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LC2rd's Blog

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Going Off Accutane- 21 Days



It's been 21 days of accutane, today was supposed to be my 23rd, but unfortunately unexpected events occurred that have made me stop taking my 20mg dosage. Now I noticed a lot of troubling things in the very beginning of Accutane, things that I didn't look at too closely but perhaps should have, that rolled into one big problem this week.

I am a very stress free person. I believe in being the best I can be and not worrying too much about life in general. Do I hate my acne? Yes of course. Do I let that hate turn into a depression that follows me around everyday? No, because its only surface things. In fifty years we are all going to be old and wrinkled so why take surface vanities into your own keeping? The reason I want to take care of my skin is because it came about so suddenly and affected my face so horribly that it was concerning. I had all this inflammation from going off birth control? It didn't seem healthy. So when my dermatologist told me that he'd like to try accutane with me I researched the good and bad, got first hand reviews from friends and family who used it, and let myself trust that my derm knew 100% what this drug would do to me. He told me that if I were his daughter he'd put me on in a heartbeat.

I'm an avid walker. I love walking miles and miles everyday in whatever type of weather for as long as possible. Every night I go on a 2 hour walk around my college campus listening to music and chugging along. I've done this for 4 years now. Every two days I take a three mile walk to pick up groceries at a local Whole Foods. Every morning I walk down to a nearby playground to swing for half an hour and work my legs up and down a steep hill. I hadn't done any of these things in about two weeks, perhaps. I very honestly can't remember the last time I did these things since starting Accutane. I've always been too tired after a long school day or just unmotivated even though my life has been pretty fantastic of late. It didnt even concern me that I was suddenly not doing these things. I was just ok with the walking getting done between classes, on my hill covered campus it is a workout, and going back to my room to lay in bed. Yesterday I forced myself to take a half hour walk and tonight I willingly did a half hour loop around my campus.

I'm a hearty eater. I love food and especially hot hot spices. A week into Accutane and I was eating smaller and smaller portions. Food just no longer seemed good to me. French fries and chips seemed bland. Jalepeanos seemed too hot. Even my favorite drinks became tasteless and dry.

None of this bothered me or even hit me until last week. I recently learned I may have a slight allergy to pineapple, not a big issue since I don't reach for it and therefore nothing for me to think about. However the other day I got a Starbucks frappe and as I was sitting in class my throat started to close up. Now looking back at it I realize it was the thick whipped cream topping that was stuffing me up but for some reason my mind raced to an allergic reaction. I fled to the school health center to be checked out and they said it was a mild panic attack. Since I'd never suffered from one before in my life I didn't know the signs or anything about it and just brushed it aside as nothing. No other panic attacks that week, still not walking or eating my best however, even though it should have been a stressful period from having a Fashion Show near disaster on my hands. Cool as a cucumber, everyone said of me. Now that phrase seems foreign in my own ears.

This past Monday I was cleaning my refrigerator out where my roommate had stored three containers of pineapple. Unconcerned, as my allergy to it is slight, I went and emptied the containers and washed them. 15 minutes later, as I was sitting in my be, my throat got tight and clogged. Not itchy, not scratchy, just clogged like I needed water. I tried drinking water but suddenly I was getting extremely hot. I splashed myself with cold water and nothing. No effect. I started hypervenilating and went to a friends room for help. After twenty minutes the only thing on my mind was that I was dying of an allergic reaction to pineapple juices and needed to go to the hospital.

Since Monday night I have suffered completely irrational panic attacks brought on by the most absurd of things. I couldnt go to overcrowded areas due to overstimuli, I could barely eat in fear that i may be allergic to something else too, and i always had to have a full bottle of water at my side or i would get hysterical. I sought out the campus health center and talked to a trained official for 45 minutes through a severe panic attack brought on by eating a french fry and he told me that besides these freak outs I was such a well adjusted, stress free person that he honestly believed I had to be taking something to be causing these attacks. So, I stopped taking the Accutane on Thursday.

I talked to my aunt who is a doctor who has had her children on Accutane, when it was first around years ago. She told me 100% she believed it was the medication without a doubt knowing that I was highly sensitive to medications like Predniscone and the sort. It decreases serotonin levels which is what happens in people who are depressed and depression is directly linked with anxiety.

Now, I'm not saying that Accutane is the devil here, but I know my body well enough to know that this was the factor In my hellish week. Knowing who I am off of a medicine, knowing that for as long as I can remember I have never had any mood disorders or panic attacks or any reason for irrational thought behavior, I just knew I had to get off to save myself and serious ramifications of this drug. I also am not saying that I'm a 100% better yet even getting off the drug. I'm hoping that once it is completely out of my system, as I was on such a low dose, that ill be myself again.

So now it's on to something new and hopefully helpful. I am considering spiro but don't know.



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