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Heather F

Dropping my log off in the Accutane pool

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I'm on this website reading all of the Accutane logs daily, so I guess I'd better start my own. It will help me to look back when all this is over and be thankful! I decided to try Accutane after seeing my best friends' results. Then another friend of mine who works in a dermatologists office was like, "What are you waiting for? You're the perfect candidate. It works great!" I guess I was waiting for the money to do it because I knew my crappy health insurance wasn't going to cover it. They consider this a cosmetic expense (whatever!).

So after calling around to find a dr. who would prescribe it, I had my 1st dermo appt on April 27. I told her how I'd tried everything else from Retin-A, Differin, Monodox/doxycycline, Proactiv, etc. She was ready to go forward, but of course we all know this is a slooow process and it would still be another month before I could get the actual pills. She recommended that I start using the Glytone rejuvenate system kit. This cost me $165. Then the co-pay was $36 (total for the day= $201)

April 28- first bloodwork done

June 1- second dermo appt, received prescription for 40mg once a day. Co-pay for the day=$20

June 2- 2nd bloodwork done. Completed iPledge online, after calling the office and staying on the phone with them and waiting for it to work, this took a while and of course I was eager to go pick up my pills! I called around to all the different pharmacies to see what this was going to cost me. The cheapest was Walmart. For brand name Accutane, almost $600 for 30 pills. WHOA! OK I'm going to take the generic Claravis for only $142.68. My insurance covered none of it. Add on another $50 or so for lip balm, lotion, salon conditioner, etc.

Took my first pill that night after eating a fatty meal. Here we go!

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My doctor didn't mention anything to me about not taking a multivitamin or avoiding alcohol, I had to learn all that stuff from these boards! I feel really guilty not taking my vitamin every day, it's weird for me. Also, are you supposed to avoid vitamin A in food as well?

Week 1- Skin dried out immediately. I've always had combo skin- really oily and zitty in some spots and then dry and flaky in others. So now the dryness is getting worse. I woke up on the 5th day and opened my mouth and both sides of my lips cracked wide open. Ouch. I went out and bought Burt's Bees lip balm (this is OK but not my fav. Convenient though because it fits in my purse) and Aquaphor healing ointment (I LOVE this stuff! It's a miracle!).

Week 2- My eczema is going crazy. Hands and arms are really itchy. I put lotion on at night and sleep with cotton gloves on. Luckily I had an old eczema prescription (triamcinolone acetonide ointment 0.1%) lying around so I started using that again. Twice when I took my accutane I immediately got an awful headache. I suspect that this happens when you don't drink enough water with it (dehydrated).

My lips are doing a lot better because I put Aquaphor on first thing in the am and before bed. I use Burt's Bees during the day. Lots of nosebleeds. Back hurts. Eyes are sooo dry. I had laser eye surgery a year ago so my eyes are already prone to dryness. I use drops 2X day.

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Hi Heather,

You may want to try sleeping with a humidifier on to help ease your nosebleeds. This will hydrate your nasal passages a bit. You can also put a little vaseline on the inside of your nose and this will often help too.

As far as the headaches, I had them my first few weeks, but I dont get them anymore. That seems to be most peoples experience. It's your body adjusting to the medication and they shouldn't stick around. Hang in there!

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How can people NOT pick at their zits?! I don't understand it. If I get a big huge disgusting whitehead full of pus (which I frequently do) am I seriously supposed to just LEAVE it there? No amount of makeup is going to cover that up. I've tried.

I actually woke up in the middle of the night the other night because I bumped a zit in my sleep and it hurt so bad. Plus I'm waking up with awful back pain. No position is comfortable to sleep in these days.

I should mention my career- I'm a flight attendant. This is making things doubly tough. The super dry air is wreaking havoc on my skin every time I have to fly. And it's embarrassing to have to stand up in front of everybody and do the demo with skin like this!! Yesterday one of my giant cysts popped and it was BLEEDING under my makeup and OMG when I went in the lavatory and noticed I could have died of shame.

How long does this IB last???

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How can people NOT pick at their zits?! I don't understand it. If I get a big huge disgusting whitehead full of pus (which I frequently do) am I seriously supposed to just LEAVE it there? No amount of makeup is going to cover that up. I've tried.

:lol: I totally agree, Thanks for stopping by my journal, I just thought I'd come over to yours and wish you luck :D Hopefully your skin behaves and you don't experience an IB, I'm sending good luck vibes your way :angel:

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I received a bill from my doctor yesterday for stuff my insurance didn't cover- $125.50. Add this expense to my ever mounting acne tab.

Last night I was driving home really late and I had to leave my headlights on the whole time and kept cleaning my windshield because I felt like I couldn't see anything. It took a minute for it to dawn on me that this might be another isotretinoin side effect.

My joints are really achy. I feel like an old arthritic woman or something! I'm drinking plenty of water to kept them lubricated. But no matter how much I drink or how much I have to go pee my urine is still yellow. This is strange because before I started taking this my urine was almost always clear (except for first thing in the am).

My skin is still awful. I have about 7 large cysts that are taking forever to heal. And the skin around them is really flaky. It looks like I'm molting.

I can't wait for my appt on Thurs so I can see what the doctor has to say. Maybe she'll increase my dosage.

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The nosebleeds are getting worse, I can't even blow my nose for fear that blood will start gushing. I used to get them all the time as a kid so let me offer everyone a piece of advice- USE TAMPONS. It's an amazing hands-free trick. Get the small kind, junior or regular, and just shove 1 up there. Highly absorbant. In about 5 min you can pull it out. I even cut a tampon in half and use both sides to save $.

My scalp is very dry and sometimes itchy/flaky. I'm going to try using a deep moisturizing treatment in additon to my regular conditioner.

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Hi Heather!

My mom told me about the tampon thing years ago! I was afraid to do it, but you do whatcha gotta do right?

My scalp has been super dry and flaky also. I've been treating it like dandruff with Neutrogena T-gel, which works ok but the flaking is still there. I just wear my hair half up everyday so that the flakes aren't as noticable. Wouldn't that be cool if the makers or aquaphor made some thing for dry scalp? I would be the first one at the store!

Let me know if you figure out something that totally works!

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I'm trying to find some good pix that illustrate the "before"

IPB Image

My sister is on the left, I'm on the right. My chin has always been the worst part of my face.

IPB Image

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How can people NOT pick at their zits?! I don't understand it. If I get a big huge disgusting whitehead full of pus (which I frequently do) am I seriously supposed to just LEAVE it there? No amount of makeup is going to cover that up. I've tried.

:lol: I totally agree, Thanks for stopping by my journal, I just thought I'd come over to yours and wish you luck :D Hopefully your skin behaves and you don't experience an IB, I'm sending good luck vibes your way :angel:

Second (or rather, third) that.. ;) Personally I think where pus and stuff is concerned it's better "out" than "in" and there's just NO way I'm going to let my body re-absorbe something it's trying to get rid of. Besides that, I find a red spot so much more attractive and less disturbing than a big whitehead so I pick and squeeze like crazy.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depends on how you look at it) I hardly ever get those big whiteheads: I get the underneath-the-skin-cysts that just get inflamed and painful to the point where I'd like to perform some diy-surgery just to get rid of the pain and the pressure.. :wacko:

So now, at 31 years old, I've finally started on the Acutane too (day 18 now and getting a teeny little break-out I think is due to hormones as it's "that time of the month" again also now) and I hope I'll finally get rid of what's been plagueing me for all those years.

These logs help! So thanx for posting... :cool:

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Laolith these logs do help! Time for you to start your own! Congrats on finally taking the big step to cure what has been bothering you for way too long.

OK I just got home from derm appt #3. Co-pay =$36

She didn't ask about any of my side effects. Just said "Do you think it's working so far?" She also said that maybe next month I can go up to 60 mg, to remind her about it. She wants my body to get used to 40 mg first.

My next appt is July 31st so I'm going to be cutting it very close on my pill supply. I hate how they only give you 30 days at a time! I have to go get more blood work tomorrow and then later in the day I should be able to fill out iPledge and pick up script. I have to work tomorrow at 6:30 pm so I can only hope the nurse enters my info in early, since we all know the trip to the pharmacy takes at least an hour as well.

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Alright this really sucks. I am going to have to miss a few days of Accutane because of the stupid iPledge system. I have to fly out tomorrow morning at 4 am (my trip got changed) and I won't be back until Wed am. I run out of pills on Sat. But my doctor can't put me in the iPledge system today because apparently it's too early! This is so unfair!

Has anyone else had this happen to them? You have to time every single dr appt and bloodwork and iPledge visit just right, if it's off by a day or 2 you're screwed. With my crazy work schedule I don't know HOW I am going to do this for 4-5 months. I'll probably have this happen every month.

Is it really bad to miss a few days? Will it screw everything up?

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So let me offer everyone a piece of advice- USE TAMPONS.

Hmmm, have'nt had a problem with nose bleeds yet, but if I do, sounds like good advice.

Just have to figure out what to tell my friends when they see me carrying around tampons :D

Man, I hear so many problems with this Ipledge system.

Whats up with that, it must be one of the worst systems going.

I'm so glad I'ma guy. :cool:

I'm sure it won't srew anything up too badly if you miss a couple of days here and there, but I mean, ya, I'm sure we would prefer not to.

Oh well, do what ever you can so that you don't miss any....and if you do, ...whatever.

Hope everything is going well with you Heather :)

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MoeMentum buy the smallest kind of tampon they sell! Easier to hide. Guys don't have to do the iPledge system?!?!?! WTF!

I had more bloodwork done this morning.

I am trying my hardest to get the refill today. For the past 2 days I've missed my dose. Now I'm just waiting for my doctor to put my info in the iPledge system! If she doesn't do it today I'm going to need a whole new prescription (because mine was written on the 29th) so I'm going to keep calling the office...I have no clue WHY they haven't entered it in yet. This is bullshit.

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I finally got my 2nd months pills, hooray! I was waiting at the pharmacy for almost 2 hours though, does that sound right to you guys? I sat there falling asleep while reading gossip mags. The pharmacists seemed very confused/frustrated/overwhelmed. What do they have to do anyway, just call up iPledge to get authorization? Can I call ahead next time?

Today it only cost me $72.32. I can't understand why since I didn't even show my insurance card (it won't cover anything). BUT I'M NOT GOING TO COMPLAIN!

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Heather,

I am so sorry you are going thur this with IPledge crap. I am so glad I don't have to deal with that being in Canada. I just do my bloodwork and see the derm for my refills. She actually gave me 2months worth this last visit. I don't think missing a pill here and there is going to kill you but I would definitely ask. I hope it gets easier for you. Let me know how you progress.

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Mel you have no idea how lucky you are! I wish I didn't have to go through this hassle every month. The office secretary called and left a message for me the other day, stating that they had moved my next appt from July 27th to August 3rd because it had to be 30 days from my last appt. Didn't consult with me before doing this of course!

I have a question for everyone- Does Accutane weaken your immune system? Because I am sick for the 2nd time since I started taking this stuff. And it is taking me longer than usual to heal. I have completely lost my voice, coughing, sore throat, etc.

I have a huge red zit on both of my cheeks (acne dimples!). They hurt so bad that I can't sleep on my side like usual. I have to sleep on my back which is no fun.

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I took pill #36 today. I really hope this stuff starts working soon because I'm getting depressed/anxious. I'm spending all this money, dealing with awful side effects, and getting more zits than ever. Shouldn't the IB be over by now?

I'm having several nosebleeds a day. I'm talking random, gushing, take-forever-to-stop ones. I'm scared to wear any color but red! I've already ruined a cloth cream colored bar stool, 1 pair of jeans, and a few t-shirts. Anyone know a good way to take blood out? I heard if you can spit on it before it dries, that helps. Something about the saliva and blood mix...

Last night I took a vitamin E pill before bed. I'm going to start doing that each night.

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Yikes HEather,

Sounds like you are having a really hard time! I know that it does weaken your immune system and takes longer to heal. Your work may have a lot to do with all of this. I hope that your SE ease up soon. I know how nasty they can be. ((((((HUGS)))))))

M.

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I bought 4 tubes of Dr. Dan's Cortibalm online and received them in the mail today. I'm going to start using just that because Aquaphor has ceased helping. I'm not sure I want to increase my dose next month, I can't handle any more side effects. My nose bleeds randomly at least twice a day, I have a persistent sore throat, my lips are red and swollen and peeling off, my face is flaking off, I keep getting new white pus-filled zits, I look like a freak! I used to stress over my skin maybe an hour a day, now I'm thinking about it constantly. This sucks.

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Very interesting, as I read other Accutane logs to see that I'm not the only one with a persistent sore throat. It's especially bad first thing in the morning and while I'm trying to fall asleep at night.

My dermo recommended Oil of Olay moisturizer with SPF 30 but I don't think it's strong enough anymore. I put it on to cover the flakes and it's like rubbing on water. I'm going to start using my Eucerin Clear Skin Formula "Daily Control & Care Moisturizer" again. If I go out in the sun I'll put on some of that SPF stuff on top.

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I bought the most wonderful contraption yesterday- a facial sauna ($24.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond). It steams your pores open before you wash your face and it came with an electronic exfoliating tool. Anyway it got rid of all my flakiness! Very gentle so you don't need to worry about harming Accutane sensitive skin. I'm psyched about using this every day!

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Hey Heather

Best of luck with your log ... your 'before' photos look great I can barely see the acne; Roaccutane is gonna work wonders for you in the end I just know it!

Reading your log and seeing all the side effects I noticed something ... and i don't wanna state the obvious but it sounds like all your complications are being caused by your work environment... Nose bleeds, super dry skin, eczema, sore throat etc ... the plane's dry compressed air can't be helping those! :(

I'm sure these may have occured otherwise but it sucks to think your job might be making them worse. Anyway I think your skin looks great as it is and no doubt 'tane is just gonna make things so much better for ya!

Best of luck :D

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