Hi I'm Ali. I don't mind everyone knowing my name, I think it will make this blog more personable. I am writing this blog here because I want to document my use, my progress, and the side effects while taking the drug Accutane, so that some one else considering taking this medication will have an honest, unbiased account of what it's like.
First let me start off with a description of my self, I am 25, married, with one child. I am in the military. I take no other medications except Zoloft which i started taking after i had my daughter when the anxiety of balancing my family and my work became a little too much. I'm a brutally honest person, I have been called too nice and I have been called a bully. I have had sever cystic acne since i was 13.
I have tried many medications over the years. It started when i was a teen with topical treatments, B-peroxide (i cannot spell it so oh well) and other face washes and acne creams which did (and do) absolutely nothing, my then physician suggested orthotrycline (SPELLING??) which did take my acne from severe to moderate. I took it for many years, it helped control the acne (especially on my back) but it never got rid of it and i always had periods of severe acne that would reoccur (especially when the weather changed for some reason).
It was during the fall to winter change in November, 2009 i went to my dr and asked for more medication to deal with my acne. The orthotrycline no longer seemed to work. He prescribed me doxycilne and some other antibiotics, he warned me that while i was taking that medication i needed to use a condom when i had sex. I had been on ortho for 7 years at that point i ignored him . 9 months later i had my beautiful daughter Annabelle. Also i was only able to take the antibiotics for 3 days as i broke out in hives (it was weird because i'm not allergic to anything else and i was not sure what the hives were at first).
During my pregnancy my acne got 10x worse then it had been in the past 5 years. I looked like i was 14 again, but i was assured by my doctors and ob midwife that it would go away when i had my daughter and that severe acne during pregnancy was really common. After i had my daughter i began taking Orthonovum (since the orthotrycline no longer seemed to work) and my skin got worse and worse. It seemed like every week for 3 months i could not imagine it getting worse and yet it did. So i gave up on the 'birth control' method of controlling my skin (and just got the depo shot which is all around easier then taking a pill everyday!) and went to my dr. AGAIN and he FINALLY sent me to a dermatologist.
The dermatologist agreed that i had severe cystic acne, which she said was unusual for a woman my age with no health issues. After reviewing my medical record she recommended Accutane, because i had already tried all the other methods available to me and it turns out that i am allergic to sulfur. WTF (apparently it is in a lot of antibiotics. i found this out after the hives spread from my ankles to all over my @$$ and i had to go to the emergency room. that again was back last November). I had seen many of the fake lawyer commercials, you know the ones "did you take accutane? do you have ulcerative colitits? you are entitled to money!" and needless to say i had my doubts. I told her i would have to do a little research first, and she gave me a bunch of pamphlets and scheduled me for some preliminary screenings to see if i was healthy enough to even take Accutane. It was a pregnancy test and a cholesterol test.
It turns out to take accutane you have to fill out a ton of paper work and enroll in their website (this may only be for the females) i forget the name of the program but it's mostly to prevent pregnancy. It requires that females use 2 forms of birth control, one chemical (such as the depo shot) and another one like condoms. Getting pregnant on accutane can cause SEVERE damage to the fetus and to the mother. I have no problem with the two forms of birth control as i just had a baby and would like to wait a while before i have another. Once you have enrolled in their website then send you a password and you must fill out the online information at the dermatologists office, which you have to schedule a special appointment for.
Any way research is part of the reason why i am keeping this blog. I found neither here nor there. Literally half the people that took it got some kind of crazy side effect and the other half got nothing and said it was a godsend. I think the truth is always in the middle. I want a fresh, unbiased opinion and i'm sure some one has done this before but i hope this blog will help some one that may have been as confused as i was.
So i couldn't decide what to make of the research but i'm generally very healthy and i want my acne to go away as there is no place left on my body unmarred save the souls of my feet and the palms of my hands... so i decided to take it and see. If i don't like it or it makes me very sick i may stop taking it right away or i may decide to stick with it. I read that it takes a few months to really take effect.
So now i'm 2 days away. My Appt. to set up my accutane website-thingy is wed. at 1pm. I'm not sure if i will begin taking the medication then or even later still. I took the first lab tests a month ago and i have to take another one tomorrow (pregnancy and cholesterol again. the cholesterol one really sucks because i have to fast for 12 hours!!), and i hope my tests are ok. i know i'm not pregnant but last time they told me my cholesterol was a little high, not high enough to exclude me from taking this medicine but a little higher then they wanted it. I have been not eating french fries for a month. it sucks
I will let all my soon to be readers (ha!) know what happens on my appt. wed. Wish me luck.
Also forgive my grammar and spelling in this (and i'm sure my next entries) blog as i have a little baby and don't always have time to be perfect (nor do i care to be!!)