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OK, so I know there are thousands of similar logs out there but I decided to go ahead and do this because I thought my regimen may be a little bit different from others. So let me first give you a little background.

I've had acne since I was about 15 and it has progressively gotten worse over the years. When I was about 20, I started getting cystic acne on my neck and back. I am now 23. I tried about every treatment over the years including salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, microdermabrasion, anti-biotics, elimination diets, detoxes, etc. Nothing really gave me long lasting, satisfying results.

I always avoided Accutane because of all the horrible side effects I heard about and I'm kind of against drugs anyway but it got to the point where I simply couldn't go on like this anymore. Acne rules my life. I have to spend nearly 3 hours every morning just to try and make my face and neck acceptable enough to go out. I've been turned down from jobs because of it. My old friends tend to avoid me and it's been difficult to make new friends. But as most of you know, it's not just the confidence-sapping appearance that hurts, it's also physically painful. My face and neck usually burn and itch, touching my neck sometimes feels like I'm being stabbed, and my towels, pillows, and bed sheets always have blood stains on them. So I decided that it was worth risking any side effects or even my life for the chance to have clear skin.

Recently, I had to switch my insurance and when I told them that I had previously been to a dermatologist for acne, even though I had otherwise perfect health, they raised my rate about $12 a month and told me they wouldn't cover anything related to acne for a year. Now Accutane without insurance is anywhere from $300-1800 a month which is totally unacceptable.

I started looking online and found some Canadian pharmacies offering generics for under $100. So after getting the prescription from the derm and doing the silly iPledge thing, I ordered 60 20 mg capsules of Isotretinoin for $80. Interestingly, the Canadian pharmacy got these from Germany and they were made in India. The brand is called Cipla and as far as I've read, it's just as effective as any other.

Anyway, it took about a week and a half to ship so I just took my first pill today upon arrival. And it has completely cleared me up within hours!! Just kidding... I am prepared for the worst. I will be taking vitamin D3 to help offset the A imbalance, vitamin E to help joints and dryness, and vitamin B for hair and such. I am going to start with my Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser, manuka honey spot treatment, and Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer because they don't dry me out. I'd like to find a better lip balm though as I just have the generic ChapStick and Banana Boat on hand. If you have any recommendations, let me know.

To summarize, I will be taking daily:

20 mg of Isotretinoin (Cipla Isotroin)

5000 IU of Vitamin D3 (Country Life)

60 mg of Vitamin E (Jarrow Toco-sorb)

Vitamin B Complex (Garden of Life)

And using daily:

Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser

Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer

Manuka honey spot treatment

Lip balm of some sort

I will also try to eat low cholesterol, hydrating foods and drink plenty of water. Wish me luck.

Edited by CursedSoul
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Good luck! I would suggest using aquaphor for your lips, it works like a charm! I started my course of amnesteem on 6-21 at 40mg a day and am starting to experience some of the drying effects; lips and eyes mostly. Hope this helps :)

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Well it's day four and I woke up with a sore throat which is unusual but it has since gone away. My skin feels a little more sensitive like it's burnt but it's not too bad. It hasn't really dried out yet but I seem to be producing less oil. My hair and scalp are noticeably drier too.

I've been meaning to get some milk thistle extract to support my liver and some eye drops in case I need them. I will try to pick them up this weekend. I will also look for some Aquaphor per treasurecat's suggestion. ;)

Thanks!

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Day 5 - "You ready? Here comes the pain!"

Well today my skin is dry and peeling through the moisturizer. It actually hurts to even put the moisturizer on. I got my first nosebleed today too... I'm such a pervert (Japanese joke). And at the moment I have a really bad headache so I can't sleep. I kinda want to bang my head against a wall (oh noes, teh accutanes making meh suicidal). So yeah, it's definitely been a rough day but I'm just trying to stay positive to get through it. :cool:

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Best of luck with your course!! I started on the 1st, so I'm right here with you :)

I haven't experienced nose bleeds or dryness just yet (knock on wood)

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It's been a week now and I feel terrible. Aside from the obvious dry skin and lips, I've felt nauseated, light-headed, and tired all day. My chest is mysteriously sore and it kind of feels like I'm burning within. I feel aggravated for some reason too although I quickly catch it and try to calm myself down. Of course my hot headed mother doesn't help things either (it's great to move back in with parents). I might try to get a hold of one of my friends to hang out with tonight in hopes of distracting my mind/body. I just hope this is a temporary thing...

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It's been a week now and I feel terrible. Aside from the obvious dry skin and lips, I've felt nauseated, light-headed, and tired all day. My chest is mysteriously sore and it kind of feels like I'm burning within. I feel aggravated for some reason too although I quickly catch it and try to calm myself down. Of course my hot headed mother doesn't help things either (it's great to move back in with parents). I might try to get a hold of one of my friends to hang out with tonight in hopes of distracting my mind/body. I just hope this is a temporary thing...

My chest is sore too! I've been a bit worried, everytime I bend down to grab something it gets tight and hurts. I'm going to my Dr. tomorrow and I'm gonna ask about this.

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That's very interesting treasurecat! I mean, I haven't been bench pressing or doing anything that would make it sore other than sitting up in my chair and driving around. But that was the least of my concerns yesterday. The back of my head and neck had an extremely uncomfortable burning sensation that I've never felt before. I know people get headaches while on Accutane but this was no headache. So I've decided to delay taking my pills until it goes away. It has gotten a little better overnight but I don't know what I'll do if it gets bad again. I am really starting to worry now because these are some pretty bad signs so early on in the regimen. If I can't take Accutane, I will be absolutely devastated! :cry:

In a totally unrelated topic, why is it that my friends never seem to have time for me? It's as if I'm the only one who's never busy. I always go out of my way to do things for them when they want but if I ever ask to hang out or talk for a bit, they make up some weak excuse like, "Uh, I'm busy... indefinitely." :eh: I know we aren't kids anymore but some of them are at home and single with no jobs so it's like what could they possibly be doing all the time? Don't they know that any of us could die at any moment? Two of my friends already have so maybe I just value time with friends more. I don't know. It just makes me paranoid because I start to wonder what is wrong with me. Maybe my appearance really is the problem. I mean, I'm not hideous and my acne isn't as severe as many people on these boards (who I greatly sympathize with) but I have a feeling that if I had better skin, people would want to be around me more. :confused:

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i hope you are feeling better and that you can resume the medication. i woke up with a dry throat today too... and its my first day!

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Thanks hop3, I did in fact resume taking it last night so I only skipped a day. I felt a lot better today with only a minor stomach and head ache. Hopefully what I experienced was just my body getting used to the drug. I've never taken any drugs long term before other than anti-biotics so maybe it was just hard for my body to adapt. We'll see.

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I had to re-schedule my appt w/ the dr. b/c they got the days wrong and I have to go after a month and not 2 weeks. But I called and asked if the sore chest was normal side effect and they said it wasn't. They asked a bunch of questions like if I did any strenuous activities (which I haven't) and what my pain scale was (mon-wed I said about a 6 out of 10) but now it's more like a dull ache so about a 2. I was talking to the receptionist and she was relaying the messages so the Dr. is going to call me later today. I guess there isn't much to be done since the soreness is going away but once I up my dose later this month to 60mg/day if it starts hurting again I'll ask to lower the dose back down to 40mg/day. I hope this all works out b/c I want to finish this therapy w/out any long term effects and be done with it! I'll keep you updated.

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ok the Dr. called and said if the pain doesn't go away and starts to get worse I will have to stop the medication. She also said if the pain goes away then starts again I have to stop the medication as well :( Hopefully i have no more problems!

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Well it's day 16 and there hasn't been much to report. Most of the side effects have subsided but my skin is still very dry. At least I am taking this during the humid summer months and not the bitter cold winter when my skin usually dries out.

I haven't really talked much about the condition of my acne so I guess I'll try to explain. It hasn't really changed much since I started except for that I seem to get more unsightly white-heads instead of red bumps. I guess that's a good sign since white-heads usually dry up and go away a little quicker. I have gotten a few smaller cysts on my neck recently but it's not as irritable since my skin doesn't produce enough oil to inflame them. I only wash my face once a day and shower every other day now (eww) because my skin and scalp flake and peel too much otherwise (double eww). It feels better this way.

BTW, the Aquaphor doesn't seem to work well on my lips. It's very thick and just sits on top instead of moisturizing no matter how hard I try to work it in... Oh well, I guess I need to keep experimenting with it.

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Oh and I meant to reply to treasurecat...

Yeah, I think it's up to us to decide whether or not it is a big enough issue to stop. There is a fine line between putting up with side effects and suffering serious complications because of them. If the terrible burning sensation in my head had continued, I would have stopped but the chest pain/soreness isn't enough to stop me unless it gets much worse. However, it sounds like it may be for you. :(

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Alright so, it's been about a month now. The past few days, I've had some really painful cysts on my neck so this may be the initial breakout. In fact, it was so painful that I had trouble sleeping and it hurt to even move my neck. So I decided to go ahead and try the Prednisone that my derm prescribed to me a while back.

The interesting thing about Prednisone is that one of its side effects is ACNE! :lol: So I guess what it's actually meant for is the swelling and inflammation. My derm wanted me to take it long term but I did some research (since I never trust doctors) and found that there are very serious side effects to taking it long term (even more than Accutane). So I only plan to take it for a few days to see if it makes a noticeable difference with the cysts (since it acts quickly).

Today I have another bad headache in the back of my head and neck but at least it's not the burning sensation I had before. I also noticed that my joints are a little more creaky than usual (especially my jaw). I feel like the tin man. I still get soreness in various parts of my body too.

I go to the doctor tomorrow to get my checkup and second prescription so we'll see how it goes...

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Wow :o cool! I'm also taking 20MG of Cipla Isotroin daily to try and get rid of my moderate acne :o. I am on day 9 of the treatment and am experiencing dry/irritated lips and dry skin also, especially around my mouth and above my lips. This morning actually my face was peeling a little in these areas. I don't have cystic acne like you, just moderate bumps and whiteheads that keep popping up :/.

I am thinking of getting the doctor to bump me up to 40MG next month, just so that I can really attack the pimples, and hopefully be off this thing sooner :).

GOOD LUCK! I'll be frequenting your log ^^.

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Ok, well I'm still on 20 mg. I think I'm finally starting to see positive results. My neck is clearing and I've only had maybe 1 pimple on my face in the past month. The side effects don't seem to be as bad anymore either. I still have creaky joints and dry lips though. ;)

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OK, so I know there are thousands of similar logs out there but I decided to go ahead and do this because I thought my regimen may be a little bit different from others. So let me first give you a little background.

I've had acne since I was about 15 and it has progressively gotten worse over the years. When I was about 20, I started getting cystic acne on my neck and back. I am now 23. I tried about every treatment over the years including salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, microdermabrasion, anti-biotics, elimination diets, detoxes, etc. Nothing really gave me long lasting, satisfying results.

I always avoided Accutane because of all the horrible side effects I heard about and I'm kind of against drugs anyway but it got to the point where I simply couldn't go on like this anymore. Acne rules my life. I have to spend nearly 3 hours every morning just to try and make my face and neck acceptable enough to go out. I've been turned down from jobs because of it. My old friends tend to avoid me and it's been difficult to make new friends. But as most of you know, it's not just the confidence-sapping appearance that hurts, it's also physically painful. My face and neck usually burn and itch, touching my neck sometimes feels like I'm being stabbed, and my towels, pillows, and bed sheets always have blood stains on them. So I decided that it was worth risking any side effects or even my life for the chance to have clear skin.

Recently, I had to switch my insurance and when I told them that I had previously been to a dermatologist for acne, even though I had otherwise perfect health, they raised my rate about $12 a month and told me they wouldn't cover anything related to acne for a year. Now Accutane without insurance is anywhere from $300-1800 a month which is totally unacceptable.

I started looking online and found some Canadian pharmacies offering generics for under $100. So after getting the prescription from the derm and doing the silly iPledge thing, I ordered 60 20 mg capsules of Isotretinoin for $80. Interestingly, the Canadian pharmacy got these from Germany and they were made in India. The brand is called Cipla and as far as I've read, it's just as effective as any other.

Anyway, it took about a week and a half to ship so I just took my first pill today upon arrival. And it has completely cleared me up within hours!! Just kidding... I am prepared for the worst. I will be taking vitamin D3 to help offset the A imbalance, vitamin E to help joints and dryness, and vitamin B for hair and such. I am going to start with my Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser, manuka honey spot treatment, and Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer because they don't dry me out. I'd like to find a better lip balm though as I just have the generic ChapStick and Banana Boat on hand. If you have any recommendations, let me know.

To summarize, I will be taking daily:

20 mg of Isotretinoin (Cipla Isotroin)

5000 IU of Vitamin D3 (Country Life)

60 mg of Vitamin E (Jarrow Toco-sorb)

Vitamin B Complex (Garden of Life)

And using daily:

Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser

Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer

Manuka honey spot treatment

Lip balm of some sort

I will also try to eat low cholesterol, hydrating foods and drink plenty of water. Wish me luck.

Good luck on your course!! I'm going to get some Vitamin B now... didn't realise it helped with hair.... will also need to get a pillcase seeing that i'm going to be carrying a pharmacy around with me!

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Good luck on your course!! I'm going to get some Vitamin B now... didn't realise it helped with hair.... will also need to get a pillcase seeing that i'm going to be carrying a pharmacy around with me!

Thanks. It's the Biotin in particular that helps with hair. So be sure to get a B complex with ~100% Biotin as many B Vitamins do not include much. Iron also helps but I doubt you'll need a supplement for it.

BTW, the type of Milk Thistle Extract I got is called DailyWellness Liver Health by Gaia Herbs. It's perfect because it includes 100 mg of MSM which I guess helps even your skin tone, and 100 mg of Turmeric which is anti-inflammatory, along with other things. I also got it on sale so it wasn't too expensive.

Now, to be honest, I haven't been taking all of those vitamins everyday as I said I would. The Vitamin D I only take on cloudy days or when I feel I didn't get enough sun. The Vitamin B I usually only take once a day when I'm supposed to take it twice. And I ran out of Vitamin E so I haven't taken that for a couple weeks (I'll get more).

So I wouldn't stress too much over taking all of that daily. Just try to take what you can, when you can. Obviously the Isotretinoin is the priority, and then maybe the Milk Thistle is second important, since without your liver you wouldn't be able to make use of anything and could develop serious problems (that's why they blood test you).

So anyway, thanks again for your support everyone. I go to the dermatologist today and will have to get my blood tested again soon. Let's hope I pass so I can continue with this crazy drug. :)

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I don't dare be lazy with the vitamins... i'm so paranoid about getting depressed and/or losing all my hair its not even funny :(

BUT, i am resolute in persisting with accutane and getting rid of this AWFUL acne so i can return to normal -.-

i'm so glad your skin is clearning up... congrats! i hope your derm has good things to say when u see her :)

oh and im going to get the milk thistle tomorrow!! seriously hope it helps calm the redness somehow :P

xx

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