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Side effects after Accutane course is over?

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Okay, so, I'm new around here.

This is my story: I started taking Accutane in January. I'm male, 82 kg (180 lbs), 187 cm (6,1 ft.). My dosage was initially 40 mg/day. Side effects presented themselves after two or three weeks, chief among them that my skin lost all ability to heal itself. Whenever my skin cracked because of the initial acne outbreak I experienced, it would not heal again for months and months. After a month or so, I upped my dose to 60 mg/day, and then a month later to 80 mg/day. I experienced all the usual suspects in terms of side effects - dry skin, dry lips that cracked all over the place, fatigue, very dry nose, occasionally dry eyes. The last two days of my course I did 100 mg/day.

Now my Accutane course is over, just two weeks ago. But the things is, a week or so now I've been experiencing new, hitherto unknown side effects. And I'm really freaked out that this is happening post-course. I've tried calling my derm, but he is away on holiday!

The side effects I'm talking about, are primarily joint and muscle pain. The joint pain is mainly in my knees - a sharp, shooting sort of pain that comes around mainly when I move my legs. If I'm lying perfectly still, there's no pain. But running, and even walking, is painful. Not so painful that I can't move around at all, but certainly not pleasant either. Also my other joints have started cracking and clicking something fierce. It's not really painful, just worrisome. The muscle pain consist partly of my muscles being extremely weak. I did 15 push ups three days ago, and I'm still a bit sore! I carried heavy bags yesterday, and now my neck muscles are killing me - making me have headaches as well. I'll also note that my skin still takes forever to heal. Just yesterday I was out in the sun for 20 minutes, getting a very mild tan, and my skin is as pink today as it was yesterday evening.

I'm very worried about these post-course side effects. And googling did nothing to relieve me of my worries. Thousands of stories about people experiencing life-long, debilitating pain - horror stories of suicide contemplation and the likes. Even people on these boards (Sheefa, Oli Girl etc.) sharing their tales of tragedy.

What I really want, is for someone to calm me down. Tell me that everything wil be fine. Offer me a remedy for this. Are there any supplements I can take that will help me get better? Please, no post about how I'm doomed or done for or that my life is over. Also, is it commom for side effects to linger (and even start) after the course is over? How long can I expect them to last for? Has anyone experienced side effects that lasted more than a couple of weeks - like I am? If so, please let your voice be heard so that one worried Accutane'er can calm down a bit!

Thank you in advance for any help, advice or otherwise.

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1. Roche states that accutane continues to work up to 2 months after your course is over and that the long term effects are unknown.

2. Stay out of the sun as your skin is still senstive so if you are out make sure you where sunscreen.

3. Roche states that accutane can cause slow wound/skin healing as it can thin it. For some yes this has gotten better in time. It may take a little while.

4. Yes side effects can linger (with any drug for that matter) and yes people have experinced side effects after thier course is over.

5. As for the bone cracking try some Vit D, take it with Chelated or Citrated Magnesium and calcium as Accutane is know to disrupt Vit D. Accutane is a dev of Vit A and Vit A and D have a close relationship. Some have found sucess with fish oil (not cod liver oil as it is loaded w/vit a), some have had it worsen thier effects. I would stay away from Omega 3 as it worsens many of thoose suffering side effects.

6. Take it easy and not to agressive exercise as you don't want to cause more damage. Try walking, streching, and mild wieght lifiting if u do that.

You have only been off for a couple of weeks and 80/100mg is not exactly a low dose, Accutane is a very harsh and dangerous drug so you need to give your body some time.

Anyone can tell you that everything will be fine, however no one on here can really tell you that cause no one knows.

For some thier side effects dissappear after thier course, for some it takes time, for some they develop the side effects listed and for some thier side effects or new one shows up after thier course has ended.

Go see a doctor that specializes in joints, muscles etc if things don't get better. In the meantime treat your body well.

Hang in there and I wish you the best.

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personal experience: i had mild joint pain in my hips pelivs area. those areas were just more sensitive and would get sore easier. but it went away right after i went off tane.

other side effects though like chapped lips and red face stayed for a while...

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5. As for the bone cracking try some Vit D, take it with Chelated or Citrated Magnesium and calcium as Accutane is know to disrupt Vit D. Accutane is a dev of Vit A and Vit A and D have a close relationship. Some have found sucess with fish oil (not cod liver oil as it is loaded w/vit a), some have had it worsen thier effects. I would stay away from Omega 3 as it worsens many of thoose suffering side effects.

Really? No Omega 3? So, would the Vitamin D/Magnesium/Calcium help with my knee pain (which has been bothering me a lot today), or just the cracking joints? If not, then what could I take to soothe or alleviate pain in my knees? They are really acting up now, and it's more of a constant throbbing than an exercise-specific pain. Whenever I stretch my legs out fully, though, as when I'm sleeping, the pain subsides.

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okay CALM DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1st of all the side effects tat ur experiencing post accutane has only been happening for a couple of weeks right? it hasn't been like months right? so there is a VERY good chance tat all these side effects will disappear with time. u just have to be patient like u were with acne.

and also look on the bright side. u got rid of ur acne right? so think about the good things! :dance:

BUT if worse comes to worse u MAY have to live with these side effects for the rest of ur life BUT they will most likely be less severe as wat ur experiencing now. itz gonna get better. just think positive.

eat healthy, exercise, SEE ur dermatologist ASAP (when he getz back from vacation), and maybe start treating these side effects so tat they will go away and no be with you for the rest of ur life.

best thing i can tell u right now is to just stay calm and don't stress urself out. don't think about the worse kind of scenario (although i kno taz hard not to) but anyway think positive. and u kno wat ur side effect may dissapear next week and u would b worrying about nothing!! so dont think about it AND STOP READING HORROR STORIES ABOUT ACCUTANE!!!! (taz not gonna help with anything and will only get u more stressed!)

be positive and i'll wish u luck ^-^

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From what I've read muscle stiffness can be forever, good luck. I don't know about common but I've read numerous accounts of people suffering side effects for life.

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Omega 3 is great

Omega 3 is great if you don't suffer post accutane side effects. natural foods w/omega are alright at least for me.

TheSting- It may help your knees, but I also stated you can try fish oil as for some they have no problems taking that and it has helped thier pain, just don't take cod liver oil as it is loaded w/vit A. Like I also stated streching and still be active just not as agressive.

You can call your derm once he gets back, but I am sure he will say not related, though it is a documented side effect myalgias and arthligas (sp).

Time my friend, time if it doesn't get better in a couple of months I would just say if it doesn't get better then seen someone who specializes in joints/muscles.

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Thanks for your help, all. I've purchased Vit D in capsule form. I've also purchased fish oil. My knees are basically what's bothering my these days. They're no longer painful if I stay away from activity, which basically tells me that activity (walking, running, anything really) is what aggravates them. They're extremely stiff, is what it is. And the pain seems to come around when I "unstiff" them - walking, running etc.

When people on forums tell of their cronic joint pain - what form does that joint pain take? Some seem to complain of a 24/7 pain. That's not what I have. Does anyone suffering permanent side effects have just joint stiffness? In other words, the kind of pain that only comes about during or after movement of some kind? Just wondering.

I also though I'd ask - do I have to eliminate all vitamin A from my nutrition? I eat cheese, which I believe has vitamin A in it. Do I have to stop doing that? Can I have, say, pizza with cheese on it at least?

Edited by TheSting
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Uhm, Yeah there are thoose that have pain and stiffness and it is not 24/7 and not wide spread. I would just keep an eye on things and see how it goes.

I know there have been quite a few that have suffered from Osteoarthritis which it is believed that Accutane dries up the Hyluronic Acid and drys out ur joints. Really hard to know as our bodies are made up diffrent, so some may suffer from autoimmune like diseases IE: Lupus/RA, some bone spurs, back pain etc... some suffer from fibromyalgia and muscle pain...

I personally have arthritis, tendon problems and osteopenia,( all documented side effects) but I have come a long way from the beginning and I owe it to other suffers who helped me along the way. Not to say that I will ever be the same, but am little better and functionable.

Just don't get too worried at this point and if reading things make it worse for you then don't. If you do end up going to a dr and getting no help let me know and I will put u in touch w/ some that can help.

Let me know if the Vit D and fish oil helps you. Make sure ur Vit D has magnesium w/it or buy it seprately as you need it to process Vit D.

Edited by oli girl
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I'm back from vacation and bumping this.

My knees are better than they were a month ago, but I've a long way to go. There's pain on movement, stiffness and a general sense of things not being right. But I can now walk okay most of the time without much pain, and even run to catch the bus. Jogging is out of the question, though.

I went to see a doctor, who prescribed NSAID's and had nothing illuminating to say. My derm was equally unhelpful.

The pain in my knees seem to indicate osteoarthritis, but that's just my unprofessional self-diagnosis, and quadriceps tendonitis or a dozen other things could probably be the culprit. However, the big problem is that I can't seem to shake it. Despite some improvement, things are not right.

Many of my joints crack and click (left shoulder, right foot, knees, neck, right wrist). And additionally, I've started getting pains in my feet - mostly in my heels. My right ankle is also bothering me when I move. It's worrying me that it's not only my knees anymore - although the knees are by far the thing that's bothering me most.

To my untrained eye it seems like Accutane has done a real number on my joints, bones and/or muscles. I need to rebuild the damage done somehow. So, what's next for me? Glucosamine? Hyaluronic acid? Something else?

PS. Unlike many others with horror stories, I'm by no means suffering hell or anything like that. The mild/moderate pain is something I can live with, certainly - it just ain't that bad - but it's still quite obvious that something is askew in my body.

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