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I have had acne and an oily face (mild to moderate on face, chest, back with occasional cysts on my chin, neck, and behind ears, chest, back) since I was 16 but worsened in the past 5 years. I am now 32 and I have tried everything (BCP, antibiotics, topical prescriptions, BP, SA, Proactiv, Paulas Choice) with some good effect but never clear. I have been a slave to the nightly regimen and daily cover-up with make-up.

I just discontinued a 5 month course of yet another antibiotic: azithromax 250mg/d. Currently, I am on Orth-tricyclen generic with a nightly application of 2% SA and 2.5% BP. I wear Chanel powder makeup during the day. No moisturizer and I spend the entire day blotting with oil sheets and re-applying. By evening, I am swimming in oil and always have at least 2-3 new zits (mild right now) either coming or going.

My derm prescibed accutane (80mg/day x 5 months) when I inquired after I saw the excellant results my best friend had for her moderate acne and also because he doesn't want me to continue on antib. (been on them for a total of 5 yrs). I am 5'8" and weigh 115lbs. BTW accutane did wonders for my roomates complection....stunning results. This is the only reason I wanted it because I am a huge hypochondriac and fear the side effects of accutane.

I filled the prescription and I am scared. First, I am concerned that the dose is too high. I do not have severe acne and right now it is not too bad although exhausting to manage. My derm works at my hospital and would give me narcotics if I asked for it. He also has no time for me but he was the only one that would write me the script.

Second, I am worried about the side effects especially the sensitive skin (I already have extremely sensitive fair irish skin) and hair loss (I have thin blond hair which I highlight every 3 months). Lastly, I am going to the St. Thomas on vacation in 2 weeks and I'm prone to bad burns. I want to go on it because I am in a family wedding in early Sept and didn't want to wear a strapless dress with zits on chest/back or dread the day per usual because I have a breakout.

After reading the logs on this site (so helpful), I decided I would start with a modified dose. I injested my first pill 40 mg on Thurs. I decided I would do 40 mg every other day for the first month.

Only side effect so far- oily skin, 3 new small white heads near mouth (popped one), swollen lips, and 2 sm fluid filled bumps on lower lip.

Any advice would be much appreciated from accutane users.

Thanks very much.

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Hey Jenna! Welcome to the wonderful world of accutane :) After just a few weeks on accutane, I've learned it's going to be a bumpy journey but definitely worth it in the end! And soon, you'll be loving an oil-free face (my make-up actually stays on for an entire day-it's amazing!).

I'm not too sure if your dose is too high - it seems like each derm kinda does their own thing. I weigh the same as you and thought my max. dose would be 50mg but I started on 60 (which has been tolerable).

Good luck to you! Keep us posted...

tanya

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Tonight will be dose number 3. I have decided to forge ahead with the accutane but forgo my derms recommended prescription. I have been taking 40mg QOD and so far so good.

My skin has had an outbreak of whiteheads. Several in the crease around my nose, a few babies on my chin, cheek and chest, and one big mountain on my back. I am not feeling to dry yet although my eyes were a little dry so I started using genteal eye drops. I am using Herpecin (SPF 30) on my lips because I am prone to cold sores when deydrated or over exposed to the sun.

Side effects so far- mild back ache and dry eyes.

Tanya- Thank you very much for your well wishes and advice. I am going to stick to this dose for 3 weeks until I see my derm and I can reason with him. He is 70+ so I don't necessarily trust his old school mentaility. In addition, I don't trust physcians since I work with them so closely and see what they do first hand. I believe that the patient has to be well informed to get good medical attention. I am going to check out your log now. Have a great day!

Jenna

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Hey Jenna,

Good luck with your Accutane journey. I just noticed that we're on the same dosage and we're using the same BC. I think you're the only other gal on here on the OTC generic. What do you think of it?

I hope everything works out well for you. I agree that the 80mg was a super high dosage. I'm 5'3 and weigh 115 and my doc started me at 30mg. I just got bumped up to 40mg at my request. I think your side effects won't be as bad with a lower dosage so your definitely better off. I was super paranoid about the side effects and I didn't go on Accutane for the 10 years that I could have really used it b/c my Mom was so scared of it, but, seriously, it's not so bad. Just make sure your lips are always moist and you drink lots of water!!

Cheers!

Suz.

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I guess this would be DAY 6. I am taking it every other day. My skin is great. Great of course means there are a few - one above eyebrow, one next to nose/eye, bumps on chest, volcanic cyst on my back. My definition of perfect skin is anything that can be covered with makeup. Hopefully soon I can revise this definition.

My makeup stayed longer on my face today. Only 2 oil blots necessary (shocker). Normally, I am drowning in oil by noon. I amy have to switch from powder to liquid foundation soon. I hope not because I love my Chanel Double perfection compact foundation powder. I used to use MAC studio fix which matched my color well but it always clogged my pores and made me breakout.

Has anyone had a bikini wax in the first week? I am going on vacation next week.

Side effects - sleepless night ( I got up several times during the night to look at my face - I am paranoid of the IB), fatigue, dry mouth, slightly dry eyes, dry lips near crease, flakey eyebrows, weird uterous ache, a little heart burn, hair shedding shower/sweater (I will stop it if I notice majot hair loss because I already have thin hair and need all I have).

DREAM GRL- thanks for the welcome. Have you had the IB yet and how are your s/e so far. I'll check out your log.

SUZ- Good luck to you as well. I am not regretting my decision so far... I think the BCP we are on is good even after the accutane to control oil and testosterone. I was on Zovia for 10 yrs prior and I would always get major neck/jaw breakout including cysts even while taking antibiotics. Since I started Trisprintec, not so much. How is the bump in dose for you?

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Side effects usually subside after the first week or two because your body is getting used to it, though they make a temporary comeback when you increase your dose. Good luck on the journey dear :D

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DREAM GRL- thanks for the welcome. Have you had the IB yet and how are your s/e so far. I'll check out your log.

I haven't experienced the IB yet and so far my symptoms aren't too bad. Thanks for checking out my log :D Take Care

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Day 7 and 4th dose of accutane to be taken tonight.

Skin - slightly red, still oily with some flakies, minor acne (comedones mostly).

Side effects - dry hands, dry lips, dry mouth, dry throat, ear ache, sleepless night, major hair shedding

Uterous pain resolved because I had a UTI. Now on levoquin for 5 days.

Living in fear of the IB. Obsessed with the side effects.

Hopefully, I made the right decision to do this... :confused:

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Hi Jenna!

Welcome to the board!

Its my 13th day on accutane. Your skin sounds similar to mine. I also deal with oily skin, actually mine is extremely oily. I am constantly wiping and blotting thoughout the day! And I hate it! I also have a moderate case of acne, but would rather just have the acne than have oily skin and acne!

Anyways, I am 27, female, and I take 30mg a day twice a day for a total of 60mg a day. I have had some minor side effects and a minor IB thus far.

My secret to not being scared:

I have faith that this is all worth it! And I come to these boards for advice and support!

Hang in there! Everything is going to be ok! You made the right decsion!

Keep us posted!

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Thanks "over it all" for your advice! I enjoyed your log and your s/e do not seem too bad so far.

DAY 10- I am so oily, really just dripping mainly in the t-zone. I broke out in a red inflamed rash on my chest. I think I brought it on myself after applying BP to the breakout. Slowly improving with hydrocort. OTC cream. My face is very red almost sunburned looking. My lips are dry and swollen with small little blisters. My forhead and neck had some mild breakout which I just picked at. My chin is also red and swollen with a weird bumpy texture. I hope it is not going to breakout with cysts. I am slightly itchy all over and my scalp is itchy too. I think I am shedding my hair. I am finding strands everywhere and a clump in the shower drain. I feel very tired. I am going on vacation Mon. This was planned by my BF months ago. I will be on a boat in the carribean. I am not looking fwd to it because I am fearing a IB and side effect flare.

Anyone know a good sunblock for sensitive skin that does not cause breakout. thx so much

Oh well, I guess I have to go...

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Thanks Dana! Rght now I 'm very pessimistic :think:

Has anyone gotten a bikini wax while on accutane? I have been out it for 1 week. Thoughts?

thx much Jenna

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Hi Jenna-

Even though you have only been on accutane a short time maybe you should reconsider a wax. It seems like it is giving you symtoms that its working and your skin might be fragile. Its up to you and it has only been a short time!

This is what I would do:

Shave your bikini area, daily. Use secret deorderant after where you shaved and you won't get razor burn. Wait about 20 minutes before putting your suit on so that it doesn't agitate the area. Trust me, I used to have to wear bathing suits all the time! This works for just about anyone!

I know its a pain, but that would be really unsightly if your skin comes off with the wax! It would really sting if you went in salt water! My friend that was on tane got her mustache waxed and skin came off! She couldn't go out for a week, and will always have a discoloration above her lip (of all places!).

Good luck! Have a great vacation! Wear lots of sunscreen (I used neutrogena oil free spf 30) and have a good time away!

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Day 25 - I have to say that I am glad I pushed for accutane and I wish I did it sooner. After 2 weeks of dripping oil, my skin is finally oil free. It's not dry yet just normal which I love. I went on vacation a week ago - sailing in the carribean, BVI. My trip was not without accutane induced mishaps: I was seasick which I have never had before and then deydrated, I had a cold or more so sinus congestion, and I developed fulminant conjuntivits in both eyes. I had to go to an ER on one of the islands to get prescription antibiotic ointment/drops. However, 8 days later my eyes are still really bloodshot, swollen, and the conjuntiva still looks injected.

All in all, it was nice to get away and even nicer to now be oil free. I did get some color but no sunburns. I wore Neutrogena dry touch spf 55 and neutrogena cool mist spray spf 45 and I highly recommend both suncreens because they are not greasy. On the acne front, my red swollen bumpy chin completely resolved, I have some clogged pores, and I did get 2 cysts on my neck about the size of a blueberry. One evetually turned into a whitehead and I popped it. The other is still there (about 10 days now) but has shrunk to the size of a pea. I had a cyst in the same spot before for almost 2 months pre-accutane. I think it's hormonal.

Does anyone have any reommendations for shampoo or treatment for losing/thinning hair? My hair is defintely falling out. :cry: My BF even noticed because it is everywhere and I stopped blowdrying it 2 weeks ago. I am just letting it airdry and using Pureology hydrate shampoo and conditioner every other day. This is the one side effect that I feared the most. I highlight my hair evey 10 weeks and I have not since starting accutane...

I have a derm appt on Tues and I have to come clean with him that I did not go with his 80mg/day dosing instead choosing 40 mg every other day. I wonder how he will react. I hope he won't refuse to give me another prescription because I ignored his orders.

I did not get a bikini wax- thx for the advice Kirstin.

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes and I hope you are enjoying your summers.

Side Effects:

dry lips

dry feet

hair falling out/thinning in clumps daily (long strands from the root everywhere)

itchy

fatigued

easily bruised

decreased appetite

dry bloodshot eyes

conjuntivitis

cysts on neck (only 2)

joint pain especially neck and hip

constipation followed by diarrhea

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i don't think every other day is a good idea. one of the things i've learned is that you must be consistant when dealing with acne (and many other things). my doctor told me that accutane is supposed to be administered at a lower dose and them bumped up to the max amount of mg. your body can handle to shorten the treatment. but for your own sake remember that consistancy is one of the most powerful methods for dealing with your problem... although 80 mg? u look tiny in that pic iuno if you can handle it. go for the 40 mg once a day.

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i don't think every other day is a good idea. one of the things i've learned is that you must be consistant when dealing with acne (and many other things). my doctor told me that accutane is supposed to be administered at a lower dose and them bumped up to the max amount of mg. your body can handle to shorten the treatment. but for your own sake remember that consistancy is one of the most powerful methods for dealing with your problem... although 80 mg? u look tiny in that pic iuno if you can handle it. go for the 40 mg once a day.

Hi Mikee - You are probably right but I had so many side effects with the 40 ever other day (QOD) that I am afraid to go even higher. I would be taking 20 every day but the derm prescribed me 40 mg 2xday leaving me no option then to go QOD. I agree that 80 is way too much for me. I am going to talk to my derm on Tues. I have already had a UTI, conjuntivitis, a sinus infxn, and hair loss for adverse side effects just being on the 40 QOD.:think: Thx much for your advice. Are you on accutane too?

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Hi Jenna!

Thought I'd stop by your log and see how you are doing!

I am SO sorry to hear about all the stuff that happened on your vacation!! I can't believe it!! I'm glad to hear that you are oil free now - so you're on Day 25. I am on Day 15 and dripping oil like you would not believe. It's absurd!! So I hope mine goes down soon like yours!

About waxing - DON'T DO IT!! You shouldn't do any kind of waxing (even eyebrow) while you are on accutane. It can really damage your skin :naughty:

Wow you have lots of side effects...are they all really bad? And all happening at the same time? Or is it just a list of ones you noticed?

Keep me updated on what your doc says about your dosage!!

Kristen :)

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Hi Jenna!

Wow, you're having a lot of side effects! Good thing you didn't take the whole dose! Geez, just imagine if you did! I guess you are just sensitive very sensitive to it. Good thing you decided against the wax!

Only thing I can think of for the hair loss situation is try not to pull your hair back as much (if you are, and maybe you're not) and if you do use a loose clip. If your face isn't oily it will probably be easier to leave it down. The key is probably to try not to strain/stress the follicles too much. Even when washing it you may want to be very gentle. Seems to me, you are taking the right actions as far as decreasing washing it and using a great moisturizing shampoo. I don't know if rogaine would help you or not but it might be worth checking out. BTW one of my friends had the same problem on accutane. she thought it was due to being prescribed too much...but she also said that it was worth it and she would do it again if she could! Hang in there!

I've also noticed a decrease in my appetite. I think I might be losing weight. Which, in my case, is not bad but not all that good either. Oh well!

Keep us posted. Hang in there!

K

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Hi Jenna

Just checked out your log. Glad you are doing well

So sorry you had to deal with all that stuff while

on your trip.

I also am having a bit of a hair issue. I'll let you know

if I find something that works. It's nerve wracking

to look at all the hair in the drain. I read somewhere

on the board it only lasts a few weeks into treatment

then you body gets used to the meds...hope so.

I think the initial stress on the body of the meds may

make you shed but as you get used to it, it may

slow down. You have to wait a hair cycle to see if

the body adjusts, the folicles that are stress right now

may be on the mend by the next hair growth cycle.

That is my hope anyway.

Hang in there. I wouldn't process or wax anything until

your body adjusts to the meds fully. Hold off as long as you

can on the highlighting and dont wax anything for at least

3 months after treatment....

Majjick

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Jenna:

Note on hairloss.

Did some research and the liver does not produce Biotin during

treatment. I don't know how true it is but Biotin supplements

are supposed to stop or slow the hair loss....I'm going to

give it a try....

Nixion shampoo is supposed to help also, but again, that is

coming from the outside of the body..reminds me too much

of topical which never did a darn thing for me.

Take care..good luck

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Day 40 (into Month 2)

I can't believe one month is done. I dropped my dose to 40mg every third day.

My skin is very good. I still get very mild acne almost daily which resolves quickly- mostly blackheads and clogged pores. Still have one very small cyst on my neck. My skin is not super dry yet.

The worst side effect so far is the hair loss. It seems to have slowed down in the past 2 days. I wash my hair every 3 days now. It has noticably thinned. I went to my hairdresser on Sat for a conditioning treatment and cut. She was shocked at how much I have thinned out. She gave my the Nioxin system. Majjik recommended this as well. I hope that this shedding phase has ended. I am in a wedding in 5 weeks and I hope to have hair for the updo. :pray: I also have to get a highlight in 3 weeks or so because my roots are not so nice right now but I am holding off.

This is a good article on the hair shedding which I definitely attribute to accutane:

http://www.emedicine.com/DERM/topic416.htm

My conjuntivitis is gone. I started on Alcon Natural Tears 5xday and trashed the GenTeal Gel drops per the Opthomologist and the eye redness has mostly resolved.

I am tired all the time. I also get very irritable and extremely anxious, overwhelmed from time to time. This may have been because of the hairloss issue so I will continue to monitor and update.

Last word- I noticed that if I drink a lot of water, I feel much better and seem to have less s/e.

Majjik: Thank you for your advice on the hair loss. Please keep me posted on your progress and s/e. I wish you good skin and strong hair roots. :pray:

Kristin: Thank you as well for your support on the hair loss issue. It sounds like your friend lost her hair as well. Do you think it's noticable? I think the decrease in washing has helped. I might also get one of those T3 hairdryers. I still don't have a great appetite but I force myself to eat every 3 hrs or so. I love Zone bars and they have Omega 3 fatty acids (strawberry is the best flavor). Good luck on your journey. I will check in on you and I wish you the best. :pray:

Sundance: Thanks for your well wishes. My side effects did come on all at once considering it was the 1st month. I think it was the accutane building up in my system. I wish I could just take 10 mg a day but I was prescibed the 40 mg pills. My derm still wants me to be taking 80mg every day. Screw him. My BF is an MD and he says that my derm is a crazy old bat who should have retired a century ago. My derm is one of the few at my hospital that can prescribe accutane because he is ipledge registered. His medical student stopped me in the hall the other day to see how I was doing. She told me that she was on accutane 5 years ago. Her skin is beautiful. She said her worst side effect was vision loss which never resolved. She now wears contacts/glasses. She said it was worth it. She was on 40 mg a day for 6 months. She secretly agreed that my prescription was too high for my weight and moderate acne especially since I have had excellent skin results with 40 mg every other day. Anyway, I digress. You hang in there too. I think everyone has different side effects so ignore your friend if you feel she does not have your best interests at heart. Take care. ;)

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Jenna-

I'm glad to hear you are sticking with treatment. I really was on the fence about mentioning my friend's hair loss issues. I really don't think its all that bad (as she is a bit of a perfectionist) and she probably wouldn't care about it if she did have acne problems like us. It probably is a residual effect of her somewhat "abuse" of accutane. She admits that her dosage was way too high (she talked the doctor into a high dosage that was unnecessary for her weight). So, I think you are definately doing the right thing by decreasing your dose.

It will all be worth it in the end!

K

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Day 43 I am upset today and having a hard time getting out the door for work. I just want to crawl back into bed and stay under the covers :cry:

My hairloss sucks. Nioxin is okay although I just started with it so I cannot really judge yet. The scalp treatment makes my hair really weighed down and greasy. The shedding has not really subsided. I am washing my hair every 3 days now.

The skin on my face is almost clear with the exception of some clogged pores.

Then I got a HUGE cyst on my throat on Tues. :evil: It is now the size of a grape. Its large, red, and really angry. I never had cysts until this year. I don't know why I get them on my neck. I wonder if it's related to the BCP. I am thinking of switching to Yasmin.

Kristin- Thanks for your post. I am surprised the derm prescribed accutane to your friend if her acne was not too bad and not cystic. I went to many derms and only got the prescription after I went in with active neck cysts. Even with the hairloss, does she think it was worth it?

My co-worker had a massive outbreak of severe acne in the past month. She said she went off of BCP. I feel so bad for her because she had perfect skin. She is devastated. I want to tell her about accutane but I have not told anyone other than my boyfriend and best friend (who was on it). I HATE the BCP. Why do woman have to deal with this!!! I really think it caused my cystic neck acne too. Sorry to vent. Have a good one.

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Jenna-

Really, now, she is upset she ever did it. She is upset because she should've gone to an endocrinologist rather than a derm, but at the time her insurance wouldn't cover an endo. She thought that she would never get another pimple again if she took accutane! To many of us, a pimple here and there is nothing compared to what we have had to deal with. Her skin is nearly perfect. There was really no need for accutane.

Hang in there,

K

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