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Week One



Day One
Today is my first day on Accutane, more specifically the name brand Absorica. To be honest I am starting this new treatment quite suddenly. Just this morning I had my first appointment (ever) with a Dermatologist. I have had Acne since about eighth grade, and now that I am officially through my first semester of college, I definitely am getting tired of dealing with it. Throughout the years I have tried many different regiments and programs, some worked better than others, but never was I 100% clear. In fact, I found that the chlorine from my water polo and swimming days actually had the best effect on drying out my acne. During season I was always the clearest. 

I found the Acne.org regiment about a year and a half ago, and since then I have been religiously following it. It definitely helped, but it was more effective at keeping my acne in check than ever clearing it up all the way. Though out this time I have found that my face has become pretty much a permanent red color. I'm not sure if it is from so many years of putting harsh chemicals on my skin, combined with practically living in a swimming pool spring through winter (in southern California no less). But that's another topic to cover once I get this acne issue done with. 

Back to the Accutane story, today was my first Dermatologist appointment ever. I have always considered that I had mild-to-moderate acne, and just wanted to wait for the acne.org regiment to finally start working. It was after my parents, over winter break, suggested I see dermatologist that I was finally convinced that maybe I needed professional help in overcoming this problem. I went in expecting to receive some sort of antibiotic and maybe a topical lotion to go with it as well. Without hesitation, however, the dermatologist suggested Accutane. I was a bit shocked. Unlike most people, I tend to believe that my Acne is not as bad as it really is. As a result, I did not even realize that what I considered to be "normal" acne was actually cystic, and what I thought was normal red-marks/ scarring was actually being caused by this.  

I was a bit hesitant at first to start the Accutane. I have heard some horrible stories on these forums about the side effects. But after talking them over with the Dermatologist, I was finally convinced to try it. After all, I can deal with a few months of discomfort if the end results mean that there is a good chance I will not have to deal with acne in the future. I was surprised how quickly I was able to get the actual pills. Our local pharmacy had my prescription ready by lunch time. I guess being a guy, there are a lot less hurdles for us to jump though in order to get approved for Accutane. 

My particular prescription is for Absorica, a name brand that includes some sort of fats with it which means I do not have to take it with a meal. I guess that will make it more convenient. I'm starting off with a 60mg a day dosage, for the first month after which, if my blood-tests come back good, and my side effects are not too bad we will up it. I'm a pretty big guy at 6'2" and a little less than 200 pounds. That equates to around 90kg, and it seems my dermatologist is willing to prescribe up to 1mg per Kg.   

I tend to be the type of person who will obsess over something, and learn all that I can about it. So I spent the majority of this afternoon looking up various things about the drug. Some of it good, but much to my surprise, even on these forums there seems to be a lot of people against it. It got to the point where I had to force myself to stop looking up forums about the side effects because of how negative some people were, and how many claimed to have long persisting effects. I normally don't have any major reactions to any drugs I have been on, so I am hoping that I am in the majority of people who experience the normal aches and pains along with the dryness. But only time will tell. 

I realize this is probably getting pretty long, so I am going to wrap this off with my last thought. I read a forum in which a lot of people were claiming that Accutane was causing them to have some really weird, vivid, and scary dreams. I know it seems stupid, but I am actually slightly afraid of having that side effect. But like the rest of them, time will only tell whether or not that particular issue pops up for me. 

- Dakota 

Day Two
It has only been two days, so there is not much to write. Not much has changed, but I swear my muscle/ joints already feel achey. I know that this is probably just psychological, I seriously doubt that two days is enough to already have the side effects starting. It is kind of funny how many people online blame Accutane for all the problems they currently have in their lives. I saw on one forum (was not this one) that someone was trying to convince people not to take it because it was originally researched as a Cancer drug, which was later found to be (mostly) ineffective at treating cancer, but much to the surprise of the researchers, effective at treating Acne. They went on to argue that the reason that the brand name Accutane is no longer available is because the drug company knew it was dangerous. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Just five minutes of research brought up the true reason Accutane brand is no longer sold. After the patents expired its market share dropped to near 5%. It was no longer profitable, so they pulled. As it stands, Isotretinoin has helped millions of people get acne free. I think because there is still some mystery as to exact mechanisms the drug uses, as well as what symptoms it may cause, leads to people blaming it for just about any health related problem that pops up after they have taken it. Of course I'm on day two. I will just have to see if it is really as miserable as some people seem to claim it is.

I am keeping on top of moisturizing as well as applying chapstick. I figure it might fend off the worst of the dryness if I stay on top of it. I am really concerned about an Initial outbreak. I start school again after next week, and it would really suck to be in the midst of an outbreak. This is going to be a long six months...

Day Four
Just a quick little update. Still no drying, but my eyes have been terribly dry today. I keep rubbing them, which definitely is not helping, but they just keep itching. I need to remember to get some visine. So far no initial outbreak that has been that bad. I have gotten 2 or 3 little pimples, but they are spread out and pretty small. I'm not going to complain...
Day Seven
Thankfully, still no initial outbreak. A few spots here and there, but honestly my face is clearer right now than it would have been with Benzoyl. Today was the first day I have started experiencing side effects. My face feels noticeably dryer, and I have gotten the dreaded chapped lips. I have them pretty much caked in Aquaphor, yet they still somehow feel dry? I can see how six months of this will get annoying, but hopefully it does not get much worst.


8 hours ago, doingitalone said:

im starting tomorrow bro how much did they put you on?

I am on 60mg a day for the first month. After which they will probably bump it up. 

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