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Davey Boy

Am I making a mistake?

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I am on my second week of Accutane @ 20 mg per day (although this is probably going to be increased to 40 mg at some point). My acne is mild, but persistent. I had a course of Accutane about 9 years ago, which never cured me (obviously), although it did lessen the severity, drastically.

Since then I have maintained excellent skin with the BP regimen, and in fact have only needed to do the regimen once a day (at night). However, to be completely honest, I have grown very tired of this commitment, and I dread the thought of being stuck to it for the next x decades. I am about to be 29, and I figure that if my acne hasn't cleared now, it may never clear.

I'm actually quite surprised I was prescribed accutane when I went to the dermatologist, because my acne really is quite mild. I tend to get about 3 big spots, and around 10 - 15 smaller ones at any one time (off the BP regimen). I guess it is because it has been so persistent, and this derm is maybe more forthcoming with the accutane.

However, I am now wondering if I making a big mistake. I am prone to googling the hell out of stuff and making myself paranoid. I have an anxiety disorder, and one of my biggest fears is brain damage. So of course, I am now panicking about what this medication is going to do to me. When I took it 9 years ago, I was more laid back and tended to worry a lot less. Now, however, I worry about anything and everything, and I can't tell if this is a justified concern, or my mind over-reacting.

Basically, I am considering quitting accutane, and going back on the regimen. I wanted to hear everyone's advice.

Thanks.

Edited by Davey Boy

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Overreacting. Bigtime.
Overreacting in terms of worrying too much, or overreacting in that accutane is overkill for the amount of acne I have? I'm fairly sure you mean the former, but just wanted to make sure.

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You're worrying too much. Your brain will be fine, especially on a low dose of 20 mg / day. I'm taking 4 times that and so far my brain is still working.

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Your derm was also probably more willing to give you Accutane because you've been on it before. Usually, once you've been on it, if your acne comes back, they'll stick you on it again, because your acne was tough enough to WITHSTAND Accutane.

And since you didn't have any lasting bad effects from your first course, I doubt you'll have any from the second course. Just keep your head up and try not to google. :) Tough, I know.

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Thanks for the replies, they are very helpful. I am going to try and force myself off google, as I really need to cut that out. As you say, it can be tough though!

What about all these "20% reduction in brain etc" scares though? Does anyone else get concerned about these?

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Thanks for the replies, they are very helpful. I am going to try and force myself off google, as I really need to cut that out. As you say, it can be tough though!

What about all these "20% reduction in brain etc" scares though? Does anyone else get concerned about these?

Nope.

My one concern was hair loss, which is stated as a possible side effect. So I just loaded myself up with hair strengthening supplements (biotin, zinc) and so far so good. I've noticed no unusual shedding.

What people don't seem to understand is that there are serious, scary side effects with almost ANY medication. Listen to some of those drug commercials you see on TV! Listen to the side effects they rattle off! Yet people don't usually hesistate to take those, because they're for more "serious" conditions. People see acne as a cosmetic problem, so the side effects are seen as more severe, when in comparison to other drugs on the market, they're really not.

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Hair loss is quite a big concern to me too. My hair line has receded due to MPB (male pattern balding) quite a lot in the past 2 years, and I have read that accutane can accelerate it.

Can you tell me exactly what you take to help prevent hair loss?

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Also, I think the reason I started this thread in the first place is that I think my memory has got worse since starting accutane.

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Hair loss is quite a big concern to me too. My hair line has receded due to MPB (male pattern balding) quite a lot in the past 2 years, and I have read that accutane can accelerate it.

Can you tell me exactly what you take to help prevent hair loss?

Biotin (5000 mcg once a day), and Zinc (50 mg, once a day).

Many people report feeling fuzzy and having a hard time concentrating while on Accutane. I personally haven't experienced it, but it seems to be somewhat common. So I wouldn't worry terribly. I would only talk to your doctor about it if it is seriously affecting your life. If you just get spacey now and then I would personally just write it off.

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OMG

I think I'm going to have to quit accutane. I had the worst anxiety of my life last night, and woke up still feeling bad. I am now in the midst of some debilitating depression. My memory is screwed big time, too. I forgot if I brushed my teeth 5 mins afterwards!

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OMG

I think I'm going to have to quit accutane. I had the worst anxiety of my life last night, and woke up still feeling bad. I am now in the midst of some debilitating depression. My memory is screwed big time, too. I forgot if I brushed my teeth 5 mins afterwards!

Did you have anxiety / panic attacks before you started taking accutane? What is your history with depression?

Edited by Pimpstick

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OMG

I think I'm going to have to quit accutane. I had the worst anxiety of my life last night, and woke up still feeling bad. I am now in the midst of some debilitating depression. My memory is screwed big time, too. I forgot if I brushed my teeth 5 mins afterwards!

Did you have anxiety / panic attacks before you started taking accutane? What is your history with depression?

Don't tend to suffer from depression, but I have had Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) for 7 years.

I never had any mental side effects the first time I took accutane, but I guess now that I have GAD, it is having an effect on me.

It is always possible that this is psychological, but honestly I am doubting it.

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OMG

I think I'm going to have to quit accutane. I had the worst anxiety of my life last night, and woke up still feeling bad. I am now in the midst of some debilitating depression. My memory is screwed big time, too. I forgot if I brushed my teeth 5 mins afterwards!

Did you have anxiety / panic attacks before you started taking accutane? What is your history with depression?

Don't tend to suffer from depression, but I have had Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) for 7 years.

I never had any mental side effects the first time I took accutane, but I guess now that I have GAD, it is having an effect on me.

It is always possible that this is psychological, but honestly I am doubting it.

Why are you doubting that it's psychological? You said the first time you ran a course of accutane you had no psychological effects. Now this time you have a pre-existing psychological disorder before starting your second course and somehow think the accutane is at fault? Honestly with the amount of time you have been on your second course I think you're just panicing at this point. I'd at least give it a couple months and see what happens.

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OMG

I think I'm going to have to quit accutane. I had the worst anxiety of my life last night, and woke up still feeling bad. I am now in the midst of some debilitating depression. My memory is screwed big time, too. I forgot if I brushed my teeth 5 mins afterwards!

Did you have anxiety / panic attacks before you started taking accutane? What is your history with depression?

Don't tend to suffer from depression, but I have had Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) for 7 years.

I never had any mental side effects the first time I took accutane, but I guess now that I have GAD, it is having an effect on me.

It is always possible that this is psychological, but honestly I am doubting it.

Why are you doubting that it's psychological? You said the first time you ran a course of accutane you had no psychological effects. Now this time you have a pre-existing psychological disorder before starting your second course and somehow think the accutane is at fault? Honestly with the amount of time you have been on your second course I think you're just panicing at this point. I'd at least give it a couple months and see what happens.

You could be right. Anxiety is a pain with this sort of thing, because it becomes impossible to know if things are real, or in your head. However, I had some of the worst anxiety last night that I've had in 7 years of GAD, and today I have depression and joint pains. It just all feels very real.

I'm starting to think that the negatives column outweighs the positive. At the end of the day, I can be acne free by doing the regimen, so ultimately this is a choice of convenience. If I end up making my anxiety worse, or going balder quicker than I would have done, I might be very pissed off with myself

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I think what would make me more likely to stick with this course, is if I could be certain that it will prevent me from ever getting acne again.

If my acne comes back even after this second course, however minor it is, I will still have to do the BP regimen, and will be no better off that I was before.

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You sound a lot like me!!! I have anxiety issues as well! I can totally relate on how your feeling!!!! I am on my 2nd month on Accutane and I tell ya... the first month was nothing but anxiety over EVERYTHING... Health, hair loss, depression!! I was nervous about it all!! But you know what??... your body tells you if its not happy! If you notice something totally strange and wacked then for sure follow up with your derm!! Its all good :) The end results are going to be phenomenol... just keep thinkin' that and you'll be just fine!

best of luck

Edited by flutters

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OK, I spoke to my psychiatrist, and she pulled me off accutane. It was definitely starting to mess with my head, and I can't afford that risk, with my current mental instability.

I might take it one day in the future when I am feeling more stable. For the meantime, back to the bp regimen I go!

I'm guessing 10 days of 20 mg accutane isn't going to have caused me any significant hair loss worries?

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I know right, you want nice skin but have to go through all these side effects and risks that may happen. I think you should speak with ur derm and also let a close friend keep an eye on you if u decide to take Tane

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