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Finally clear

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I'm a caucasion male, and I'll be 27 in March. I've had moderate acne since I was around 13 or 14, and it just never went away. I tried everything from OTC meds to prescription topicals to antibiotics to Accutane, but nothing worked long-term!

Accutane was a Godsend for 6 to 9 months at a time. Everytime I took it, I cleared up 100%; but within a year, it would start to come back. I always thought that by the time I was approaching 30, I'd have outgrown it. I never did.

So why am I posting? Well, in January 2007, I started breaking out again and waited too long to get back on Accutane. As a result, I had horrible skin for three months before the results kicked in, and I was absolutely miserable. I vowed that it would be the last time.

After taking 60mg a day for three months and clearing up, I started taking a maintenance dose after reading some research supporting the notion. For the last 1 year and 10 months, I have been taking a 20mg pill about once every other day -- sometimes only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I'd say, on average, I take about 65mg a week.

The results? NO side effects and NO acne! I have been clear, aside from the occasional tiny, temporary white head that is gone within hours, for almost 2 years thanks to 3 or 4 pills a week. It's unbelievable. It's also very easy on the body, since the amount is so low.

The moral of the story? Consider maintenance dose Accutane, if it's an option. I have never been happier.

Good luck!

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I'm a caucasion male, and I'll be 27 in March. I've had moderate acne since I was around 13 or 14, and it just never went away. I tried everything from OTC meds to prescription topicals to antibiotics to Accutane, but nothing worked long-term!

Accutane was a Godsend for 6 to 9 months at a time. Everytime I took it, I cleared up 100%; but within a year, it would start to come back. I always thought that by the time I was approaching 30, I'd have outgrown it. I never did.

So why am I posting? Well, in January 2007, I started breaking out again and waited too long to get back on Accutane. As a result, I had horrible skin for three months before the results kicked in, and I was absolutely miserable. I vowed that it would be the last time.

After taking 60mg a day for three months and clearing up, I started taking a maintenance dose after reading some research supporting the notion. For the last 1 year and 10 months, I have been taking a 20mg pill about once every other day -- sometimes only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I'd say, on average, I take about 65mg a week.

The results? NO side effects and NO acne! I have been clear, aside from the occasional tiny, temporary white head that is gone within hours, for almost 2 years thanks to 3 or 4 pills a week. It's unbelievable. It's also very easy on the body, since the amount is so low.

The moral of the story? Consider maintenance dose Accutane, if it's an option. I have never been happier.

Good luck!

Did the same thing for nearly 2 years. Got down to as low as 10mg every other day. No side effects and clear skin. Greatest 2 years of my life!! I'm 47 and still fighting it but the low dose accutane was absolutely incredible!!

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I'm just wondering what that might do to your liver in the long-term. I don't think there's been any long-term controlled studies on Accutane. Just something to consider.

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I'm just wondering what that might do to your liver in the long-term. I don't think there's been any long-term controlled studies on Accutane. Just something to consider.

In fact, a quick literature review would show you that there HAVE been long-term, controlled studies on low-dose Accutane.

In 1993, a study was published reporting the results of a 10mg/day treatment in older adults for the prevention of new basal cell carcinoma. The relevant results were that, compared to placebo, the patients who took isotretinoin had serum triglyceride levels that were statistically significantly higher than those who took placebo; however, the occurrence was still very low (7% on isotretinoin vs. 2% on placebo). Once the doses were modified, triglyceride levels returned to normal within 45 days, on average. Regarding liver enzymes and total serum cholesterol, there was no statistical difference between the two groups. (Tangrea JA, Adrianza E, Helsel WE, et al. (1993) Clinical and laboratory adverse effects associated with long-term, low-dose isotretinoin: incidence and risk factors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2(4):375-80)

In addition, a study done in 2000 tested long-term, low-dose isotretinoin on adults who had previously taken Accutane at least once but relapsed. The result? "All patients currently have no acne or minimal acne while taking a single 20 mg tablet once or twice per week. They report enormous psychological benefit. Stopping this treatment results in recurrence of mild acne." (Palmer RA, Sidhu S, Goodwin PG (2000) ‘Microdose’ isotretinoin. Br J Dermatol 143:205–206)

This treatment is continuing to be explored in medical journals. Here are just a few papers that have been published in the last few years:

Akman A, Durusoy C, Senturk M, et al. (2007) Treatment of acne with intermittent and conventional isotretinoin: a randomized, controlled multicenter study. Archives of Dermatological Research 299:10.

Amichai B (2003) Long-term minidoses of isotretinoin in the treatment of relapsing acne. J Dermatol 30:572

Goulden V, Clark SM, Mcgeown C, Cunliffe WJ (1997) Treatment of acne with intermittent isotretinoin. Br J Dermatol 137:106–108

Kaymak Y, İlter N (2006) The effectiveness of intermittent isotretinoin treatment in mild or moderate acne. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 20:1256–1260

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So why'd you quit?

I never break out as bad in the winter so dem and I decided it would be a good time to take break. Been off of it 2 months now and still clear with just mild washing once a day and nothing else. I'm guessing when the warm weather comes back I'll probably be back on it but we'll see. I agree that the low dose is a great way to go. Minimal side effects and the fact that your on it for longer periods of times allows your face to recover from all the years of topicals. Good luck to everyone!!

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I'm just wondering what that might do to your liver in the long-term. I don't think there's been any long-term controlled studies on Accutane. Just something to consider.

In fact, a quick literature review would show you that there HAVE been long-term, controlled studies on low-dose Accutane.

In 1993, a study was published reporting the results of a 10mg/day treatment in older adults for the prevention of new basal cell carcinoma. The relevant results were that, compared to placebo, the patients who took isotretinoin had serum triglyceride levels that were statistically significantly higher than those who took placebo; however, the occurrence was still very low (7% on isotretinoin vs. 2% on placebo). Once the doses were modified, triglyceride levels returned to normal within 45 days, on average. Regarding liver enzymes and total serum cholesterol, there was no statistical difference between the two groups. (Tangrea JA, Adrianza E, Helsel WE, et al. (1993) Clinical and laboratory adverse effects associated with long-term, low-dose isotretinoin: incidence and risk factors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2(4):375-80)

In addition, a study done in 2000 tested long-term, low-dose isotretinoin on adults who had previously taken Accutane at least once but relapsed. The result? "All patients currently have no acne or minimal acne while taking a single 20 mg tablet once or twice per week. They report enormous psychological benefit. Stopping this treatment results in recurrence of mild acne." (Palmer RA, Sidhu S, Goodwin PG (2000) ‘Microdose’ isotretinoin. Br J Dermatol 143:205–206)

This treatment is continuing to be explored in medical journals. Here are just a few papers that have been published in the last few years:

Akman A, Durusoy C, Senturk M, et al. (2007) Treatment of acne with intermittent and conventional isotretinoin: a randomized, controlled multicenter study. Archives of Dermatological Research 299:10.

Amichai B (2003) Long-term minidoses of isotretinoin in the treatment of relapsing acne. J Dermatol 30:572

Goulden V, Clark SM, Mcgeown C, Cunliffe WJ (1997) Treatment of acne with intermittent isotretinoin. Br J Dermatol 137:106–108

Kaymak Y, İlter N (2006) The effectiveness of intermittent isotretinoin treatment in mild or moderate acne. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 20:1256–1260

Great post!! Very good info. My derm seems very interested in this type of research. Thanks again.

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