

And it's a stupid excuse to say supplements are not covered by insurance, so why not medicate yourself because it's cheaper. Just my opinion, I am here to show people that there are alternatives.

I'm not saying all naturopaths are knowledgeable about acne either. You have to do your own research before going to any doctor otherwise they'll use trial and error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, crab76!

I'm so sorry that my post came off as negative! I completely agree that Accutane is the best option out there at this time. Nothing is perfect - but this is pretty darn good.

I just wanted to point out that for a lot of people, especially women, hormonal therapies can be quite useful, even with Accutane. Since you posted this in the hormonal forum, I assume people battling hormones are reading it, and for some of them hormonal therapies (like BCP or spiro) may offer a more long term solution.

Women with hormonal acne are notorious for relapsing after Accutane. For me, Accutane was a miracle that helped me get everything under control. However, after Accutane, my acne returns without maintenance through BCP. I might be able to achieve the same maintenance through low dose Accutane, and I would consider this if I have any more issues in the future. But, the research on long term BCP use is better for now and gives me great results.

Your post really appealed to me, because I have been frustrated lately with all the high dose recommendations on this forum. So many posts talk about taking high daily doses when there is no research to support that this is better. Even the research on high cumulative doses is shady, and everyone on here that's into that quotes the exact same study, as though one study is a guarantee. It's not even a great study because the high dose people were on the drug for longer, so it raises questions about whether or not the dose, or the length of time are responsible for the effect (less relapse).

So I LOVE that you are on here asking us to reconsider our ideas about dosing and how we use Accutane. I just want to stress that Accutane isn't always a 'cure' or 'the only cure'. I say this not to discourage people from taking it, but to encourage them to consider it in different ways. Some people might benefit more from a long term low dose course, or from intermittent courses, or from even using it with something else, like a hormone therapy.

Everyone seems to think that you're just supposed to blow your body away with it, and then you're 'cured'. I liked your other post where you mentioned post-Accutane maintenance, and that it may involve continuing to use a topical or other preventative measures. I think I got a little defensive here because you specifically posted about hormonal therapies, which have been a god send for me for maintenance after Accutane, and kept me as clear as I was while on it. BCP also keeps me not oily, so Accutane is not the only thing to combat that, either. Everyone is a special flower - there is no 'one size fits all' method for controlling acne.

So I think some of us who have had great success with hormonal methods don't like the blanket statement that Accutane is the only or best way all the time. But I am not riled up, I assure you! :) I have really loved your posts, and I am super glad that there is someone on here with a strong voice supporting low dose Accutane. My derm (who is very opinionated, and pretty funny sometimes) said that the high dose craze is just a result of our Western society thinking more and fast are always better. We don't like to do things low and slow! I predict that in the next 5-10 years we will see a ton of research supporting low dose long term courses. The drug companies would surely love it if we could keep people on Accutane for way longer, and find other ways to use it successfully where it has failed in the past. It's win-win.

Thanks again for your posts. It really is something to think about.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ACKGROUND:

The efficacy of isotretinoin at 0.5 to 1.0 mg/kg per day in the treatment of acne is well established and considered safe, although it is sometimes not easily tolerated because of its cutaneous side effects.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of low-dose isotretinoin in the treatment of acne.

METHODS:

In this prospective, noncomparative, open-label study, 638 patients, both male and female, with moderate acne were enrolled and treated with isotretinoin at 20 mg/d (approximately 0.3-0.4 mg/kg per day) for 6 months. The patients were divided into two age groups: 12 to 20 and 21 to 35 years old. Patients were evaluated at 2-month intervals by means of clinical and laboratory examinations. A 4-year follow-up was also carried out.

RESULTS:

At the end of the treatment phase, good results were observed in 94.8% of the patients aged 12 to 20 years, and in 92.6% of the patients aged 21 to 35 years. Failure of the treatment occurred in 5.2% and 7.4% of the two groups, respectively. Twenty-one patients dropped out of the study because of lack of compliance, and another patient discontinued participation because of a laboratory side effect. During the 4-year follow-up period, relapses of the acne occurred in 3.9% of the patients aged 12 to 20 years and in 5.9% of the patients aged 21 to 35 years. Elevated serum lipid levels (up to 20% higher than the upper limit of normal value) were found in 4.2% of the patients and abnormal (<twice the upper limit of normal values) liver tests were observed in 4.8%.

LIMITATIONS:

This was a noncomparative, open-label study.

CONCLUSION:

Six months of treatment with low-dose isotretinoin (20 mg/d) was found to be effective in the treatment of moderate acne, with a low incidence of severe side effects and at a lower cost than higher doses.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16546586/

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, crab76!

I'm so sorry that my post came off as negative! I completely agree that Accutane is the best option out there at this time. Nothing is perfect - but this is pretty darn good.

I just wanted to point out that for a lot of people, especially women, hormonal therapies can be quite useful, even with Accutane. Since you posted this in the hormonal forum, I assume people battling hormones are reading it, and for some of them hormonal therapies (like BCP or spiro) may offer a more long term solution.

Women with hormonal acne are notorious for relapsing after Accutane. For me, Accutane was a miracle that helped me get everything under control. However, after Accutane, my acne returns without maintenance through BCP. I might be able to achieve the same maintenance through low dose Accutane, and I would consider this if I have any more issues in the future. But, the research on long term BCP use is better for now and gives me great results.

Your post really appealed to me, because I have been frustrated lately with all the high dose recommendations on this forum. So many posts talk about taking high daily doses when there is no research to support that this is better. Even the research on high cumulative doses is shady, and everyone on here that's into that quotes the exact same study, as though one study is a guarantee. It's not even a great study because the high dose people were on the drug for longer, so it raises questions about whether or not the dose, or the length of time are responsible for the effect (less relapse).

So I LOVE that you are on here asking us to reconsider our ideas about dosing and how we use Accutane. I just want to stress that Accutane isn't always a 'cure' or 'the only cure'. I say this not to discourage people from taking it, but to encourage them to consider it in different ways. Some people might benefit more from a long term low dose course, or from intermittent courses, or from even using it with something else, like a hormone therapy.

Everyone seems to think that you're just supposed to blow your body away with it, and then you're 'cured'. I liked your other post where you mentioned post-Accutane maintenance, and that it may involve continuing to use a topical or other preventative measures. I think I got a little defensive here because you specifically posted about hormonal therapies, which have been a god send for me for maintenance after Accutane, and kept me as clear as I was while on it. BCP also keeps me not oily, so Accutane is not the only thing to combat that, either. Everyone is a special flower - there is no 'one size fits all' method for controlling acne.

So I think some of us who have had great success with hormonal methods don't like the blanket statement that Accutane is the only or best way all the time. But I am not riled up, I assure you! I have really loved your posts, and I am super glad that there is someone on here with a strong voice supporting low dose Accutane. My derm (who is very opinionated, and pretty funny sometimes) said that the high dose craze is just a result of our Western society thinking more and fast are always better. We don't like to do things low and slow! I predict that in the next 5-10 years we will see a ton of research supporting low dose long term courses. The drug companies would surely love it if we could keep people on Accutane for way longer, and find other ways to use it successfully where it has failed in the past. It's win-win.

Thanks again for your posts. It really is something to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to take it for about 6 months. I check my lab work every single month to monitor everything.

And Yes I agree it's a strong drug. But like I've said over and over the people who have these bad side effects 99.99% of the time were unhealthy to begin with OR they got overdosed by their Dr's.

I see you girls are just dead set against accutane and nothing will ever change your mind about it. And that's totally fine. It's not for everyone. You say there have been people who took a small dose who had permanant issues.... I'd really love to meet those people and see their lab work they had prior to taking the drug. I bet they had something off that made them not a good candidate. But there is no way to prove that.

And again the only reason I came on this board was because I tried every single hormonal treatment you could ever imagine with no results. Just want to share my experiance. I didn't mean to get people all worked up. Not my intent.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! I used to come on this board all the time. So desperate to fix my skin. I took Spiro for 7 years. I had so many side effects and just felt awful. At a high dose my skin was perfect but I felt terrible. At a lower dose I felt better but my skin would break out still. I couldn't win. A year ago I started working for a dermatologist. He does not perscribe Sprio EVER. Spiro is a bandaid. Accutane is the cure....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! I used to come on this board all the time. So desperate to fix my skin. I took Spiro for 7 years. I had so many side effects and just felt awful. At a high dose my skin was perfect but I felt terrible. At a lower dose I felt better but my skin would break out still. I couldn't win. A year ago I started working for a dermatologist. He does not perscribe Sprio EVER. Spiro is a bandaid. Accutane is the cure....

I've had back acne(cyst, I think it's rosacea) for more than 10 years. and I'm a little bit fat, 85kg. So Maybe 20mg every other day isn't strong enough for me? Can I try 30mg or 40mg every other day(or every day) for half a year(or a whole year)? and then can I take 30mg or 40mg every week for long term use? What's the side effect if I take it overdose for long term(like forever)?

And would you please ask your derm if the low dose doxycycline (40mg per day) works or not? I think it's a permanent solution for acne or rosacea. Here's a link about it:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! I used to come on this board all the time. So desperate to fix my skin. I took Spiro for 7 years. I had so many side effects and just felt awful. At a high dose my skin was perfect but I felt terrible. At a lower dose I felt better but my skin would break out still. I couldn't win. A year ago I started working for a dermatologist. He does not perscribe Sprio EVER. Spiro is a bandaid. Accutane is the cure....

I've had back acne(cyst, I think it's rosacea) for more than 10 years. and I'm a little bit fat, 85kg. So Maybe 20mg every other day isn't strong enough for me? Can I try 30mg or 40mg every other day(or every day) for half a year(or a whole year)? and then can I take 30mg or 40mg every week for long term use? What's the side effect if I take it overdose for long term(like forever)?

And would you please ask your derm if the low dose doxycycline (40mg per day) works or not? I think it's a permanent solution for acne or rosacea. Here's a link about it:

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! I used to come on this board all the time. So desperate to fix my skin. I took Spiro for 7 years. I had so many side effects and just felt awful. At a high dose my skin was perfect but I felt terrible. At a lower dose I felt better but my skin would break out still. I couldn't win. A year ago I started working for a dermatologist. He does not perscribe Sprio EVER. Spiro is a bandaid. Accutane is the cure....

I've had back acne(cyst, I think it's rosacea) for more than 10 years. and I'm a little bit fat, 85kg. So Maybe 20mg every other day isn't strong enough for me? Can I try 30mg or 40mg every other day(or every day) for half a year(or a whole year)? and then can I take 30mg or 40mg every week for long term use? What's the side effect if I take it overdose for long term(like forever)?

And would you please ask your derm if the low dose doxycycline (40mg per day) works or not? I think it's a permanent solution for acne or rosacea. Here's a link about it:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i can officially say that with being on spiro for the last 16 months that the oil production in my skin has not changed one bit but i have been completely clear so i dont think oil is an issue at least for me because i am very oily especially on my chin area. the spiro works great for me with no side effects. i was going to go the accutane route my derm told me with my acne being hormonal that it would come back as soon as i got off the accutane so i figured no reason to even go down that road. so glad it is working for you though!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites