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BASSIS

Considering Accutane

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Accutane is a little extreme I know. I'm not the typical patient that would probably go for such a thing. As I understand it Accutane is mostly for serious cases of acne which I am not. I've had mild-light acne since my teens, but I'm now 24 and am still having breakouts I should have gotten over when I was 18.

I've been on minocycline and retin-a micro for about 10 years now. The medications have helped significantly reduce my acne but they haven't totally squashed it as I was hoping they would. My doctor is probably gonna say "...but you're acne is so light... why would you want to go on accutane" I don't want this to be a problem for me anymore... not even on a small scale. My case of acne is not extreme in itself, it's just that it has endured for an extremely long time. And it's gotten to the point now where I have to say "enough is enough" and take a risk.

I need some reinforcement, and I'd appreciate it if you guys can give me your feedback about accutane if you've taken it. I've read a lot on this site about it and have heard mostly good to great reports about it. The only thing I'm slightly worried about is any adverse side affects.

Although I think I can probably curb the side affects because I live a very healthy lifestyle and don't drink, smoke or eat meat. I eat mostly raw food, drink plenty of water and practice yoga everyday. I think the joint pains people commonly report and the skin/lip dryness can be avoided if I just drink plenty of water which I do and keep my limbs limber.

Also, will my minocycline medication affect accutane at all? Anyone know? Is my doctor gonna make me lay off mino for a month to prepare me for accutane? I hope not, I want it now... the sooner the better...

BASS

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Hi,

I've had a similar experience, but probably worse in terms of my acne. I'm 24 as well, but I have already been on accutane.

I had minor side effects, such as chapped lips, a little bit of joint pain, but not much and a lack of concentration.

Accutane worked great for about 3 months after my treatment and then my acne came back, but to a lesser degree. I am now considering taking it again because I still get a flareup of acne, which can be cystic, every couple weeks or so.

Basically, what I can gather from my research is that everyone is different. Some people go on it and it turns out great, other people go on it and it doesn't work; side effects vary quite a bit in terms of the severity. The dermatologist told me that in 80% of the cases you will be rid of your acne.

I think the main thing you should be feeling is desperate. I think the side effects are minimal for most people, but there is a risk. So, you should make sure that you are desperate enough to take on the risk because if you are not and something bad happens you will hate yourself for making the decision to go on accutane.

Really it just seems like a big gamble to me where you can win or lose big. The odds are that you will be ok, but the risk is there and very real. However, if you make the decision to go on accutane, be confident, rid yourself of doubts, drink lots of water, take care of yourself and think positive.

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Accutane is a little extreme I know. I'm not the typical patient that would probably go for such a thing. As I understand it Accutane is mostly for serious cases of acne which I am not. I've had mild-light acne since my teens, but I'm now 24 and am still having breakouts I should have gotten over when I was 18.

Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I turn 24 at the end of March, and have suffered mild intermittent break outs for about the past 10 years as well. My plan has always been that if I'm not over this nonsense by the time I pass 25, I'm going to start seeking a course in accutane. Most sources I've seen indicate that there's a big drop off in the number of people with acne past 25; that's why I've chosen that age.

I'm currently on DKR, which keeps me clear most of the time, but I have done the retinoid/antibiotic routine before. Have you really been on minocycline for ten years? If so, you've probably developed a resistance to it by now (your P. Acnes have anyway). I have the same feelings toward this combination as you do: it helps, but it's not a complete solution.

My first bit of advice is, before you go looking for accutane, just quit using the Retin-A Micro. When I stopped my last retinoid (Tazorac), I was clear for a month until I got a little breakout and started DKR. Retinoids do cause irritation, and you might just be surprised how well your skin does without them. You'll have to go off of Retin-A in order to start accutane anyway, so you may as well see how long you can go without breaking out (assuming you don't have a lot of social obligations).

Anyway, I totally support your accutane decision. I would personally wait a bit longer, and I would definitely try an all natural regimen (no products) before starting accutane, but I can understand your eagerness to get past this disease. You might even want to try a low-dose course to avoid side effects. I don't know if there's an interaction between mino and accutane, but I do know that derms sometimes prescribe antibiotics with accutane to mitigate the initial breakout. Like I said, though, I'd be surprised if mino still has an effect on you after ten years of use.

"I don't want this to be a problem for me anymore"

Coincidentally, I tell myself this exact same thing all the time.

Keep us/me posted on your progress.

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Accutane is a little extreme I know. I'm not the typical patient that would probably go for such a thing. As I understand it Accutane is mostly for serious cases of acne which I am not. I've had mild-light acne since my teens, but I'm now 24 and am still having breakouts I should have gotten over when I was 18.

Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I turn 24 at the end of March, and have suffered mild intermittent break outs for about the past 10 years as well. My plan has always been that if I'm not over this nonsense by the time I pass 25, I'm going to start seeking a course in accutane. Most sources I've seen indicate that there's a big drop off in the number of people with acne past 25; that's why I've chosen that age.

I'm currently on DKR, which keeps me clear most of the time, but I have done the retinoid/antibiotic routine before. Have you really been on minocycline for ten years? If so, you've probably developed a resistance to it by now (your P. Acnes have anyway). I have the same feelings toward this combination as you do: it helps, but it's not a complete solution.

My first bit of advice is, before you go looking for accutane, just quit using the Retin-A Micro. When I stopped my last retinoid (Tazorac), I was clear for a month until I got a little breakout and started DKR. Retinoids do cause irritation, and you might just be surprised how well your skin does without them. You'll have to go off of Retin-A in order to start accutane anyway, so you may as well see how long you can go without breaking out (assuming you don't have a lot of social obligations).

Anyway, I totally support your accutane decision. I would personally wait a bit longer, and I would definitely try an all natural regimen (no products) before starting accutane, but I can understand your eagerness to get past this disease. You might even want to try a low-dose course to avoid side effects. I don't know if there's an interaction between mino and accutane, but I do know that derms sometimes prescribe antibiotics with accutane to mitigate the initial breakout. Like I said, though, I'd be surprised if mino still has an effect on you after ten years of use.

"I don't want this to be a problem for me anymore"

Coincidentally, I tell myself this exact same thing all the time.

Keep us/me posted on your progress.

Thanks for the advice jkom & modernromance,

Today was a big catharsis for me. It's the first day of the spring semester for me (I'm still in college). I had been hoping and praying all winter break I would have clear skin for at least the first day of classes. I didn't. I have about 4 nice little scabbies on my left cheek. FUcking perfect right? Considering I've had clear skin for basically the last 2 weeks it happens this weekend... FUCK.

I was/am really depressed today. It's been hard, I didn't really sleep at all last night cause I couldn't stop thinking about my skin and the potential of taking accutane. At about 6am this morning I had to say "this is it... I'm going on accutane". I can't live like this any longer. The past 4 months of my life that I've been experiencing these "adult acne resurgances" have been unbearable and heartbreaking. Something has to change. I called my dermatologists office the minute they opened at 8am this morning and requested an appt sometime today. They said the only thing was at 8:45 so I took it. The doc came in and immediately took a close look at my left cheek and said "The medication isn't working", I said "Yeah, something has to change..." and he said "Have we talked about Accutane?" So it went like that, I signed up for Ipledge and he gave me all the briefing about what Accutane is about and what I'll be experiencing etc etc... I got the clearance bloodwork later that day. If everything transfers correctly from the lab by this time tomorrow (or later today actually...) I will have Accutane.

I know it's drastic for people like us jkom, because acne for you and me has never been that bad... I've never even had a nodule or a cyst in my life *knocks on wood* and hopefully I never will.

I'm not worried about the medication not showing me the results I wanna see. What worries me most is the possibility of having initial breakouts people commonly report. Having acne any worse than this would tear me in two. I'm just praying hard I can have clear skin by at least the end of the semester.

The thing that worries me so much about the initial breakouts is that I'm in college majoring in vocal performance. It's required as one of my classes I have to sing once or twice a week in front of an audience. I've had to do these performances in the past with spotty skin which was humiliating. And having skin any worse than I sometimes do would be devastating.

Hopefully I'll pop my first pill tomorrow. I think I'm gonna keep an accutane blog too which I'll post on here once I start the medication if anyone cares to read.

Thanks for your support guys. It really helps me feel better to talk to people about this issue because it seems I have no one in my life I can really divulge this information too.

BASS

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The doc came in and immediately took a close look at my left cheek and said "The medication isn't working", I said "Yeah, something has to change..." and he said "Have we talked about Accutane?"

You've got me fantasizing now... There have been times when I almost did what you did, but then didn't. In some ways I regret it since I no longer have insurance, and would have probably solved this problem by now. I think I only managed to push myself through the tougher times because, as I said, I promised myself a long time ago that I would wait until 25.

Do you have insurance? I noticed in your blog that accutane stills costs you quite a bit. Another problem I have is finding a derm willing to prescribe for mild acne. My old derm might have, but he left his practice and I don't know where he went now. Without insurance, I certainly don't have the money to go derm searching. It's probably going to be harder now to get a derm to prescribe accutane on the first visit. I'm not willing to try anything else, especially since I've tried all of the "best" stuff there is already.

I know too well how it is to get a breakout at the worst possible time after having been clear. I have an important interview next week, and I'm just dreading the possibility of having even a small spot on my face. I've already got plenty of persistent red marks that are still fading. I can imagine how stressful it must be to have to sing in front of others with these imperfections. At least you're probably far enough away from people so that spots aren't too noticeable (hopefully).

Regarding initial breakouts: note that a lot of people don't actually get them. For example, if you read Dan's history you'll see that he just cleared up very quickly and stayed clear throughout the course. Always possible that you'll have the same result. If you don't, though, and things do get worse, just try to find some consolation in the fact that the accutane is having an effect, and that you'll eventually get clear again and probably stay that way.

I'd definitely like to follow your progress, so be sure to update that blog!

EDIT: I put you on my bud list so that I remember.

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Do you have insurance? I noticed in your blog that accutane stills costs you quite a bit. Another problem I have is finding a derm willing to prescribe for mild acne. My old derm might have, but he left his practice and I don't know where he went now. Without insurance, I certainly don't have the money to go derm searching. It's probably going to be harder now to get a derm to prescribe accutane on the first visit. I'm not willing to try anything else, especially since I've tried all of the "best" stuff there is already.

I do have insurance, it just blows hard. It's the poor, single, working man's kind where you have to co-pay out the ass for everything. The deal w/ prescriptions is that I have a 1000$ deductable per year for them... so that means I pay for all my prescriptions until I reach that limit, after that my meds are free. Everytime I go to the pharmacy the pharmacists are always like "do you know how much this costs???"... "yeah, i know, thanks for reminding me". In about 3 months I'll get free Accutane. :dance:

It's possible you could find a derm to get you a 'tane' prescription if you just bring them files of your treatment history. It's worth a shot... good luck with that though.

Regarding initial breakouts: note that a lot of people don't actually get them. For example, if you read Dan's history you'll see that he just cleared up very quickly and stayed clear throughout the course. Always possible that you'll have the same result. If you don't, though, and things do get worse, just try to find some consolation in the fact that the accutane is having an effect, and that you'll eventually get clear again and probably stay that way.

Yeah, I've read a few reports where that was the case. I'm hoping for that, but I'm also trying not to expect too much so I don't set myself up for an initial dissapointment. If I do experience great immediate results like in Dan's case, I'll be pleasantly suprised.

I'm really totally unsure of what to expect at this point. I'm usually pretty good at predicting things. It's just that I feel my particular case of acne is so different from other people's I think accutane will either do something drastic or maybe nothing worthwhile at all.

I hope this is my last stand for acne treatment.

I'll try and update my blog as regular as I can.

BASS

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I do have insurance, it just blows hard. It's the poor, single, working man's kind where you have to co-pay out the ass for everything. The deal w/ prescriptions is that I have a 1000$ deductable per year for them... so that means I pay for all my prescriptions until I reach that limit, after that my meds are free. Everytime I go to the pharmacy the pharmacists are always like "do you know how much this costs???"... "yeah, i know, thanks for reminding me". In about 3 months I'll get free Accutane. :dance:

I see that you complained about insurance in your blog... Don't know how I missed that. I suppose I read the high price you paid for accutane and completely tuned out the fact that you have insurance. Ah well, I'll read more carefully next time :rolleyes:

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Howdy!

A couple of things. Don't take a tetra cycline like anti biotic (minocycline?) with isotretinoin (accutane). Very bad idea! The two drugs interact and may cause brain tumor like swelling in your head. Search for "isotretinoin pseudotumor cerebri" on google. Anti biotics are useless for acne anyways; the bacteria will just become immune after a while and the antibiotics will then do nothing.

I notice you talking about the high price of accutane. You've seen your skin specialist, done the checks and gotten a prescription. The patent on isotretinoin (accutane) has expired so the generic drug makers can make it legally. Search for Cipla Isotroin. It's about one tenth the price of accutane. Cipla is an indian generic drug maker. The quality of their stuff is high. And take it from me - it's works the same.

You're gonna have to get over the whole self conscious thing. Your skin ain't perfect and it may never be. You can at least get it under control. People need to accept you for who you are. If they don't then they ain't worth knowing.

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hey

i have been on tane for 10 days now, so hardly any time at all!

like you, i had tried all the X-cycline and X-mycin antibiotics and most of the topicals, which i do agree, they do keep the acne under control, but they do not prevent acne.

anyways, as the previous post-er stated, you cannot take any x-cycline with tane, or any other antibiotics for that matter.

some have reported being prescribed an antibiotic just for the first few weeks to try and reduce the initial breakout, but as you have been on mose antibiotics anyway, you will probably be immune already.

right.

so if you want to take tane, great, go get a prescription.

but let me tell you, it is worth it in the end

but...

the initial breakout does SUCK!

the drying is bloody dry!

every part of your body that has a high density of mucous membranes e.g, face, lips, scalp, nose and even asshole, do get incredibly dry and can be very painful.

if you dont drink water in every spare second of your time, your head will proably explode

blood tests every month

and they make you sign a disclaimer saying " i promise not to commit suicide"

however, everyone is individual,these are just the side effects i have experienced, you may not even get an initial breakout or experience any of the side effects!

im not trying to put you off, i think tane is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and you.

im just telling it how it is, from my perspective :)

feel free to read my blog.

hope this helps!

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Accutane is a little extreme I know. I'm not the typical patient that would probably go for such a thing. As I understand it Accutane is mostly for serious cases of acne which I am not. I've had mild-light acne since my teens, but I'm now 24 and am still having breakouts I should have gotten over when I was 18.

I've been on minocycline and retin-a micro for about 10 years now. The medications have helped significantly reduce my acne but they haven't totally squashed it as I was hoping they would. My doctor is probably gonna say "...but you're acne is so light... why would you want to go on accutane" I don't want this to be a problem for me anymore... not even on a small scale. My case of acne is not extreme in itself, it's just that it has endured for an extremely long time. And it's gotten to the point now where I have to say "enough is enough" and take a risk.

I need some reinforcement, and I'd appreciate it if you guys can give me your feedback about accutane if you've taken it. I've read a lot on this site about it and have heard mostly good to great reports about it. The only thing I'm slightly worried about is any adverse side affects.

Although I think I can probably curb the side affects because I live a very healthy lifestyle and don't drink, smoke or eat meat. I eat mostly raw food, drink plenty of water and practice yoga everyday. I think the joint pains people commonly report and the skin/lip dryness can be avoided if I just drink plenty of water which I do and keep my limbs limber.

Also, will my minocycline medication affect accutane at all? Anyone know? Is my doctor gonna make me lay off mino for a month to prepare me for accutane? I hope not, I want it now... the sooner the better...

BASS

Accutane is a naturally occurring derivative of vitamin A and is detectable in the bloodstream of all people. Vitamin A in large doses has the same effects as Accutane, both good and bad, but quickly becomes harmful since it builds up in the tissue. (Important: Don't take any vitamin A while on Accutane). Accutane is formed naturally in the body from the Vitamin A present in the bloodstream. This is why large amounts of Vitamin A taken during pregnancy cause the same birth defects that Accutane does. Fortunately, because it is a naturally occurring product, the body is able to quickly remove Accutane from the bloodstream. It is gone from the blood within nine days and has no lasting effect on future pregnancies.

Accutane "cures" about half of those people who take it so that they never need to do anything else for acne. In the first few weeks of treatment, about one in five patients gets a little worse, and one in 500 patients gets much worse. The rest either get much better, or better for a while. There is nothing else in the world that comes close to being this effective for severe acne. The usual patient takes it for 4 to 6 months, but some need more and must be "retreated" for an additional 4 to 6 months.

Taking Accutane with food increases the absorption of the medicine. The more Accutane one takes, the greater the chance of cure. Unfortunately, side effects depend on the dose as well. At the lowest doses, there are almost no side effects at all. At the highest, everyone get rather nasty side effects, which are related on the drying effects on the oil glands. The dose needs to be adjusted to strike a balance between effectiveness and side effects.

Side effects that are common are listed here. Chapped lips (90%), countered by a using Vaseline or Aquaphor as a lip moisturizer, Dry skin and itching (80%) helped by frequent moisturizer creams, Dryness of nose, mild nosebleed (80%), helped by "AYR nasal gel", Irritation of the eyelids and eyes (40%), Joint and muscle pains (15%), Temporary hair thinning (10%), Rash (7%), Intestinal symptoms (5%), Urinary symptoms (5%), Headache (5%), Increased sensitivity to sun (5%), Decreased night vision (<1%), Depression, thoughts of suicide (<1%).

Accutane may increase the level of blood fats, sometimes to risky levels. This reverts back to normal when the drug is stopped. Occasionally it may affect the liver. That's why regular blood tests are necessary during Accutane treatment. There is little risk of any damage if these precautions are followed.

The most damaging side effect of Accutane is serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy. It is critically important for women not to take Accutane while pregnant, and not to become pregnant while taking it. Women who are, or might be, sexually active while taking Accutane must use an effective method of birth control, of which the birth control pill is the most effective. Birth control pills do rarely fail, so an additional method of birth control such as a condom for the male partner or a spermicidal foam or sponge is also needed. Because the birth defects caused by Accutane are so serious, it's important not to share the pills with others.

Some people develop headaches while on Accutane. These respond to Advil or Tylenol. If a persistent headache develops while on Accutane, the medication should be stopped and the physician notified. Accutane has been reported to cause depression and thoughts of suicide, though a recent study has not shown any correlation. Extremely vigorous exercise should be avoided, as muscle aches can develop.

Using accutane can vulnerable your body!

www.aocd.org

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Although I think I can probably curb the side affects because I live a very healthy lifestyle and don't drink, smoke or eat meat. I eat mostly raw food, drink plenty of water and practice yoga everyday. I think the joint pains people commonly report and the skin/lip dryness can be avoided if I just drink plenty of water which I do and keep my limbs limber.

BASS

i've been a vegetarian for 20 years. mostly vegan for the last year. i work out every morning at 6 am. i don't drink. i don't smoke. i still experience the side effects. i don't think you can avoid it, no matter how clean your living is. sorry. :( your body will react to accutane how it's going to react. just prepare yourself with lots of body lotion and lip balm. drink water like there's no tomorrow. good luck!

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I did a high dose of tane 2 years ago, and had absolutely no side effects. Dry lips, that's about it.

Reduced my acne by 80% permanently, and completely took care of my bacne.

I'm going to go for it again this week for exactly the same reasons. 22 yrs old, and breaking out once or twice a month with a few mean cysts is very annoying and bloody interruptive in your life.

Imo, if you're worried about side effects, ask for a low dose course... there is some literature out there that suggests its just as effective as a high dose course.

The benefits far outweigh the risks in my opinion.

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