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Hello acne.org! :D For starters, please excuse my obnoxious username. I made this account at least six years ago, which made me about 14 (self-explanatory). Haha. I debated whether or not I wanted to start an Accutane/Claravis log, but thought that it would be a great opportunity to get some advice from other users and help prospective/current Accutane users out, as well.

Background: I've been dealing with acne (mild to moderate, borderline severe at times) for probably six or seven years now. I've spent countless amount of money on OTC products, from low- to high-end "acne" treatments. I actually believe that trying so many products exacerbated my mild acne, making it much worse. I also had expensive facials and chemical peels done- none of which helped much. The peels did make my skin incredibly soft, though! Next step, prescription acne medications. I have used BP (obviously) in every form imaginable, Differin, clindamycin, Zania, and Retina-A-Micro. All of the topicals, with the exception of clindamycin, were too harsh on my sensitive skin and did virtually nothing for me.

About two years ago I started taking BC pills in hopes it would help and it did! Yasmin/Ocella made my skin pretty clear, not completely, but good enough for me. I switched to Reclipsen (generic of Desogen) a few months back because of the risk of increased side effects on Yasmin. Ever since, I have been struggling to keep my skin clear. It's not nearly as good for acne. Personally, I do not want to be on birth control pills at all (or at least not long term). I feel so much better when I am off of them (although I break out terribly) and am iffy about long term side effects.

That brings me to now. My dermatologist, whom I've been seeing for about five years now, supported my trying Accutane. I will be on a five month course. I started this past month on 30 mg. My doctor hopes I will eventually be able to tolerate 60 mg for a month or two. I weigh about 110 pounds.

I have been reading so many Accutane logs on here for the past month or so and they've been incredibly helpful and encouraging! I'm hoping mine will be, as well, to other acne.org users! Feel free to ask questions, give advice, etc.

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I'm hoping this is the right away to add a post to my log? I don't know how to work this thing yet!

Month 1: 30 mg Claravis, once daily.

I am now in Week 3. Week 1 was a breeze, luckily. No headaches or anything starting out on Claravis. Week 2 was when I started to get a few side effects, especially chapped lips and dry skin.

Week 3- So far, so good.

Side effects:

  • chapped lips
  • dry skin
  • dry eyes
  • slight lower back pain

I have a little tip as far as chapped lips goes. I've tried several lip balms already and, with regard to STAYING POWER, ChapStick has been the best. It's the one in a blue tube/white cap and says moisturizing on the label. I don't find it particularly moisturizing, but I don't have to apply it as often as other lip balms I've tried, which is a major plus! I find that putting a lotion-like lip ointment or balm underneath keeps my lips looking healthy. I use Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment underneath. At night or when my lips are really dry (from sun exposure usually), I put Aquaphor on top of the ChapStick, which goes on top of the Blistex. Haha. Sounds like overkill, but it keeps my lips from being too chapped. If anyone has other recommendations or tips, I'm always looking for better! *Oh, and when I'm home, I apply Cetaphil cream to my lips as often as I remember! It's really moisturizing!

Okay, question. I am currently on Reclipsen birth control pills. Prior to that, I was on Yasmin/Ocella. I have tried to get off several times and always breakout. The breakouts got progressively worse until I would go back on birth control. One main reason I decided on an Accutane course was so that I could be free of birth control pills forever!

I am afraid of breaking out after I stop taking birth control when my course ends. Has anyone experienced this? Any input would be great!

To be honest, I am seriously considering going off my birth control pills now to, hopefully, avoid this issue entirely. I feel so much better, physically and mentally, when I am not on the pill. My logic is that if I stop taking birth control while on Claravis, I should be able to bypass any big breakout from my wacky hormones trying to regulate themselves again. I realize that if my acne is hormonal, Accutane may not solve the issue for an extended period of time. However, I do not breakout anywhere near my chin area, which is supposed to be a sign of hormonal acne. Anyway, I am registered in iPledge and am well aware of the risks and need for birth control, etc. While I appreciate any and all input, I really do not need to be lectured on why I should stay on the pill. I'd really love to hear from women who went off the pill after Accutane and women who are not on the pill while taking Accutane. Any and all advice is welcomed, though. Thanks! :)

Edited by CUTiiE
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I'm not sure exactly how much I'll update, but I will definitely try to update daily or weekly (at least) until my course is done. I'm not of fan of reading logs and then halfway through, no more updates! It's like watching a movie and not seeing the ending! Haha. :doh:

Day 21

For the past week or so, I have been having what I believe to be my initial breakout. I have never had so many whiteheads at one time, weird! I have several on my forehead and a few on my left cheek. My right cheek and chin are not breaking out (at least, not yet!) They're drying up really fast, though, which is great. However, they're leaving behind little red marks! Grrr! Any advice for what to put on red marks to help fade them during treatment? I know I can't use anything harsh. So far, I've been using Neosporin ointment on them and have found that to help some.

I want to make sure I post on here that my acne before starting Accutane was not severe or nodular. I have been on birth control so that has kept me somewhat clear. I am doing a five month course so that I will be able to come off birth control without my moderate acne returning (it always has when I try to come off). My acne before birth control was persistent and resistant to many medications (listed in introductory post). My main concern was/is the scarring that came along with my breakouts. A few scars from breakouts two years ago are just now not visible anymore. Success stories with Accutane and moderate acne? Is acne more likely to return with this type of acne (TON of blackheads, a lot of whiteheads, cysts few and far between)?

Thanks to whoever is reading this! I hope more people start reading as I continue to log!

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Hi! Good luck! I'm on day 18 or so of Claravis, so only a little bit behind you.

For red marks, I use neosporin ointment too, I'm not sure how well it's working, and it seems to have a lot of comedogenic ingredients in it so I only use it on actual pimples that are drying up or I popped (i know i really shouldn't) to prevent red marks from forming in the first place

I also use emu oil at night all over my face as I read on here that it helps with red marks and is safe to use on accutane. Again, not sure if it's helping but I've only used it for about a week now.

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Hey! I wish you all the best of luck with your journey. I am also on day 21 and have found great help and support in this site.

For red marks, I suggest using Vitamin E. A lot of people on this board also swear by emu oil! I just started using it so I can't back that up, but it feels really nice on the skin and is noncomedogenic as well.

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The only product that seemed to fade my red marks while on Accutane was a product called Scar Gel by Derma e. You can buy it at local health food stores. It makes your skin look a bit shiny so I recommend just putting it on at night while you sleep. It's super simple and basically just has allantoin, panthenol and onion extract in it. I'm still trying to hunt down other products too! Good luck on your treatment! ;)

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Hey everyone! Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to look into them.

Has anyone had any good/bad experiences with jojoba oil? Not for scarring, but in general. I've heard/read a lot of good things about it. I'm thinking of trying it out by adding it to my face moisturizer. Thoughts?

So excited people are reading my log! I'm hoping I can give good advice/support to others as my course continues!

Also, I've been adding people as "friends" so I can easily access your guys' logs, but I noticed not many people do that? If so, how do you keep track of logs you're reading? Hope nobody minds!

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Hey everyone! Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to look into them.

Has anyone had any good/bad experiences with jojoba oil? Not for scarring, but in general. I've heard/read a lot of good things about it. I'm thinking of trying it out by adding it to my face moisturizer. Thoughts?

So excited people are reading my log! I'm hoping I can give good advice/support to others as my course continues!

Also, I've been adding people as "friends" so I can easily access your guys' logs, but I noticed not many people do that? If so, how do you keep track of logs you're reading? Hope nobody minds!

My son has been using jojoba oil in his moisturizer twice a day. He adds 2 drops. I found it at Whole Foods in So California. I have also read some people put it on their lips at night but he hasn't tried that since the aquaphor has worked so well

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Hey cool to read your log, I'm on day 17 at 60 mg a day. 40mg at night and a 20mg in the morning. hopefully it works for both of us..

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Hey good luck ! Man my first month seems like it was years ago lol, dont worry about your skin it will bloom like a flower in the following weeks :D

PS : Check my log !

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Thanks for all the support guys! :D

Another question (I'm just full of them, aren't I?) Haha.

I'm weight about 110 right now and will probably lose about five pounds this summer. I always lose weight in the summer time because I come home from school. My weight, however, can fluctuate between 110-115. That translates to roughly between 49-52.1 kg. Eventually, my derm wants me to take 60 mg, if I can tolerate it. That sounds a bit high for me (although I know it's based on reaching the cumulative dosage). I'd feel more comfortable only going up to 50 mg based on my weight. He said that was an option, too. What do you guys think? In my case, my acne is not terrible so he doesn't seem terribly focused on reaching at least 120 mg/kg.

This is the dosage schedule I was thinking of following/requesting:

Month 1 -- 30 mg

Month 2 -- 40 mg

Month 3 -- 50 mg

Month 4 -- 50 mg

Month 5 -- 50 mg/40 mg

Of course, this is all dependent on how I tolerate the medication. Opinions?

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hi cuttie,

i weight 115 and i am 5'1''... my doc wants to put me on 50mg right away and to that for about 5 months... he also mention the possibility of going to 60mg, so i guess thats about right. whats the min dose we are supposed to hit?

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hi cuttie,

i weight 115 and i am 5'1''... my doc wants to put me on 50mg right away and to that for about 5 months... he also mention the possibility of going to 60mg, so i guess thats about right. whats the min dose we are supposed to hit?

Somewhere between 120-150 mg per kg. I did the math and even if I don't take 50 mg for the next four months, I should still reach the "recommended" dosage. Depending on acne severity, people will clear/stay clear with less or more. I think I can afford a slightly less cumulative dose, but to be safe, I'd love to hit 120.

I would be careful starting at 1 mg/kg (which is about what your doctor is starting you at). 50 mg can be harsh on your system. For my first month, my derm started me at 30 mg, which is half of what he wants me to be on (~0.5 mg/kg). I would request starting at 40 mg for the first month/first two weeks to check for side effects. Just my two cents!

Good luck!

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Depending on acne severity, people will clear/stay clear with less or more.

Done and done. You lost me with all the math :whistle::doh:

Edited by Time_traveler
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I got my ChopSaver lip balm I ordered today in the mail! Yes! Aquaphor has been working well, but I'm wondering if there's a more balmy-type lip solution for chapped lips. My two issues with Aquaphor are staying power and application. Staying power isn't nearly as great as ChapStick staying power and Aquaphor looks like a nice lip sheen IF I apply it carefully! If I don't apply it carefully, it'll get slightly under my lip and over my lip (looks like oil or something). But hey, at least my lips aren't chapped!

I'm gonna start using ChopSaver during the day starting today and I'll let you guys know how it works, just in case you guys are looking for a lip balm!

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i know! i tried to tell him i would like to start at 20mg and then build up from there, even if it takes me longer... but i am in the military and military docs are not too concerned about aestetics or easiness... they just want to get it done! i think i am going to cheat a little bit and start at 20mg the first week and then build up weekly. i know docs know better, but it seems like its a good idea so i can get used to the drug.

i have a question about aquaphor... are you talking about a lip balm? or just the cream that comes on a tube? thats all i found (the second one).

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i know! i tried to tell him i would like to start at 20mg and then build up from there, even if it takes me longer... but i am in the military and military docs are not too concerned about aestetics or easiness... they just want to get it done! i think i am going to cheat a little bit and start at 20mg the first week and then build up weekly. i know docs know better, but it seems like its a good idea so i can get used to the drug.

i have a question about aquaphor... are you talking about a lip balm? or just the cream that comes on a tube? thats all i found (the second one).

Yeah, I would maybe take one every other day for the first week or so and see that you react well. I'm not a doctor, though!

No there's no lip balm per se, it's the Aquaphor in a tube. They have it in a big tub, but also in travel size tubes, which is what i have so I can carry it around.

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Day 24

Pimples drying up beautifully, but looking gross because they're so dry! Fun! Haha. Really dry everywhere, but not too bad so I shouldn't complain. ChopSaver works pretty well, I think, but I still have to re-apply ALL THE TIME. I guess there's no escaping that, huh?

The one new "side effect" I've noticed is FATIGUE. Ugh! I'm actually not sure if it's entirely caused by the Claravis, but man, I've been exhausted for the past 2 or so days. I am taking into account the fact that I started working out again this week AND have two exams, which both contribute to me being tired even when I wasn't on Claravis. We'll see.

Lower back pain is about the same, pretty minimal. The only time it really hurts is when I lay down and when I'm bent over for a long time; other than that, no pain. I started taking fish oil about two weeks ago. I'll admit I'm not good at taking it three times a day, as suggested, but I feel like it's been helping? Could be a placebo effect, though.

So far, so good. Praying my blood work next week comes out good and that side effects remain minimal even after a dose increase!

What have you guys noticed regarding side effects and increase in dosage? Which side effects got worse/better for you (if any)?

Hope everyone's doing well! :)

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I'm glad everything is going well for you. And as far as fish oil goes, I only take it twice a day even though it says three. It should help.

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Just saw your log Cutie and wanted to wish you luck. Hope your IB is clearing for you. Im a week in on 20mg and breaking out like mad. You can add me as a friend if you like :)

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Day 25

Let's see. Life is good right now!

Skin-wise, it looks like my IB may be clearing. Slowly, but surely. My next derm appointment is next week and my dosage will probably be increased, God willing. I'm kind of nervous about my blood work. My triglycerides and cholesterol were slightly elevated before I started Accutane (from my horrible college diet + genetics). Please pray that my results come out okay! I have really been making an effort to eat healthy and for the next four days before my blood work, I will be eating nothing that's sugary or greasy. We'll see.

I started hitting the gym this past week. It's made me sore and achy, per usual. I am taking fish oil to help avoid joint pain, but I'll have to keep you guys updated on that since I only started working out recently. I think I'm going to avoid running as much as possible, instead opting for the elliptical which is lower impact.

I have been having some lower back pain for the past week or so. It started before I began working out, so I'm pretty sure it's Accutane-related. It's really only when I initially lay down or am bent over for a while. I'm hoping my fish oil supplement will help. I'm planning on adding glucosamine & chondroitin, but still not sure. Has anyone noticed that glucosamine & chondroitin has made a difference in joint pain? I've read a lot about it online, but results seem to be conflicting. Ideally, I want to take as little supplements as possible.

So far I'm taking/am planning to take:

  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin D with Calcium and Magnesium- I know calcium is tricky. Any advice on the best combo for maximum absorption?
  • Glucosamine & Chondroitin
  • Vitamin C- maybe?

Thoughts and recommendations about supplements are welcome!

Okay, moving on. If my dosage is upped, it will be upped to 40 or 50 mg. I'm at 30 mg right, FYI. I'm not sure whether I'll be asked or not on my opinion, but I want some input from you all anyway. What have your experiences been going up 20 mg vs 10 mg? My main concerns are an increase in side effects and/or IB.

If we do decide on 40 mg, taking 20 mg in the morning and 20 mg in the evening sounds like the best combo, as opposed to taking 40 mg once a day. Thoughts and/or experiences with once/twice daily dosage?

Obviously taking 50 mg next month instead of 40 mg will speed up my overall course time and I'm willing to try it, but am nervous. Maybe I should do 40 mg next month and then be bumped up to 50 mg? I really just want to do what is best for my body while it's on such a harsh medication.

Alright then...now that I'm done writing a novel! Hope everyone is doing well, or at least better! And thanks for everyone's comments and advice! :)

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hey!

I think as long as you steer clear of a multivatamin or any other Vitamin with A in it, you should be good. Currently I am taking Omega 3 -6-9 , Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Do you take your vitamins the same time you take your pill?

Good luck with the dermatologist next week. :D Keep us updated on what he puts you up to. I am afraid to be upped too. Who wants to go through another potention IB?

No one!

Only a few more days then we are on to month 2! Woo!

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