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Fred Q

Accutane: Let's do it.

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Hey folks:

I want to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about....myself. My name is Fred, I'm 19 years old, and I live in the northeast United States. I work outside life guarding, am currently enrolled in the top NYS public university and have a girlfriend. I'm pretty active...I work out and I play several intramural sports.

I have been battling moderate to severe acne for about 3-4 years, and have always been hesitant to embark on the journey called accutane. I've tried countless oral antibiotics, topicals, and since my mom had acne into her 30s, I'm ready to nip this thing in the bud with some accutane.

I am currently enrolled in the biology program where I earned a 3.52 GPA this past year and also participated in some research. I am no expert when it comes to the biochemical mechanisms of humans, but I do understand a little bit. The biggest thing I think I've learned is how to apply the scientific method. So basically, I can make good observations and be a critical thinker. I hope that helps with this log.

I've researched accutane thoroughly, and to tell you the truth, the short term side effects don't scare me one bit. What scares me more is the mechanism upon which this drug operates. Its not yet fully understood, but I've read the theories. Coming from someone with a basic biochemical background, I can tell you that some of the theories are plausible, but have open ends, and some of the theories are downright ridiculous.

Anyways, enough rambling. I hope this stuff doesn't modify my genetic sequence TOO MUCH.

So basically I'm going to post my results, and any side effects here on a week by week basis.

We'll see how it goes.

Here we go acne sufferers and/or accutane users. This is our time to shine.

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Blood work came back normal early today.

I have to go back to see my derm tomorrow or monday in order to get the prescription.

As a side note, I met two kids this past weekend that took accutane. Both have been off it for more than a year, are still clear, and have yet to experience any of those horrific side effects. They praised the drug and said the 6 month course is rough with the side effects (just dryness in both their cases), but not unbearable.

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Fred - good luck with Accutane. It is a potent drug but extremely effective. Be patient and give it time, you will see some amazing results. I have been on it three times and asides from the dryness (lips, mainly), the sides are manageable; nuisance at best.

Keep up with the positive attitude and scientific approach; keep questioning, keep observing, and keep thinking critically! Good for you for being involved in research also, at such an early stage in your academic career.

As a side note - Accutane won't cause sequence changes to your DNA (i.e., it won't cause mutation, at least not as far as I have read), but it does cause changes in gene expression - at the level of transcription for sure, but probably at other levels as well.

Keep us posted!

L

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Thanks for the words of encouragement everybody!!

I got my prescription today. I'm starting off at 60mg/day with 40mg at breakfast and 20mg at night. I was prescribed amnesteem.

I'm not starting until Monday because I'm going on a big camping trip this weekend with my friends and will be getting absolutely hammered all weekend long. Monday marks a long 6 month journey of sobriety. Shouldn't be too difficult at all because i don't need alcohol to have a good time, but I'm sure it be more of an issue when I go back to college in the fall.

I weigh 155 lbs.

Stay happy,

Fred

Edited by Fred Q
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Day 1: Just took my first pill with breakfast, a long with a capsule of omega 3-6-9. Although I may not need to cope with the side effects until next week, I want to get into the habit of applying chap stick, sunscreen, moisturizer and nose gel, so I'm doing all that today, too.

In other news, I had a great weekend camping. However, I'm looking at people's pictures on facebook and seeing my acne infested face. It's giving me motivation to carry out this course.

I will most likely update this every week in the following format:

Week 1/24:

60 mg/day (40 at breakfast, and 20 at dinner)

Side effects:

Possible side effects: (things that can't be pinned down on the tane' just yet)

Supplements: moisturizer, omega 3-6-9, ayr nose gel, etc.

Daily activities out of the normal: Ex. working out, playing basketball, softball, etc.

Mood:

Misc. Info:

Stay happy,

Fred

Edited by Fred Q
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Two days in: I noticed that a fairly large and recent scar (within last month) has gotten extremely red.

No sun exposure to this area in the past couple days....hmm is accutane beginning to work?

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So I've been having some weird thoughts this morning...no, not due to accutane.

Before accutane, my skin was never very oily. I would go two weeks with it being oily, and then two weeks with it being somewhat dry-ish. So, I'd say I have a combination.

This sort of concerns me. It seems like the people that have success with accutane have very oily skin. I'm hoping this stuff will work for me............

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So I've been having some weird thoughts this morning...no, not due to accutane.

Before accutane, my skin was never very oily. I would go two weeks with it being oily, and then two weeks with it being somewhat dry-ish. So, I'd say I have a combination.

This sort of concerns me. It seems like the people that have success with accutane have very oily skin. I'm hoping this stuff will work for me............

My skin before taking birth control pills was a little oily, but not much. After taking birth control, my skin was more on the dry side. I'm almost one month in, and while my skin is very dry now because of the Accutane, its been working! It's definitely not just for oily skin, but people with already dry skin will have increased dryness.

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So I'm updating this a little early. The reason being that after 3.5 days I think I'm already experiencing side effects. Is that even possible? My preconceived notion tells me that the drug could not begin to start working this quickly. Could someone shed some light on this???

Basically, I'm experiencing dry, but not chapped lips as well as some dry flaky skin in select areas on the face. The rest of the skin on my body feels "tight".

If this is drying me out this quick, I'm worried for what's in store for me down the road.

I have about 3 active cysts right now and a couple nodules.

In other news, the world cup starts tomorrow. That really fires me up. I remember I was a freshman in high school when I last watched it. GO USA!

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I noticed my first flakes on day 3 on only 20mgs. Day 4 I started getting red. And its been IB since then :( Yep, it could be working that fast

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Week 1/24:

60 mg/day (40 at breakfast, and 20 at dinner)

Side effects:dry lips, dry hair, dry scalp, dry facial skin, dry eyes, dry eyebrows (nothing chapped yet, JUST DRY)

Possible side effects (things that can't be pinned down on the tane' just yet): facial redness

Supplements: cetaphil moisturizer and cleanser, twice daily omega 3-6-9, ayr nose gel, visene eye drops

Daily activities out of the normal: worked out 4 out of 7 days and played softball for a few hours one day

Mood: anxious

Misc. Info: So week 1 is in the books. It was very slow for me. I feel like my day revolves around accutane...I take the pills and wait to see what happens. I can't be doing that anymore because it wastes the day aside from the fact that nothing is going to happen over night. I can't tell if I had my IB or not. I had like 3/4 cysts and 2/3 nodules forming the day I started accutane so I think its just normal acne. All of this seems to have dried out. I look pretty gross, I have dry skin and pus covering every lesion on my face. I don't want scarring so I'm not peeling it off.

I have noticed a slight decrease in oil production, but its tough to tell because I have a fairly dry complexion to begin with. I'm having trouble coping with my dry scalp. Nothing seems to work...so I think I'm going to either just use conditioner instead of shampoo or put a few drops of olive oil in my shampoo when I shower.

I also have been having second thoughts about going on this medicine. I know most users of the medicine never post online unless they have something negative to say. So with that said, I feel like there is a lot more success stories out there that we just don't know about. You know, average joes that are prescribed the med from their derm, take it, have success, and we never know about it. However, I can't help but wonder if I will be one of those unlucky individuals. I guess life's a gamble....

My genetics professor at school shot me a quick email back Friday that I sent over 2 weeks ago wondering if he knew anything about how accutane worked on a biological level. In a nutshell, he said that isotrentinoin modifies genetic transcription. It does NOT modify your genes, but rather how they are expressed. He said that it is very toxic, but there is 1 reason why it remains on the market. In MOST patients, the gene modification reverts back to normal once the presence of retinoic acid is abolished. So everything that was affected by isotrentinoin essentially goes back to normal once you discontinue use.

Who knows? Anyways, i just want to stop worrying about all of this and get through the course. I hate the fact that there are ties in soccer. I wish some team would have won. I saw Get him to the Greek last night...it was funny. I highly recommend it.

Anyways, I hope today finds you all feelin good.

Stay happy,

Fred

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thats some nice info from your professor. so doesn't that mean that the people that still experience side effects such as hair loss even after stopping just haven't flushed it from their bodies? i'm assuming burning some fat and doing a detox diet could help with that.

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I'm not sure. He said that in some cases things do not revert back to normal and why that happens is still unknown.

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Stay positive!

I just started yesterday and I try to keep my mind focused on all the success stories here on this website and how much better my skin will be in the long run- all the dryness will be worth it in the end!

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So I figured out today that I will reach my cumulative dose in 4.5 months provided that I clear up. If I don't, then I'll go the entire 6 months. I'm glad my derm started me on a high dosage. It sucks right now because the side effects are hitting me hard, but I'm hoping they'll plateau soon and everything will be kosher.

My face looks better; some of the redness is gone and I currently have 1 active cyst and like 5 pastules.

Keep chuggin tane users,

Fred

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I found out yesterday that I will be without accutane for about a week! :( i'm going out of town 2 days before my 31 day mark. My derma said that due to ipledge, he can't write a prescription before that 31 days.

It shouldn't make too big of a difference, but its just a week lost in the grand scheme of things especially since I would like to be clear before college in August.

Song lyric of the day:

"just love will open our world, from the dark side we can see the glow of something bright..much more than we could ever know, so don't throw the day away..don't burn the day away"

Stay happy,

Fred

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Hey Folks,

Here's my report after 2 complete weeks on isotrentinoin!

Week 2/20:

60 mg/day (40 at breakfast, and 20 at dinner)

Side effects:chapped lips, dry hair, dry scalp, dry skin everywhere, VERY dry eyes, dry eyebrows, flakiness on some areas of face, bloody nose, SUN SENSITIVITY and flushing

Possible side effects (things that can't be pinned down on the tane' just yet): back pain- most likely unrelated to accutane because I lift weights a lot and was bending over at my job cleaning patio furniture

Supplements: cetaphil moisturizer and gentle cleanser, twice daily omega 3-6-9, saline nose spray, visene eye drops

Daily activities out of the normal: worked out 4 out of 7 days and played softball for a few hours one day

Mood: happy

Misc. Info: So week 2 is donezo. I think my IB is over...the disgusting masses of dry cystic acne and nodules have disappeared leaving only their footprints. As of right now, I have like 5 tiny pimples in my chin area. Despite my red marks, my face looks pretty good. Some of my side effects are actually subsiding a bit which is weird. Don't get me wrong, I am still very dry, but the flakiness of my face is now limited to one area, my scalp doesn't itch anymore, my skin doesn't itch that much and my hair feels a little bit better. Two side effects, however, have exacerbated significantly. I am always flushed...someone at work asked me if I was feeling alright based upon me looking flushed. In addition, my eyes are extremely dry. I am using eye drops 3 times a day now. I hate this because I don't want this affect my eye sight...I value it way too much over acne. All in all, I'm feeling good. My face is improving more and more, and my black heads are making my nose feel like sand paper which is great-they're coming to the surface!!

Keep fighting the good the fight,

Fred

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Week 3/20:

60 mg/day (40 at breakfast, and 20 at dinner)

Side effects:slight back pain,chapped lips, dry hair, dry&itchy scalp,VERY dry eyes, flakiness on chin,

Possible side effects (things that can't be pinned down on the tane' just yet): hair loss??? i hope I'm just being a hypochondriac

Supplements: cetaphil moisturizer and gentle cleanser, twice daily omega 3-6-9, saline nose spray, visene eye drops, cocoa butter to moisturize body

Daily activities out of the normal: worked out 2 out of 7 days

Mood: worried

Misc. Info: Week 3 is done. Things seem to be flying by when you forget about being on the tane. Anyways, as I write this post, I'm feeling nervous. I've been reading a bunch of the stuff on the main page about hair loss due to accutane. Acne is a lot better than hair loss. I have a buzz cut, and I noticed about 10 hairs on my pillow this morning. Now, I can't say that they were all from last night or I've never had loose hair on my pillow before because the truth is, I've never checked my pillow for loose hair in the morning. I'm hoping that its just normal hair loss, and I'm being a worry wort. Hair loss, however, appears to be one of the most frequent side effects aside from dryness. Anyways on to the good stuff. My face looks incredible. Despite the tane' burn and the hyper-pigmentation, I have 2 medium sized, non cystic, active pimples on my forehead. This is the second week of virtually clear skin, but I'm not getting my hopes up. In addition, my nose use to be filled with black heads, and it still is but there are empty patches on each side. The number of black heads is decreasing every day, and my nose still feels like sand paper. Excellent.

Until next time,

Fred

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Awesome!! Glad things are clearing nicely for you. At the moment, dont worry about the hair thing. Because you never thought about it before, your mind may be creating an non-existing issue for you. Enjoy the results for now, but just keep an eye on your lid. Congrats!

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Week 4/20 (ended 7/6)

60mg/day

Side effects: dryness all over, slight back pain, dry eyes

Possible side effects: hair thinning

Wow, it has been awhile since I've been on here. I went on vacation with my family for 10 days, and then as soon as I got home I went to visit my friend from college for 4 days. I've been busy. I was without tane for a week as I was unable to see my doctor while I was away. In that time, all my side effects subsided. That sucks for your acne, but its pretty cool to feel it happen.

I'm back on what will be my 5th week. The side effects are returning just 5 days in! My face is still looking decent. It is not 100% clear, but I currently have 1 active cyst on my face, and 3 or 4 on my back. There are 2 cysts that have been healing on my face for literally 2 weeks. So annoying.

Regarding possible hair thinning: I'm not sure if this is actually happening or I am imagining it. I'm still finding 20 hairs on my pillow in the morning, which is normal hair loss, but I've NEVER noticed it before. I'm going to keep an eye on it.

Adage of the day:

The grass is always greener on the other side.

Be well,

Fred

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