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Expired Accutane Question

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So I've been on Accutane for about a year and a half. I was prescribed 40 mgs and was supposed to go up to 60 but I could not handle the 40 so I eventually went down to 20 twice a week and then 20 once a week on my own. I did not tell my doc. I mentioned it but he was adamant about my staying on the higher dose. Sorry, but I know my body and I know when I am poisoning myself. I continued with my doc visits until my entire dosage for body weight was over. I understand that I should have pressed on with the doc visits but it was just too costly.

Needless to say I now have a bunch of accutane, some of which is now expired.

Eventually all of it will expire, though this isn't the case yet. I am taking the accutane that isn't expire once every other week, mixed in with the expired accutane (May '10). In other words, one week I take the expired, the next the unexpired and so on. It is still working but I am now getting a little worried that active ingredient MIGHT be less useful.

My point is; I paid GREAT money for this medication and I don't know why the companies don't allow you to trade in expired meds for unexpired, especially if you already possess the pills and have been cleared to take them. I understand that you have to be tested (which I no longer am) but wouldn't it be more lucrative AND safer if the companies did this?

Anyway, I will continue to take the expired. Just reading through the boards I saw some posts that were answered evasively and uncertainly. Just a thought.

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DONT take expired medication, especially accutane. I'm pretty sure you can return it at a pharmacy in exchange for new prescriptions. Although it was kind of a bad move to lie to your doctor about it you can still fix this by stop taking the expired accutane and head to the pharmacy to negotiate.

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DONT take expired medication, especially accutane. I'm pretty sure you can return it at a pharmacy in exchange for new prescriptions. Although it was kind of a bad move to lie to your doctor about it you can still fix this by stop taking the expired accutane and head to the pharmacy to negotiate.

Hi Sanadai,

Thanks for responding. Yes, of course it was sneaky but then again I think it is just as deceitful to tell a patient who knows that things are not working correctly to just ignore those signs and proceed. I come from a medical family and have extensive experience with that field, though not precisely dermatology, I understand the politics.

I will take it to my local pharmacy but I am skeptical that they can do much about it without that damn "IPledge" deal to refer to. The IPledge, although, with good intention is complete BS. You could totally lie. It's all about prevention, so instead of all that rigamarole they put you through every month they should just have you sign something, since, in fact, that is what it is all about. Signing something to cover their asses, which I agree with.

Anyway, I'm off to the pharmacy tomorrow or monday, we'll see how it pans out. should be an interesting experience.

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Yeah dont get me wrong, there are many ignorant doctors out there and in the end its up to yourself to make smart decisions for your own body. Anyways i guess you live in the US, because over here in Canada healthcare is much easier and convenient, but i hope things go well with you

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v

Anyway, I'm off to the pharmacy tomorrow or monday, we'll see how it pans out. should be an interesting experience.

I'll give you a hint. It's not going to go well. They will not just trade you new medications for your expired ones.

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DONT take expired medication, especially accutane. I'm pretty sure you can return it at a pharmacy in exchange for new prescriptions. Although it was kind of a bad move to lie to your doctor about it you can still fix this by stop taking the expired accutane and head to the pharmacy to negotiate.

Hi Sanadai,

Thanks for responding. Yes, of course it was sneaky but then again I think it is just as deceitful to tell a patient who knows that things are not working correctly to just ignore those signs and proceed. I come from a medical family and have extensive experience with that field, though not precisely dermatology, I understand the politics.

I will take it to my local pharmacy but I am skeptical that they can do much about it without that damn "IPledge" deal to refer to. The IPledge, although, with good intention is complete BS. You could totally lie. It's all about prevention, so instead of all that rigamarole they put you through every month they should just have you sign something, since, in fact, that is what it is all about. Signing something to cover their asses, which I agree with.

Anyway, I'm off to the pharmacy tomorrow or monday, we'll see how it pans out. should be an interesting experience.

Threaten to use the expired Accutane if they don't/won't trade it in (you may have to pay again). Refuse to hand it over to any pharmacy that won't trade it in ("look but don't touch" mentality).

But never under any circumstances actually take expired or otherwise questionable drugs, especially medically unsupervised. Here's why.

Edited by jimmy188
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v

Anyway, I'm off to the pharmacy tomorrow or monday, we'll see how it pans out. should be an interesting experience.

I'll give you a hint. It's not going to go well. They will not just trade you new medications for your expired ones.

Don't know if the Doc was actually being ignorant as just following procedure. Tons of people have taken accutane at high doses without incident. I'm sure he has had many people come in complaining and because people generally trust their docs continued to take it without a problem, hence his heightened instinct to bypass my whining. Life is a gamble. People jump out of planes, drive cars, handle animals, work with fire, etc ... some people, pardon the pun, get burned. I get this.

Jimmy that's how I planned to "work it out," but again the logistics and legal blocks might prevent even if they agree with me. It would seem foolish, IMO, to allow someone to take an already supposedly dangerous drug that is expired than to simply exchange it for them. Either way, in some people, though, not myself, it is still requisite for a lawsuit. However, less so with unexpired drugs.

I find it hard to believe that the guy in the thread instantaneously got IBS from taking 3 expired pills. Typically, the active drug remains lucid, while the inactive ingredients tend to indeed expire.

People get all types of maladies as they get older. While I am certainly not saying that accutane did not cause his IBS, it probably did, but from his ongoing high dosages through the years, not from his decision to take the expired lot. I find a lot of people want to blame things on accutane when the simple facts of aging occur. Such as the gentlemen, who is now, 53, who said accutane caused his arthritis. Something he would have acquired anyway but accutane is an easier way to justify his aging bones. Again, I am not saying accutane could not cause these problems but honestly if you take too much of something your body doesn't really need you're going to suffer the consequences.

It is insane to me, after taking the pills in what I perceive as a high dose (40-60 mgs) and feeling, without a doubt the side effects, that people actually take these doses and deal with it. No. Listening to your body is key. If you drink a couple of glasses of wine and feel relaxed then the "drug" has done it's job with no further negativity. However, if you continue to drink after that fact you are doing damage. YOU are the boss of your own temple. I find 20 mgs a week is an ample amount, it does the job and I have no side effects. Not one. Therefor, my body accepts this and filters properly. I just find it amazing that there are teens out there who are taking massive amounts of this stuff daily and have legit complaints and yet continue to take this drug. Their body is plainly trying to tell them something.

Anyway. That's my take on it.

Thank you.

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Hey, I just wanted to say why taking expired accutane could be the biggest mistake in one's life. If you think that it will be less effective, you are dead wrong. It will actually be far more potent and toxic than unexpired accutane. Firstly, isotretinoin gets irreversibly oxidized to 4-oxo-isotretinoin, which is 4 times as potent. Secondly, in addition to the active ingredient (isotretinoin) the capsules have extra ingredients intended to protect you from the drug's toxicity. After expiration, these protective ingredients are ineffective, so you will be exposed to much higher toxicity. This can cause severe neuroendocrine and other problems. It surely did with me (I got hypogonadism while on accutane, soon after I got IBS, then dysautonomia, then epilepsy and more) and I kid you not. I never imagined the damage could be so extensive and so persistent and I just wanted to warn others to not repeat the same mistake.

But if you are really going to roll the dice and take expired accutane anyway, at least take a very low dose, take it on an empty stomach (to cut absorption in half) and do not drink any alcohol whatsoever (alcohol increases retinoid toxicity). But I still think you should avoid expired accutane. If you think you are saving $, think about the possibility that you may later have to spend $$$$$ on doctors and medications, trying to control the health problems accutane will create, and that many of these problems could be uncurable.

I know acne can make people insecure and desperate for solutions, as it did with me, but really, a few $ more are not worth your life...

There are much safer solutions out there, which I wish I had known before taking accutane. One of the sebum reducing mechanisms of accutane is inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase-1 on your skin by 80%. Unfortunately, accutane also inhibits this enzyme in your liver by 50%, in your brain, genitalia and other tissues. This enzyme is responsible for producing important neurosteroids (such as dihydrotestosterone, allopregnenolone, tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone) that have antidepresant, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and myelinating properties. Significant inhibition of this enzyme can destabilize your neuroendocrine system and even cause demyelination (look up a paper by Yamal et al titled “A cerebellar demyelinating lesion following treatment of acne with isotretinoin” or a very thourough review by Chroni et al titled “Neuromuscular Adverse Effects Associated with Systemic Retinoid Dermatotherapy”).

It is much safer to take a decent dose of some natural supplements that are weak 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (such as vitamins B6, D3, beta carotene, Omega 3, Zinc). You could add some that are anti-inflammatory (such as vitamin B3) and immune supporting (such as selenium). It takes ~3 weeks to start working, but taking this combo instead of (but not with) accutane is harmless, and could make a topical regimen or antibiotic therapy much more effective.

Edited by Babis
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