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Hi. I've been thinking about Spiro for awhile and finally am going to the derm tomorrow to ask for it. I wanted to ask how long after you first start taking it before the purging breakouts start? 1 week? Two? Also, has anyone experianced any other benifits? When I took birth control I noticed that the hair under arms and on legs stopped growing as fast an as thick. Less ingrown hairs. Has anyone had that on Spiro. Since it's an androgen blocker I would assume it has all of these effects. Although I will talk to the derm about all of this, I would like to have everyone's feed back. Thanks

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Hi. Hope your meeting with the derm is productive! I have been on spiro for about 7 months now, although my dose has changed every 2 months. Anyway, I started breaking out after maybe 2 weeks & it got worse until about 7 weeks. Since then I have seen improvements. I can't say that I've seen any positive side effects, as far as body hair or weight. It's all the same. Negatively I have dealt with some dizziness & fatigue. GOod luck!

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Hi, I've been on spiro for almost a year (June 30, 2007 is when I started.) For me it has been an excellent treatment. Far better than anything else I have ever used for acne, including 3 separate courses of Accuatne over the past 15+ years and enough antibiotics to treat a worldwide plague epidemic.

And yes, I have noticed a few added benefits that I didn't consider when I first started taking spiro. I used to get terribly ingrown hairs on my legs -- to the point where I had to wait several days or even a week or so to let them "grow out" before I could shave again. That is not the case anymore.

The other thing I've noticed is I don't have to tweeze my eyebrows nearly as often I used to. I don't get as many "strays."

My weight and body composition have not changed at all, which I'm actually happy about because I'm a runner. I remember reading a couple womens' complaints that they felt they had lost lean muscle or they couldn't build any new muscle while on spiro but I have not noticed any such thing.

But I feel that I must warn you that I did have a terrible IB that lasted for at least 2 months. A couple weeks into the spiro, I asked my derm if I could continue taking the doryx (antibiotic) that I had been on prior to spiro and he agreed but only for a limited time and only as long as my bloodwork was coming back normal. Everything was fine and I stopped taking the antibiotic in November (once and for all!) and have been clear ever since.

Good luck!

Jill

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Hi everyone,

I've been on Spiro (125mg) + Diane for 2 months now. I'm also taking Doxy and using Retin-A at night. I'm still breaking out as much as before and am wondering if I should give up on it and try accutane or if I should continue

Jill, I know you said it was great for you. But was your acne as bad as mine? (pics below)

http://photobucket.com/sunrise_85

I'm just wondering if my acne is too severe for Spiro? When would you say you really started to see improvement?

Also, have you heard of anyone staying on Spiro while on an accutane course? Im just wondering if thats possible at all.

As for other effects, my Endo (who prescribed spiro for me since i was diagnosed with PCOS) said that it should help with the hair loss that Ive been experiencing as well as with reducing facial/body hair. The effects on the hair though usually take between 6-12 months to really be noticeable.

Thanks a lot and best of luck to everyone!

Oh and one more question, what dose is everyone on? Thanks a lot ladies!

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Hi Sunrise,

I'm sorry to hear that you haven't had much luck so far with spiro (+ all the other meds you are taking). I would say that my acne was different from yours before I started spiro. I wasn't breaking out on my cheeks or forehead. And I didn't get many pimples. Instead I was getting very painful cysts and pustules over and over again in the same spots on my chin, around my mouth and the sides & corners of my nose and right next to my nose.

Many years ago, when I was in high school and college, my acne was actually WORSE than yours is now. I literally had cysts, pimples, pustules, THE WORKS, everywhere on my face (even my ears, scalp, etc.) and even on my back. That's when I started with the Accuatne. The Accutane would work great for a year or two but the acne would always return, sometimes even worse than before. Finally after my THIRD course of Accuatne (in my mid-20's), I thought the acne was finally gone for good. I stayed clear for about 5-6 years but I was also on BCP during most of that time. In my early 30's, I went off the pill and have been fighting "adult acne" ever since.

I am on 100 mg/day of spiro. I would not recommend being on Accutane and spiro. Accutane really takes a toll on your body and I personally wouldn't want to be taking any other meds while taking Accutane -- except of course BCP which they will make you take.

I would give the spiro more time, if you can stand it. I know it's hard but I think you've got to give it 4-6 months. It was during that time that I could really see the most consistent improvement.

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Thank u so much MizzBuddy

Im really finding it difficult deciding between accutane and spiro - only thing that's preventing me from starting the tane is my fear of further hair thinning :( Otherwise I'd def go for it. I'm just worried about potential scarring etc..

May be I should give spiro more time...ugh! It does suck to have to wait sooo long but hopefully I can build up the patience

Thanks!

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Im really finding it difficult deciding between accutane and spiro - only thing that's preventing me from starting the tane is my fear of further hair thinning :( Otherwise I'd def go for it.

Thanks!

Just curious - how old are you? If you are under 25, you may want to go with Accutane. It very well could cure you for good and then you'll never have to fool around with any acne-crap the rest of your life. I unfortunatley am of the few percentage of people it did not help. But for every one of me there must be dozens of people who have never had another pimple after they finished their Accutane. And these folks are OLD like me so I'm not just talking about a couple years. I'm talking about a couple DECADES of zit free life! Something I've never had.....:boohoo:

For what it's worth, I did not experience any hair loss with Accutane. But maybe if I had, it would have worked better?? :rolleyes:

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It took me only 2-3 days to notice the purging/IB effect of spiro...but I think I had an unusually fast reaction.

I'm convinced the hair on my head grows slower on BCP

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Hello again MizzBuddy,

Thanks for the reply!

I just turned 23. I have actually already done one course of accutane (but only at 20 mg/day for around 8 months a year ago). My acne then was really not that bad at all so Im not even sure why the derm gave me tane then. After my tane course i was 200% clear but a year post tane my acne came back worse than its ever been

I just recently got diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which the endo said is the primary reason for the acne thus he thinks the Spiro + BCP route would be more effective for me in the long term. Also, hair loss is one of the symptoms of PCOS so I prob shouldnt excarbate it with the accutane. Thats the only thing thats telling me to perhaps give it more time.

My derm thinks I can try accutane ata higher dose since apparently remission rates are higher with that, but its a struggle in my mind! I think I should be patient and give the hormonal treatment a bit more time as long term it may indeed be the better choice for me.

Thanks a lot for your help!

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Sunrise, I've heard about this new trend of low-dose Accutane for longer periods of time but I've often wondered if that's really effective. I hate to say this but the people I know who were "cured" by Accutane suffered very bad side effects, at least compared to what I went through. So I really do think there might be something to that. All three times I took Accutane, my weight was right on the border between dose amounts and all three times the derms went with the lower dose. I've sometimes wondered what would have happened if I had taken the larger dose.

So, maybe since you've already tried Accutane and it didn't work out so well, you could stick with the spiro a bit longer. As I'm sure you know, Accutane doesn't work much (if any) faster than the sprio does. So either way it's a bit of a waiting game and takes a toll on your patience. But I will say that I think spiro is a much easier drug to tolerate than Accutane. Even though I didn't have horrible side effects, it still wasn't a pleasurable experience!

Hang in there and KUP!

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Hi there. Just wanted to add my experience here as well. From age 11 to about 23 I had what I consider one of the worst cases of acne imaginable, not a clear spot on my face, and my chest and back were also pretty bad. It would be really inflamed cystic acne that would periodically calm down a little, but it would never go away. I cried myself to sleep a lot.

At 23 I did a course of Accutane that cleared me up well enough that I actually cried tears of joy. I started to break out a little more about a year and a half later so I did another course and stayed on the pill after that. From then on I only broke out a little around my period, nothing major, and I was pretty content because I was a million miles from where I'd been.

Fast-forward to age 33. I decided I wasn't content anymore to have just okay skin. I wanted "clear" skin (and no more course black hairs on my chin and jawline!!) So I started Spiro and retin-a in February.

I started at 50mg and went up to 100mg after 2 months, which is where I've remained.

Spiro: The Pros

I haven't had a single black hair in 2 months. I still have a ton of hair on my face, but now at least it's all blonde. (I'm fair skin with blonde hair and a huge amount of blonde vellus hair on my cheeks, chin, upper lip and temples. Before I had a whole bunch of black, stubbly like hairs on my chin, and a few that would crop up on my jawline, upper cheeks, upper lip and other random spots)

My leg hair is blonde and seems to grow in slower. (I always thought it was odd that I had such dark leg hair since I'm naturally blonde and fair skinned. Now when I shave it grows back finer and light so it's hardly noticeable, and I can go two days without shaving at all when it used to grow back seemingly within hours) My eyebrows also grow in slower.

My hair has grown so fast my hairdresser couldn't even believe it. She didn't think it was humanly possible for hair to grow so quickly.

I don't retain water anymore. (I always had puffy ankles--cankles, as I called them--and felt so bloated, even when I wasn't PMSing. I don't retain water anymore, and it may be a coincidence, but I've lost a few pounds and my stomach is flatter without dieting at all)

Spiro: The Cons

Well, maybe these aren't serious cons, and I don't know how much of it is spiro and how much is the retin-a or even other factors, but my skin isn't clear yet. I feel like every pore on my face is suddenly visible and I look like I have pock marks that I never had before. I feel more oily instead of less oily. I feel like I have red marks that are more visible than before. I have only a few pimples but they seem to take a long time to go away, and I have some tiny flesh colored bumps on my cheeks that contribute to the uneven, pitted look. I just generally don't like the look of my skin at the moment, mostly because of the pock-marked appearance that I hope will not be permanent.

I'm sticking with it still because I said I'd give it at least six months. I'm hoping switching from retin-a to something else will help.

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Has anyone NOT had an intitial breakout with Spiro? Starting it today and my derm said the "purge breakout" is actually pretty rare. I need to hear some really good stories about it right now, even if I'm dreaming.

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Has anyone NOT had an intitial breakout with Spiro? Starting it today and my derm said the "purge breakout" is actually pretty rare. I need to hear some really good stories about it right now, even if I'm dreaming.

My advice - take some form of antiboitic for at least the first 3 months of Sprio. Derm told my daughter the same thing and she had a horrible IB, went on Bactrim after 6 weeks, took another 6 week to really clear. To me, it better to be safe than sorry...

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I also did not have an initial breakout, just a gradual improvement of my skin. But I was on antibiotics for the first 3-4 months until my derm told me to stop them. When I did, I was expecting the worst because I had been on daily antibiotics for over a year! But my breakouts didn't worsen. Now 8 months later, I have no acne, just fading marks. For the first time, last month's menstrual cycle didn't bring on any acne. My skin has continued to improve. By month four of spiro, I could say my skin was mostly clear but I was still breaking out around my period...and it was mostly cystic. Its been about 6 weeks since I've had any breakouts at all. Now, I get compliments on my skin all the time and people ask how I get my skin looking so smooth!! :dance:

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