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Foljiny

Accutane Catch-22

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I first started breaking out with acne when I was 13 and I have tried just about everything-every prescription antibiotic, lots of topicals including proactive and dan’s regimen, and various supplements but I have persistent cystic acne. As a side note-it also improved quite a bit when I stopped drinking milk. I am extremely self-conscious because of my acne and not very confident-it’s just so frustrating. I have been contemplating Accutane for a while but have always talked myself out of it because of the potentially horrendous side effects namely sexual dysfunction, difficulty concentrating/thinking, and social disconnection which have the potential to last long after I take it. Some posts on acne.org and other websites have been especially discouraging saying that they would rather have all the acne in the world if they could go back and not take Accutane. On the other hand some people’s lives have improved dramatically after taking it. The decision of whether or not I should go on Accutane feels like a catch-22 situation to me it could either be the best decision I’ve ever made or the worst. Either way it will most certainly be lifechanging.

I have agonized over this for quite some time and think I might want to try a few things before definitely going on Accutane such as levulan. My dermatologist has recommended I take Accutane but I’ve resisted until there’s no other choice. So I decided to ask you the acne.org forums what you recommend. Should I go on Accutane now while I’m still young (17) and take the risk of possibly living with worse side effects than the acne I have now or continue to try things such as levulan etc. until I potentially grow out of acne. I know most of the people on the Accutane forum are probably those that took it and have persistent bad side effects because those that take it and are perfectly happy go on with their lives but I still want to hear your opinions. The thing that makes this choice so difficult for me is that I don’t know what percent of people get which side effects especially the sexual dysfunction one since it is definitely underreported. So, based on my severity of acne and my age what do you guys recommend-should I take the jump?

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http://i53.tinypic.com/fz7omc.jpg

Edited by Foljiny

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QUOTE (Foljiny @ Jun 6 2011, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The thing that makes this choice so difficult for me is that I don’t know what percent of people get which side effects especially the sexual dysfunction one since it is definitely underreported.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P...de0103_0162.pdf (see page 6)

At your age and with your acne severity, the biggest issue you have to worry about is not side effects but a relapse of your acne post-Accutane, although even if your acne returns it may not be as severe.

http://content.karger.com/produktedb/produ...646&typ=pdf

Edited by biggs881

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It seems most of your acne is concentrated on your back. For me, I made the decision to take accutane because my acne was concentrated on my face and I had about 10X as much cystic/nodal acne as you. It was a no brainer for me since I was in a really bad situation. That was 13 years ago. I was on a 4 month course and an additional 2 month course and was put on antibiotics. 13 years later I tried to get off of antibiotics but failed. I began to breakout again, but not nearly as severely when the antibiotics wore off. I'm on my 3rd course of accutane now.

I didn't experience any long term side effects, particularily sexual dysfunction. I'm a guy and I'm still quite horny and I'm 32. That may be the reason why I still have severe acne at 32, but who knows.

If you can live with your acne now, I would try other alternatives before accutane. I'm on accutane now because I need to pay my mortage and bills and a realatively clear face is important. Plus I may be out of work soon and have been interviewing.

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