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donnatkb

ACCUTANE CAN SERIOUSLY JACK YOU UP

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I was a classic acne case. Severe cystic acne from the time I was 12 until now (age 27). After 15 years of being so unhappy with my acne, I finally got my derm to prescribe me accutane. They warned me about possible birth defects, and also that I may or may not have problems with my liver. They said if I had problems with my liver, I could stop taking the drug and I would be fine again.

Before taking the drug I worked as an aerobics instructor (cardio classes, to be precise). I taught one hour classes six days a week. I was in the best shape of my life.

I started on 80mg a day. I took the medication for a total of 50 days. I noticed that my acne cleared up IMMEDIATELY. I'm talking, second day not a new pimple to be found. By a week, I was clear as can be. I was extremely elated. I was only experiencing chapped lips and a dryed out nose. But those seemed like a very small price to pay for having clear skin.

On day 50 I took my morning dose and went to work at the lab (my day job, I have two jobs). All of the sudden halfway through the day I was overwhelmed with nausea and severe dizziness. I had to be sent on the ambulance to the hospital. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I stopped taking the drug immedately. I spent 3 weeks in bed trying to control my severe dizziness. Then came the anxiety attacks. I never had an anxiety attack in my life. Now I seem to have them at random times throughout the day. I had to be put on medication to control my anxiety attacks.

Now I'm seeing a cardiologist. It seems I have a marked sinus arythmia and a prolonged QT syndrome (electrical problem) with my heart. Now don't forget, I was a CARDIO teacher right before this. My heart was in tip top shape before I took the medication.

So I started googling "effects of accutane on heart". And guess what! People have died. Look at this list:

Accutane Cardiovascular Side Effects:

Tachycardia, Stroke, Vascular Thrombotic Disease

Accutane may create blood clots that obstruct blood flow and may lead to heart attacks.

Water retention

Fatigue

Swollen lymph nodes

Weight loss

Bleeding gums

Nausea

Irritation of the esophagus

Back pain, muscle pain, or joint pain

Arthritis

Dizziness

Drowsiness

Headaches

Insomnia

Menstrual changes

Voice changes

Hair loss

Undesired hair growth (such as body or facial hair growth)

Dry lips, mouth, nose, and skin

Nosebleeds

Flushing

Sweating

Sensitivity to the sun

Peeling of the hands or feet

Lightening or darkening of the skin

Poor night vision

Changes in color vision

Some side effects with Accutane are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:

Signs of psychiatric changes, such as:

A sad mood

Hopelessness

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

Loss of pleasure or interest in activities

Fatigue

Difficulty concentrating

Changes in sleep pattern

Changes in weight or appetite

Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Restlessness or irritability

Acting on dangerous impulses

Hallucinations or delusions

Signs of high blood pressure within the cranium, such as:

Headaches

Nausea

Vomiting

Vision changes

High triglycerides, which may be accompanied by pancreatitis (dangerous inflammation of the pancreas)

Ringing of the ears (tinnitus) or hearing loss

Signs of liver damage, such as:

Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)

Upper-right abdominal pain (stomach pain)

High liver enzymes

Signs of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), such as:

Severe diarrhea

Abdominal pain (stomach pain)

Rectal bleeding

Broken bones, which may be a sign of thinning bones (osteoporosis)

Any vision changes

Changes in blood sugar

Seizures

Signs of a stroke, such as:

Vision or speech changes

Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg

Severe headache

And then I saw this:

Accutane is a cancer drug. Bet you didn't know that.

Isotretinoin, the active ingredient in Accutane, was originally developed as a chemotherapy drug. During the chemotherapy trials doctors noticed patients' acne clearing.

What do we know of chemotherapy drugs?

They are among the most dangerous poisons. Chemotherapy treatment often does serious damage to the body. And, if the patient is lucky, may have a little effect on cancer.

In this context it's no wonder the list of Accutane's side effects looks truly frightening. Ranging from chapped lips to heart attacks, serious organ damage and suicides.

Now, after reading all these potential side effects think long and hard if it is worth it. I really thought I was going to die when I was going through all this, and I still might. I have many specialists I have to see so we can figure out how to reverse the damage that the accutane has done to my body. When I was lying in that hospital bed, all I could think was "It was only Acne. And now I'm going to die."

These side effects can happen to ANYONE. And sometimes, you don't know that you're going to suffer from them until it's TOO LATE!!!! Once you have the symptoms, there is little you can do to get rid of them. Please find another way. I know that I'm going to try something else. I have some accutane left and I'm going to flush it down the toilet.

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I am sorry to hear about your misfortune but Accutane effects everyone differently. Some people have severe side effects while others get the normal dryness that occurs and that is it.

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Hi donnatkb, I totally understand what you are going through. Accutane literally ruin my life as well, but like what devedralover said, "Accutane effects everyone differently", and this is the reason why I name this drug "Russian Roulette Soft Capsules".

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I know it only affects some people. My point is that, it's only acne. Is it worth taking the risk of severe health problems and possibly death? I wish I had read more into before I started taking it. Believe me, I know that 80% of people take it, clear their acne, no problem. But you just don't know if you will be the lucky 80% or the unlucky 20% until IT'S TOO LATE! I've decided to go back to the derm and try every other thing on the market. I read about a topical cream that is the same ingredient as accutane, with remarkable results (and no side effects, except drying skin on the face.) THere is another name for the drug. It's called 13-cis retinoic acid. Check out this drug. It's accutane (under the clinical name) and it's for cancer patients. It's a form of chemotherapy. I guess anyone can make their own decision if they want to risk it, but I just wanted to inform people out there that I thought I was going to die and I will never touch the stuff again. And I was a big supporter before I took it.

My friend said she saw on MTV true life "I have acne" and it talked about a 15 year old boy that dropped dead from taking it.

BTW, I can't seem to stop having panic attacks. It really sucks. I wish I could go back.

I'm not putting anyone down that wants to take the drug. I just think you should be really careful. And I think you should be willing to risk your life................. Because you never know!

P.S. XianXian- If you're scared DON'T DO IT. I was scared and I did it anyway. Bad deal.

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BTW

If anyone wants to really read good information about the fact that accutane is a chemotherapy drug, google the word

13-cis retinoic acid

That is the clinical term for the Accutane medication.

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First off...I want to say that I am so sorry and I understand your pain (in a way)

I am on my second term with accutane. I never felt a side-effect the first time.

I felt sick a month and a half ago when i was on 40mg...so I went off for two weeks, felt better, and went back to 60....felt fine. Upped my dosage to 80 the next month.

Whoa. After about a week and a half I couldn't breathe easily...went off of it and found out I had a blood clot in my lung! I'm 24, I don't smoke, I workout, and when I travel, I walk around a good deal. My only risk factor is birth control...and I think that may explain some of the increases in clot issues. When women go on birthcontrol...their risk for blood clots increases significantly.

(I'm obviously off of it for a while and I haven't decided if I will finish my last 2 months.)

The thing is...I don't think they specifically linked that boy's condition to accutane or any of these other things through actual proof. There are many risk factors that contribute to anxiety, heart conditions, stroke, etc...

Accutane is a dangerous drug and I am really glad you posted your story. I hope we both feel much better soon.

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i think most people know accutane comes w/some serious side effects. for that reason, i hedged about taking it, even as my skin continued to worsen. finally, my skin got to the point where i was willing to risk the side effects. i'm in the 4th month of treatment (60mg/day) and have "only" experienced dry lips and two hellacious breakouts. hindsight is 20/20. had i known i would "only" experience two hellacious breakouts and dry lips, i would have been on accutane three years ago. my face is about 98% clear. this weekend my grandmother mentioned that my face looks great. this from the same woman who 6 months ago asked if i had ringworms on my face. that's how bad it looked.

my point is that medication effects everyone differently. i am not at all trying to minimize your experiences. i wish you improved health, mentally and physically. the bottom line is that while accutane can seriously jack you up, it can also seriously clear you up.

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I know I get that it can help. My acne is gone right now. It cleared up right away. But if you're willing to take the drugs, you're playing a serious game of russian roullette. Who wants to take a chance with their life over something that's just a physical blemish. When you're dead, who cares if you have acne, right?post-85824-1224111113_thumb.jpg

post-85824-1224111113_thumb.jpg

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Well thanks we know you mean well, and you make good points in your last post.

I took accutane for three weeks until my dad got me off of it.

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lets say accutane is doing something terrible to my body and i dont know it yet... what signs should i be looking out for? ive been on it for two weeks and havent experienced anything cept some dry skin, no breakout yet... ive even been running faster for my cross country team.. alot faster.... still, ur story hits me pretty hard, any tips on what to look out for?

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Watch out for muscle pains and joint aches. Monitor your legs and ankles for any swelling and clicking/cracking noises that become a lot more prominent for most. This is typically the start of cartilage breakdown which has been caused by retonoids.

Oh, I'm happy today......Accutane has jacked me up completely and now my acne is coming back. I feel shite.

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lets say accutane is doing something terrible to my body and i dont know it yet... what signs should i be looking out for? ive been on it for two weeks and havent experienced anything cept some dry skin, no breakout yet... ive even been running faster for my cross country team.. alot faster.... still, ur story hits me pretty hard, any tips on what to look out for?

I was teaching Turbo Kick Boxing aerobics six days a week the whole time I was taking it. That's an hour of cardio every day. Plus lifting weights 3 times a week. In the beginning I only had dry lips and my nose was kind of jacked up. But that was it. For 50 days. not a single problem.

If you start to get dizzy or lightheaded watch out. Or if you have a pounding heart (when you're not doing anything except sitting there). Or if you have a sudden panic attack. You'll know you're having one because it feels like you're dying.

I think it has alot to do with how much you are taking. How much are you taking? I was started at 80mg a day right off the bat. I think alot of my problem was due to having just too much of the poison in my system. It built and built and then it hit me hard.

My acne is still cleared up, but it hasn't even been 30 days since I stopped taking it. It will be 30 days on the 25th. I have noticed that my dizziness went away for the most part, and I haven't had a panic attack in 6 days so that's good (although I'm taking medication to not have panick attacks

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Watch out for muscle pains and joint aches. Monitor your legs and ankles for any swelling and clicking/cracking noises that become a lot more prominent for most. This is typically the start of cartilage breakdown which has been caused by retonoids.

Oh, I'm happy today......Accutane has jacked me up completely and now my acne is coming back. I feel shite.

That really sucks. My skin is starting to get oily I noticed..... I'm sure my acne is coming back.

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donnatkb,

im only on 20mg a day because my dermatologist suggested it to prevent side effects and breakouts, so yeah im on a pansy dose for now... i have some anxiety issues anyways, so the panic attack thing worries me

sheefa,

its so hard to monitor sore joints and muscles because theyre always sore anyways from running/swimming/biking until the end of the season when i taper.. even still, i doubt ill be able to tell if its my workouts or the drug... this situation sucks ass

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Guest Lee Harris

To some of the responses about joint/ bone problems.

I am on 40mg daily, for about 30 days now.

About 3 days ago I fell out of a tree (don't ask) and sprained my ankle and badly bruised my talus bone. Swore my foot was broken, even went to ER for xrays and such.

My sprained ankle has healed almost completely after 3 days (knocks on wood) and my bones suffered no damage.

The stuff about chemotherapy is interesting. I have been most concerned about potential hair loss, I wonder if there is a link there? I even told my dad, "what kind of sh8t do they have me on? Only other thing I've heard of that can cause hair loss is chemotherapy!"

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I have doubt accutane has caused me a multitude of problems. I wish, I never bite on it. In my opinion it's not worth taking a drug that only last 5 years-it should be taken off the market, but there are far too many lobbyist out there pushing the drug in Washington-too much money to be made at the expense of so many of us. I'd like to put that derm on a 5 month course and lets see how often that person prescribes the drug.

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donnatkb,

im only on 20mg a day because my dermatologist suggested it to prevent side effects and breakouts, so yeah im on a pansy dose for now... i have some anxiety issues anyways, so the panic attack thing worries me

sheefa,

its so hard to monitor sore joints and muscles because theyre always sore anyways from running/swimming/biking until the end of the season when i taper.. even still, i doubt ill be able to tell if its my workouts or the drug... this situation sucks ass

Taking 20mg maybe the answer, the Europeans seem to go with a lower dose for a longer period of time. It's not the actually dose that is important-it's the accumulated amount. For example, if you take 20mg for 60 days-it would be the same as taken 40mg for 30 days-you just simply have to take the drug longer to achieve the same results. Good luck hope it works out for you. I used 80mg a day-real freak show that one was. In my opinion the stuff isn't worth using, but I used it twice, because desperate people do desperate things

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To some of the responses about joint/ bone problems.

I am on 40mg daily, for about 30 days now.

About 3 days ago I fell out of a tree (don't ask) and sprained my ankle and badly bruised my talus bone. Swore my foot was broken, even went to ER for xrays and such.

My sprained ankle has healed almost completely after 3 days (knocks on wood) and my bones suffered no damage.

Lee,

This is exactly the same as me. I unfortunatekly sprained BOTH my ankles in May 2006 and August 2006. They both seemed to heal fine and X-rays showed no damage. It wasn't until a year later that I started havuing chronic ankle pain, both ankles and then my joint pain spread like wildfire which I am still in today.

Just watch out for any additional clicking/cracking and instability in the ankles. If you do feel that is a little 'loose' and weak, then I suggest you give prolotherapy a shot too.

Good luck. It's not over yet mate.

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If I could make any suggestions it would be to take the lowest dose of accutane that you can. It seems to me that the people that had the worst problems are the people who were taking 80mg or more( in most cases). So, if you absolutely insist on taking the poison, take the poison in low doses and you might get lucky.

But if you do take the poison, I wish you good luck with the russian roullette game of life!

I am going back to my washes and creams. I tried so many over the years that I have found that neutrogena advanced solutions complete acne therapy system works very well in keeping you from breaking out (when you use it religiously) post-85824-1224258569_thumb.jpg

And for those big ugly cystic acnes that won't go away, I use the clean and clear advantage acne spot treatment (you just put a dab right on the zit the night before). When you wake up it's WAY smaller, alot more dried up, and almost gone. post-85824-1224258695_thumb.jpg

This is just a suggestion. You can get both of these items at target for about $30 for both.

It's much safer and works very well. Try it before you try Accutane! Give it a month on this.

post-85824-1224258569_thumb.jpg

post-85824-1224258695_thumb.jpg

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Guest Lee Harris
I have doubt accutane has caused me a multitude of problems. I wish, I never bite on it. In my opinion it's not worth taking a drug that only last 5 years-it should be taken off the market, but there are far too many lobbyist out there pushing the drug in Washington-too much money to be made at the expense of so many of us. I'd like to put that derm on a 5 month course and lets see how often that person prescribes the drug.

My dermatologist took accutane and prescribed it to both of his kids.

Good results for them.

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Guest Lee Harris
Lee,

This is exactly the same as me. I unfortunatekly sprained BOTH my ankles in May 2006 and August 2006. They both seemed to heal fine and X-rays showed no damage. It wasn't until a year later that I started havuing chronic ankle pain, both ankles and then my joint pain spread like wildfire which I am still in today.

Just watch out for any additional clicking/cracking and instability in the ankles. If you do feel that is a little 'loose' and weak, then I suggest you give prolotherapy a shot too.

Good luck. It's not over yet mate.

I believe you buddy.

This kind of has me worried too. I will definitely keep an eye on it. I think that especially since myalgias and various other pain problems seem to plague accutane users post/current that it has some autoimmune disorder triggers.

This probably results from the assault it does to the liver. I recall a naturopath saying one time that, fibromyalgia for example (he called it the supposed great mystery disease of the new century) was undeniably caused by impaired liver function.

Its fact that arthritis for example is an autoimmune reaction. Worries me because MS and other stuff runs in one side of my family, I think I take more after the other side though [knocks on wood].

What really worries me is that about 4 months ago I discloated my knee in a car accident. Its still not 100% and probably never will be. I see one of the best orthopaedists in the country though.

What other side effects did you experience while on/after tane? Any hair loss issues? Raised liver enzymes?

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I believe you buddy.

This kind of has me worried too. I will definitely keep an eye on it. I think that especially since myalgias and various other pain problems seem to plague accutane users post/current that it has some autoimmune disorder triggers.

This probably results from the assault it does to the liver. I recall a naturopath saying one time that, fibromyalgia for example (he called it the supposed great mystery disease of the new century) was undeniably caused by impaired liver function.

Its fact that arthritis for example is an autoimmune reaction. Worries me because MS and other stuff runs in one side of my family, I think I take more after the other side though [knocks on wood].

What really worries me is that about 4 months ago I discloated my knee in a car accident. Its still not 100% and probably never will be. I see one of the best orthopaedists in the country though.

What other side effects did you experience while on/after tane? Any hair loss issues? Raised liver enzymes?

Honestly? None really at all Lee, that's the scary thing. Had I really suffered joint pain, hair loss or other more serious side effects I would of come straight off the drug no questions asked - but I didn't. My treatment was pretty much pain and hassle free with the usual dry sides only and occassional back and muscle ache.

That's what really hurts me. That only a few months after finishing my small dose course I got thrown into the turmoil I'm in today. Can I suggest you look into taking a combined hyalouronic acid and glucosomine supllement mate, asap, just to help prevent possible complications.

Good luck.

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Why are people likening accutane to russian roulette? Clearly in that game there is a significantly higher chance of getting 'hit' than their is taking accutane. Seriously...

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