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Ok so I've been fighting acne since I was about 13 and now I am 22. I've tried dermatologists in my younger years (when my acne was more severe) and nothing worked- mostly topicals were perscribed. Since then I have relied on mostly over the counter products such as Clean & Clear and Murad and Proactiv etc. My acne has calmed down more as I've gotten older (and wearing less concealer has helped) BUT I feel as though it could get better. I visited a dermatologist last week and she took one look at my skin and suggested Accutane. She gave me the iPledge book and took a pregnancy test (negative) and said I that if I want to go on it, I need to come back in a month. Now I find myself going back and forth with the pros and cons of Accutane.

HELP?! :think:

Questions:

1. I have a history of depression and anxiety and I made sure my dermatologist was fully aware of this. My (and my family's) main concern is that Accutane will make my depression/anxiety worse. She told me that she has actually seen patients who feel LESS depressed being on Accutane (meaning having the opposite reaction to suicidal/depressed side effects). Has anyone experienced this? I suppose if you're skin looks better you are less depressed about your appearance.

2. During what months is your skin the worst? or When does the initial breakout occur? and How long does it last?

3. At what point/month did you feel like the Accutane was working? (or the "Hey! I think my skin is actually starting to look better!" moment)

4. What pharmacy provides the best price for Accutane? I believe I will go on the generic Claravis.... So far WalMart beats Walgreens but I have yet to ask Costco for their prices. They are only giving me prices for 20 mg doses but looks like a lot of people are on 40 or 80? P.S. I live in New Jersey.

5. What products should I stock up on? .....for the side effects. Something for dry lips? Something for dry/peeling skin? Dry eyes (I wear contacts)? Bloody noses? Suntan lotion? Suggestions of products would be an amazing help!

6. My dermatologist says I will need to be on it for 6 months. But what determines if I need to be on it for a second round of 6 months?

7. My dermatologist gave me a print out of the bloodwork I need to get done and just said that if I come back in a month I need to bring the results with me. Umm...I have never done this before and I am clueless (or maybe just stupid???) I don't need to bring a script with me to lab? I just walk in with that paper?

8. I have scarring and uneven skin and red blotches...because I can not hold back on popping or picking at zits. Has anyone seen Accutane improve their scarring?

Ummm....I think that's all the questions I have for now. I'm sorry if I'm being annoying with all these ridiculous questions but I was my dermatologist's last appointment so I was rushed out and didn't really get a chance to ask her all the questions I wanted to.

I REALLY DO WANT CLEAR SKIN.

Any answers or advice would be greatly appreciated. I actually trust the words of people who have experienced the Accutane journey more than a dermatologist anyway.

P.S. Attempted to attach a photo of the current status of my face...Potential "Before" photo.

post-129277-1274025053_thumb.jpg

post-129277-1274025053_thumb.jpg

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Well if you definitely wanna end acne for a good while just go on accutane, I was hesitant for a good while because of the serious side effects. But I just went for it cause I didnt wanna more money for 6 months on topicals and OTC's when I could be on accutane during that time.

I'll try to answer some questions :

1. I haven't had any suicidal thoughts or any thing like that, I do suffer from anxiety as well but it seems i've been more relaxed during this time, then again it may just be the cymbalta lol .

2. 1st month is the worst by far, because thats when your skin starts adjusting to all the changes that are going on. I think the time the IB lasts vary by person imo , mine has been lasting for about 1 weeks and a half its barely starting to calm down. ( note : i just started 2 weeks ago )

3. I started to notice some results just barely into my 2nd week.

4. I dont know about walgreens or walmart but I get mine at Rite-Aid. I'mm assuming you have insurance ? so it shouldnt be more than $20 imo ( i got mine for $10) , but each state regulates their meds differently I think.

5. Stock up on moisturizers for your skin.

Here's what I use:

Lips : Chapstick / Aquaphor

Facial cleanser : Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser

Moisturizer : Cetaphil moisturizer and Cetaphil face lotion with spf 15

6. I think it must depend on the severity of the acne most of the time 6 months will end acne by a massive amount.

7. Take that paper they gave you to the lab or wherever youre supposed to get your bloodwork done.

8. I read from someone that the redness is the very last thing to disappear. However it has almost vanished my old scars especially on my back.

Well I tried my best to answer your questions. Honestly if you've tried the topicals and antibiotics and OTC's, but only seen decent results, I would suggest just going on accutane and ending this once and for all. Cause like I said, why spent another 6 months on all that when you could've been on accutane. Side effects wise I wouldnt be too worried serious side effects are really rare. The only thing I do worry about you is the depression part, I'm hoping accutane wont worsen that.

All that said, good luck. Take time to decide this.

Edited by Time_traveler

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Thanks so much for the advice! I agree that it would be much better to spend 6 months on Accutane than spending thousands on topicals perscriptions (that don't even give good results) for the rest of my life.

4. I dont know about walgreens or walmart but I get mine at Rite-Aid. I'mm assuming you have insurance ? so it shouldnt be more than $20 imo ( i got mine for $10) , but each state regulates their meds differently I think.

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I do have insurance but its a weird Aetna Health Savings plan....there is really no perscription benefits till I meet the deductable...I pay for the perscriptions in full and the money comes out of a savings account (my parents put money into the account). It's crazy complicated but basically I need to act like I'm paying for it cash out of pocket and try find the best possible price

Oh I see, but damn thats $650+ everytime. Maybe you can try calling or something. But I'm sure someone here will know :).

Once again no problem. Reading some of these other logs helps alot. Check mine out :cool:

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Hi! I just wanted to stop by your log and wish you good luck!

Thank you! Any advice before I decide to start?

Any input at all would be greatly appreciated!

I'm just nervous about making the final decision to start Accutane :confused:

I believe the next step I need to take is to get the bloodwork done and go back to my dermatologist with the results, get the 2nd pregnancy test done, and get the perscription. Then I register with IPledge? I hope I don't screw up this IPledge stuff...sounds really confusing and annoying. :pray:

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Patience will be your best friend, so will water :ninja: .

Hmmm cant help you on the ipledge thing since it was like 3 steps for me. I know its alot longer for women. :think:

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Hey! I definitely understand the anxiety about taking accutane, I refused it the first time my derm offered (this past summer), but I decided to take it in January, so started in February (stupid month long wait!) Ok I'm gonna answer your questions:

1. I have a history of depression and anxiety and I made sure my dermatologist was fully aware of this. My (and my family's) main concern is that Accutane will make my depression/anxiety worse. She told me that she has actually seen patients who feel LESS depressed being on Accutane (meaning having the opposite reaction to suicidal/depressed side effects). Has anyone experienced this? I suppose if you're skin looks better you are less depressed about your appearance.

I also have a slight history myself, and a significant family history of depression, as well as a family history of suicide. since much of my depression and anxiety was a result of my acne, accutane has improved my mood by a lot. there were times where i felt little energy, and quite depressed this semester, but i have no way to prove that they were related to accutane. even if they were, i prefer them over acne.

2. During what months is your skin the worst? or When does the initial breakout occur? and How long does it last? this depends on you. i think it is the most common to have some "purging" of your pores- they shrink and push out their contents- but this should not last too long (maybe 1-2.5 months) and i think most people will not notice a difference in breaking out, and will just continue breaking out, gradually decreasing in severity, for the first couple months. For me, my skin broke out worse for the first 1-2 months, and is much better now, after 3 months. i went from having 5-10 pimples and many red marks at once to having only 2 tiny pimples and a few fading red marks.

3. At what point/month did you feel like the Accutane was working? (or the "Hey! I think my skin is actually starting to look better!" moment) a couple weeks ago- after nearly 3 months. i realized it was much smoother, and i was waking up every morning without new zits (which is such a relief!)

4. What pharmacy provides the best price for Accutane? I believe I will go on the generic Claravis.... So far WalMart beats Walgreens but I have yet to ask Costco for their prices. They are only giving me prices for 20 mg doses but looks like a lot of people are on 40 or 80? P.S. I live in New Jersey. i have no idea- mine is completely covered by insurance. if your insurance won't cover accutane at all, you should probably ask your derm, or call all the different pharmacies around. it might be worth switching insurance if possible, since the cover price on accutane is quite high.

5. What products should I stock up on? .....for the side effects. Something for dry lips? Something for dry/peeling skin? Dry eyes (I wear contacts)? Bloody noses? Suntan lotion? Suggestions of products would be an amazing help!

you only need these products: aquaphor (for lips, and dry areas of skin anywhere on your face/ body.)

a gentle cleanser (cetaphil is good) and SUGAR! add sugar to your face wash to exfoliate dry areas, and exfoliate your lips with it iff you want, before aquaphor. also, get emu oil if you can, look online if you can't find it in stores. its a great moisturizer, won't make you break out, and will quicken the fading of red marks. for bloody noses (i found that my nose was just dry, and this is the cause of minor bleeding), putting aquaphor inside helps a lot. if you have worse nose bleeds (unlikely) ask your doctor, or try nasal saline. also, you need a day moisturizer with spf, the aveeno one worked ok for me (not that moisturizing, but it supposedly helps fade red marks, and looks ok.) also, i recommend a foundation with spf to wear over it, so you will limit sun damage even more. this was it for me! also, i wear contacts and had no problems. just never sleep in them (which you should never do anyway,) and take them out if you ever have discomfort (like always,) and you'll be fine! i bought eyedrops, but didn't end up needing them much.

6. My dermatologist says I will need to be on it for 6 months. But what determines if I need to be on it for a second round of 6 months? if your acne comes back. from what i've read, most people who do need a second round start breaking out after around a few years after their first course, but usually not nearly as severely. its common to go on a lower dose the second time, according to my derm. just hope that the first course does the trick, as it most likely will be all you'll need!

7. My dermatologist gave me a print out of the bloodwork I need to get done and just said that if I come back in a month I need to bring the results with me. Umm...I have never done this before and I am clueless (or maybe just stupid???) I don't need to bring a script with me to lab? I just walk in with that paper? thats it. save the paper, carry it in, and the lab will send the results to your derm's office via fax, most likely. if you lose the paper, call your derm for another (this happened once, and was no big deal.)

8. I have scarring and uneven skin and red blotches...because I can not hold back on popping or picking at zits. Has anyone seen Accutane improve their scarring? fewer zits means less scarring! most scars will fade over time (discolorations will all fade, only indented scars will remain, and often will fill in over time.) try to pick less and be careful not to break the skin, which can lead to more scarring. after you stop breaking out, give your skin a few months to recover, and then talk to your derm about options for scarring. If I have anything left at the end of my course, I'm going to ask her about procedures/ products for scars. In the meantime, I've been exfoliating with lemon and glycolic acid (not supposed to on accutane.. oops) a couple times a week, which speeds skin regeneration aka gets rid of scarring.

Ok! Those are my very long winded responses.

By the way, Ipledge is simple, if very annoying. after your derm appointment, you login (save your username and password/ email it to yourself! its a pain to forget.) and click to answer your questions. they're really stupid, just a bunch of crap reminding you not to get pregnant. After you answer them, it will say you have 7 days to pick up your pills. then you can go to the pharmacy and pick up your pills. thats it!

GOOD LUCK, and keep us updated. :)

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by the way, even if you get ipledge questions wrong, it will just tell you the correct answer. you'll still get our pills. i was really afraid that if i got one wrong if wouldn't let me get my pills, but luckily this isn't true.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions missmooshoo007! :wub:

I do think that if my skin improves there is less likey a chance for depression to occur because I'll actually be happy with the way my face looks!

I do currently get nosebleeds (like once a month) because the blood vessels in my nose are "weak" and I usually use the nasal saline anyway.

Today I called around to a bunch of different pharmacies and found that out of Walgreens, Walmart, Costco, and Target- Target has the best price! (249.49 for 40mg/30 days)

The derm never actually told me how many mg I would be taking but I was using 40 for price checks.

Until the deductable is met, the money will be coming out of a aetna health savings account (that my dad puts money into every year) Once that is all used up I can get full coverage from my insurance.

Hopefully once I update my parents on the prices I will be able to make an appointment to get my bloodwork done and make an appoinitment to go to the dermatologist and get the perscription/register with IPledge!

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1.Has anyone experienced this? I suppose if you're skin looks better you are less depressed about your appearance.

I'm sure if you notice getting more depressed, you would be smart enough to call the doctor and possibly stop the drug. I have not experienced depression while on accutane.

2. During what months is your skin the worst? or When does the initial breakout occur? and How long does it last?

I didn't even have an IB (initial breakout) so I can't help you there either. :confused: But I believe it differs for everyone.

3. At what point/month did you feel like the Accutane was working? (or the "Hey! I think my skin is actually starting to look better!" moment)

Within the first month I noticed. As my derm said: you'll still get pimples, but they'll go away a lot sooner and won't be so bad.

4. What pharmacy provides the best price for Accutane?

seems you figured that one out!

5. What products should I stock up on?

Definitely a good sunscreen, a good moisturizer, aquaphor for your lips, and for bloody noses/dry eyes I've been using a humidifier in my room.

6. But what determines if I need to be on it for a second round of 6 months?

your derm with determine that with your progress, I'm sure.

7. My dermatologist gave me a print out of the bloodwork I need to get done and just said that if I come back in a month I need to bring the results with me. Umm...I have never done this before and I am clueless (or maybe just stupid???) I don't need to bring a script with me to lab? I just walk in with that paper?

This confuses me. The way it works with me is I initially get registered in the lab with a standing order (meaning I won't need to get registered for my monthly blood results, just go to the lab the rest of the time) they gave me the order paper to hold on to and bring back to the lab every time I get my blood work. I get my blood drawn, and THEY send it to my dr. :confused:

8. Has anyone seen Accutane improve their scarring?

I've only been told accutane is bad for scarring. really gotta kick the picking habit while on accutane!

oh, and welcome! :)

by the way, even if you get ipledge questions wrong, it will just tell you the correct answer. you'll still get our pills. i was really afraid that if i got one wrong if wouldn't let me get my pills, but luckily this isn't true.

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Thanks cherrycherryboomboom! (btw that's one of my fave gaga songs)

That's cool that you didn't get an IB :pray: I hope I am similar!

Maybe every lab does the process differently...I will be going to QuestDiagnostics. I'll call them to make sure I have/did everything I need.

ANYWAY

In other news: I got my IPledge user ID and password in the mail today! I guess I can start now? I still need to do my second pregnancy test + bloodwork results + get perscription from derm.

And apparently my dermatologist has to call my insurance for pre-certification. phew! this is a lot of work....but I can't wait to start!

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My advice:

Make sure you have chap stick / lip balm lying around EVERYWHERE.

Drink lots of water.

Moisturize regularly.

Have patience and stay strong. I know this is so, so, so hard. But, it's so worth it in the end. Time will feel like it's crawling by--but it really isn't. At the end of your course, you'll look back in awe at how far you've come. And, time will feel like it has flown by.

Keep us updated about your progress! I love reading other people's logs!

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My advice:

Make sure you have chap stick / lip balm lying around EVERYWHERE.

Drink lots of water.

Moisturize regularly.

I already keep chapstick in my purse 24/7 lol is that weird?

I'm going to buy:

Aquaphor

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer Spf 15

(as suggested by Time_traveler and missmooshoo007)

Anything else I should add to my shopping list?

Is Neosporin ok for the scarring?

I will be going on vacation in July so I guess I should also buy sunscreen with a high spf...but one that won't make my skin breakout while on the 'tane. Any suggestions?

ANOTHER UPDATE:

I will be getting my bloodwork done June 3rd and my dermatologist appointment is June 9th- which is when I should be getting the perscription! YAY! I am anxious to start : ) especially since I have two cystic biatches growing on my chin : (

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Questions:

1. I have a history of depression and anxiety and I made sure my dermatologist was fully aware of this. My (and my family's) main concern is that Accutane will make my depression/anxiety worse. She told me that she has actually seen patients who feel LESS depressed being on Accutane (meaning having the opposite reaction to suicidal/depressed side effects). Has anyone experienced this? I suppose if you're skin looks better you are less depressed about your appearance.

I'm actually do the same thing as you thinking about going on Accutane and I've had depression problems in the past and also drug addiction. I talked to my psychiatrist and she said that Accutane DOES decrease Serotonin in your brain which can cause depression in some people. She also said that if you have a history of depression you should wait until your on a anti-depressant and are "stable" and then there is no risk for depression or suicidal thoughts from the drug Accutane.

Hope that helps!

Oh and by the way, did I hear that generic Accutane was $500??? or is that for the brand name?

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Thanks for the info! I've been off of anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medication for about 3 years and have been stable since then. I think acne does play a part in my anxiety and depression so I'm hoping that the accutane well help me feel better in the long run. I've decided to take the leap and just watch my moods for any red flags. I went through a similar situation with the birth control Yaz....it gave me crazy mood swings so i was quick to call my gyno a demand a change.

Oh and by the way, did I hear that generic Accutane was $500??? or is that for the brand name?

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Thanks for the info! I've been off of anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medication for about 3 years and have been stable since then. I think acne does play a part in my anxiety and depression so I'm hoping that the accutane well help me feel better in the long run. I've decided to take the leap and just watch my moods for any red flags. I went through a similar situation with the birth control Yaz....it gave me crazy mood swings so i was quick to call my gyno a demand a change.

Oh and by the way, did I hear that generic Accutane was $500??? or is that for the brand name?

The brand name Accutane is around $500/$600....I called around a couple pharmacies and Target had the best price for the generic called Claravis which is $249 (40 mg 30 day supply). Multiply that by 6 months- SO expensive if you don't have insurance! EEEK! lol

Damn well I'm fortunate to have insurance. It's a good thing you got off Yaz not only for the mood swings I was on Yasmin until one of my docs said that he leads to a much higher risk for blood clot and other things...more so thanthe average BC does.

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