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My new antibiotic, wee! Is Accutane soon?

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I have never had really bad skin. I do, however, have EXTREMELY oily skin with mild to moderate acne. It is PERSISTENT. I've had it since 14, but I was too shy/embarrassed to ask anyone for help and hid it well with makeup (even from my family) all through high school. It wasn't bad back then, just stereotypical teenage stuff. When I hit 20, it got cystic. I didn't want to leave the house, I avoided well-lit places, relationships because I felt ugly, and I was terrified by any job that required me to work around people. My mom noticed how bad it had gotten, and after trying a bunch of OTC stuff and having it all fail, I went to a derm.

The journey so far:

1. Some antibiotic that starts with a D? Made me REALLY NAUSEOUS. I stopped it after 3 months.. it wasn't doing much for me anyway.

2. Doxycyclin - Worked a little bit. Kept me 60% clear for almost 6 months. Stopped working and my acne came back worse than before.

3. Clyndamycin gel - Surprised this is even a prescription. Did NOTHING.

4. Bactrim DS - Gave me terrible headaches and stomache aches. I was away at college at this point, so I stopped taking it, and seeing a derm wasn't convenient for me. I was afraid whatever they'd give me would make my face even worse.

I kept my acne liveable with a combination of a lot of BP and a lot of magic with makeup.. (I'm a makeup guru. I know it probably aggravated my condition, but when looking at your skin makes you want to cry, and makeup can allow you to socialize, though shyly and checking your face often, who wouldn't use it?)

I just went back to the derm this May.

5. Amoxicillin 875mg 2x a day + some kind of topical gel that does nothing - The Amoxicillin made me break out in tiny rash-like pimples ALL OVER my forehead, back, and chest. Called the derm today and now I'm on.......

6. Erythromycin 2 250mg tablets 2x a day - I hear this medication can cause diarrhea. I know this is deceitful, but if my skin isn't A LITTLE BIT better within a week, I'm calling him up and saying it's giving me diarrhea.

I'm 24 now, and frankly, I'm going to do everything in my power to get rid of this acne for good. No more defeatist attitude. I go away to law school in Fall 2007, and I refuse to be there with bad skin. This gives me a year to get it solved.

My derm doesn't think my skin is bad enough to warrant Accutane, but he says if nothing else works, he will prescribe it. He's right, my skin isn't that bad. I have no cystic acne at the moment, but my chin and cheeks are never without at least 5 breakouts in each area for a total of 15 at any given time.. and that's when my skin is behaving.

I'm sick of hiding. I go out without makeup now and look people in the eye as if to say, "Yeah, I have acne, and you know what? It isn't my fault and you can go suck it." But even so, it still completely controls my moods. If I get a lot of new breakouts, I feel so depressed that I can't concentrate on anything else. When my skin is clearing up, I feel like my life has been given back to me. I realize that Derms think a serious drug like Accutane should be reserved for serious cases, but doesn't your emotional reaction to acne mean ANYTHING?

.....don't even get me started on my scars.

So my question is: What did your derm put you on before Accutane? Is your road at all similar to mine? I'm wondering if Accutane is where I'll end up. I'm sure with some sloppy pill-taking habits, ie missed doses, I can push that goal into sight. The funny part is, my derm has so many patients that he rarely remembers people individually, he treats me like I'm 17 (I look 17!). I think I need to remind him the next time I'm there that I'm pushing 25 this December.. maybe then I won't get comments like, "Let's hope you grow out of this!"

I understand that derms don't like to prescribe Accutane because of the whole birth defect thing. Maybe I'll tell him that I'm a lesbian and have no chance of getting pregnant.. perhaps this'll help? (I'm not a lesbian.. but good god, anything to clear me up!!!)

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My acne experience was a lot like yours ... all through highschool, just typical teenage stuff...

Then, when I started college - cysts.

I've used Benzaclin since I was 18 (now 24) and I love the stuff (minus the bleaching).

I was on minocycline for awhile, after that failed (trying to remember, but I guess I got 2 years out of it) I started amox. Amox lasted for awhile, than, much to my dismay an evil old man derm (due to new insurance I had to switch) refused to prescribe me antibiotics, since my skin was pretty clear. (geee, probably because I'm taking antibiotics) He insisted that his experience trumped my knowledge of my own body, and swore up and down I was 'cured'. No such luck.

The cysts came back like crazy. (one lasted 6 months, yuck)

I found a wonderful derm (well, actually a NP that can prescribe accutane) who took one look at the scars on my back and offered accutane without me suggesting it. She offered doxycycline while I was waiting my month (I gave it 4 weeks and then stopped because it always made me sick to my stomach)

I was supposed to start Wed. and then I was supposed to start Friday, and then I was supposed to start yesterday.... dumb iPledge. Hoping today is the day!

Accutane is not only for severe acne, but also persistant - at 24, you aren't growing out of it. Anti-biotics are great for teenagers who *will* outgrow it and just need something to hold the acne off for awhile. In my experience, they are not a cure.

If you want accutane, I say go for it. (but just fyi, I wouldn't expect any results from an anti-biotic after only a week)

iPledge SUCKS. It is degrading to a woman's intelligence. Seriously, you have to answer questions like, "it is ok to skip a birth control pill" "T F" So, be prepared for some headaches - iPledge requies your pharmacist and doctors office (both busy places) to be on top of things.

Abstinence is an option for iPledge... just remember to be responsible ;)

Good luck!

~Becca

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Well, erythromycin was the only thing my dermatologist tried before I made it to roaccutane (which I've now been on for five weeks), although I've no idea whether that bodes well for your "chances". To tell the truth, I only took the erythromycin sporadically for the two months I was on it because the last thing I wanted was my skin clearing up slightly and for a limited time; what I want(ed) is/was a reasonable chance of a cure.

Like you, being clear for next year is the goal. I put off going to grad school in the US this year because of the way my skin makes me feel, so unless I'm in the 0.0001% accutane fails to work for, I'm off in a year's time without having to worry about my face. If you'd tried even a fraction of those other treatments I would hope a sensible doctor would prescribe you accutane. My skin was never horrific before I started, just persistently mild/moderate, perhaps even less than you describe [if your experience is like mine though be prepared for it to get worse, just for a while I hope, on accutane... another story] but luckily the dermatologist saw sense. Good luck.

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same here.my last derm didnt want to give me accutane because he said my skin was not that bad.but it is very persistent and i do have oily skin.and i get huge cysts around my period.well this thursday im seeing a new derm hopefully he will give me accutane.after all you cant be on antibiotic's forever.good luck with your treatment.

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I'm taking 500mg 2x a day of Erythromycin now. I've been on it for only 4 days, and the rash I got from Amoxicillin seems to be getting WORSE. It's all over my chest, back, forehead, nose, and cheeks now. It isn't visible unless I tilt my skin under a light--it's A BUNCH of tiny bumps that look like little whiteheads, and my skin is greasier than ever. I HAVEN'T CHANGED A THING except taking these antibiotics!--Same soap, shampoo, etc. I've never broken out like this before.

To make matters worse, 3 of the 4 days of my taking this Erythromycin have been spent on the toilet (won't be gross, but yeah, it gives me bad diarrhea). There's NO WAY I am taking this stuff if it means I'll be popping 3 Immodium along with it every day. That's got to be really bad for my body; I refuse to believe it's not as bad or worse than what Accutane puts the body through.

I'm going to call my derm tomorrow and tell him the Erythromycin is making me sh%t my brains out (well, maybe I won't put it in those EXACT words.. lolol). Doxy, Bactrim, Amoxicillin, Erythromycin.. what else can he offer me? I'm going to refuse anything topical, as I hate putting medication on my face after almost 2 years of spending 30+ minutes a day rubbing in Dan's BP gel. Actually, I think I'd rather be running to the bathroom every hour than go back to the topical routines...

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I'm taking 500mg 2x a day of Erythromycin now. I've been on it for only 4 days, and the rash I got from Amoxicillin seems to be getting WORSE. It's all over my chest, back, forehead, nose, and cheeks now. It isn't visible unless I tilt my skin under a light--it's A BUNCH of tiny bumps that look like little whiteheads, and my skin is greasier than ever. I HAVEN'T CHANGED A THING except taking these antibiotics!--Same soap, shampoo, etc. I've never broken out like this before.

To make matters worse, 3 of the 4 days of my taking this Erythromycin have been spent on the toilet (won't be gross, but yeah, it gives me bad diarrhea). There's NO WAY I am taking this stuff if it means I'll be popping 3 Immodium along with it every day. That's got to be really bad for my body; I refuse to believe it's not as bad or worse than what Accutane puts the body through.

I'm going to call my derm tomorrow and tell him the Erythromycin is making me sh%t my brains out (well, maybe I won't put it in those EXACT words.. lolol). Doxy, Bactrim, Amoxicillin, Erythromycin.. what else can he offer me? I'm going to refuse anything topical, as I hate putting medication on my face after almost 2 years of spending 30+ minutes a day rubbing in Dan's BP gel. Actually, I think I'd rather be running to the bathroom every hour than go back to the topical routines...

Are you clear right now from all that crap? Or are you still breaking out? The pill that began with a "D"

was it called Duricef. It's a cephlosporin which is similar to pennicillin which you may have an allergy to (if you reacted to amoxicillin you'll react to this). If you didn't....well now you do.....that rash is an allergic reaction. The next time you take a pennicilln derived drug (anything ending in -cillin or a cephlasporin) you may have a serious reaction....

Okay here's what you say regardless if you are clear or now. The antiboitics are making you sick.

The erythromycin is giving you bad diarrhea because it's killing the good bacteria in your intestines. This may be temporoary or not so temporary. If it doesn't stop you may be developing pseudomembranous colitis (caused by overgrowth of resistant c. diff). Make sure you don't get a fever.....if you do stop taking them and call your doctor ASAP. It could also be a milder case usually called AAD (antiboitic associated diarrhea), which usually resolves on it' s own after a few days.....

When you go to see this new derm, say you've been on antiboitics forever and they all make you sick. Either they upset your stomach and make you nauseous. Or they give you chronic diarrhea, which dehydrates you and makes you lose weight. Then tell him or her about the rash from the amoxicillin. Say this is how your skin looks like on antiboitics, and topicals. Say you can't do the antiboitics anymore and throw in a little lie about those chronic yeast infections you've developed because of overusing antiboitics for so long........

Say you refuse to take another antiboitic and the topicals won't cut it alone.....then demand Accutane......

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Say you can't do the antiboitics anymore and throw in a little lie about those chronic yeast infections you've developed because of overusing antiboitics for so long........

Yeah, after my 6th yeast infection in one year (no other side effects, thankfully) I decided systemic antibiotics were no good for me, unless I absolutely had to have them.

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I'm taking 500mg 2x a day of Erythromycin now. I've been on it for only 4 days, and the rash I got from Amoxicillin seems to be getting WORSE. It's all over my chest, back, forehead, nose, and cheeks now. It isn't visible unless I tilt my skin under a light--it's A BUNCH of tiny bumps that look like little whiteheads, and my skin is greasier than ever. I HAVEN'T CHANGED A THING except taking these antibiotics!--Same soap, shampoo, etc. I've never broken out like this before.

To make matters worse, 3 of the 4 days of my taking this Erythromycin have been spent on the toilet (won't be gross, but yeah, it gives me bad diarrhea). There's NO WAY I am taking this stuff if it means I'll be popping 3 Immodium along with it every day. That's got to be really bad for my body; I refuse to believe it's not as bad or worse than what Accutane puts the body through.

I'm going to call my derm tomorrow and tell him the Erythromycin is making me sh%t my brains out (well, maybe I won't put it in those EXACT words.. lolol). Doxy, Bactrim, Amoxicillin, Erythromycin.. what else can he offer me? I'm going to refuse anything topical, as I hate putting medication on my face after almost 2 years of spending 30+ minutes a day rubbing in Dan's BP gel. Actually, I think I'd rather be running to the bathroom every hour than go back to the topical routines...

Are you clear right now from all that crap? Or are you still breaking out? The pill that began with a "D"

was it called Duricef. It's a cephlosporin which is similar to pennicillin which you may have an allergy to (if you reacted to amoxicillin you'll react to this). If you didn't....well now you do.....that rash is an allergic reaction. The next time you take a pennicilln derived drug (anything ending in -cillin or a cephlasporin) you may have a serious reaction....

Okay here's what you say regardless if you are clear or now. The antiboitics are making you sick.

The erythromycin is giving you bad diarrhea because it's killing the good bacteria in your intestines. This may be temporoary or not so temporary. If it doesn't stop you may be developing pseudomembranous colitis (caused by overgrowth of resistant c. diff). Make sure you don't get a fever.....if you do stop taking them and call your doctor ASAP. It could also be a milder case usually called AAD (antiboitic associated diarrhea), which usually resolves on it' s own after a few days.....

When you go to see this new derm, say you've been on antiboitics forever and they all make you sick. Either they upset your stomach and make you nauseous. Or they give you chronic diarrhea, which dehydrates you and makes you lose weight. Then tell him or her about the rash from the amoxicillin. Say this is how your skin looks like on antiboitics, and topicals. Say you can't do the antiboitics anymore and throw in a little lie about those chronic yeast infections you've developed because of overusing antiboitics for so long........

Say you refuse to take another antiboitic and the topicals won't cut it alone.....then demand Accutane......

Thanks for the advice.

I just called my derm and told his secretary that the new antiobiotic is making me sick. I also reminded her that I'm 24, going to law school next year, and really sick of going on these strong antibiotics only to have them stop working after 6 months--I want to clear up for good! I told her it isn't uncommon for me to get a cyst or two around my period even while ON the antiobiotcs. She asked me how I feel about Accutane, and I said it's what I want (I can't believe SHE suggested it). She said she's going to talk to the derm about it for me and call me back today or tomorrow with what he says.

SO MAYBE I'M GOING TO GET IT. The funny part is, my face looks pretty clear right now except for this awful Amoxicillin rash. Amazing that I might be getting it when my face is at its best rather than at its worst. I guess there's something to be said for refusing every antibiotic after a week or so for one reason or another. If anyone here is looking to get Accutane, try doing this too.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.

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GOOD LUCK - - I feel like I'm your exact situation (a few years behind at 22). I know how you feel about starting law school - - besides, you're going ot have so much stress there that the last thing you want is more break outs!

I'm on my third anti-biotic, going to a new derm in 2 weeks. I have spent so much money at this point - - its unbelieveable!

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GOOD LUCK - - I feel like I'm your exact situation (a few years behind at 22). I know how you feel about starting law school - - besides, you're going ot have so much stress there that the last thing you want is more break outs!

I'm on my third anti-biotic, going to a new derm in 2 weeks. I have spent so much money at this point - - its unbelieveable!

Be sure to tell the new derm that the antibiotics are only a temporary fix (if they fix you at all), they make you sick (upset stomach, diarrhea, etc), and you're going to be 23 and want to know how much longer you need to do these antibiotics. You should also call ahead of time to see if they prescribe Accutane to their patients. If they don't, he/she is only going to put you on more antibiotics, which = more wasted time, more money spent for something that probably won't work.

Thanks for the good luck. Good luck to you too!

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