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JuliaSaori

Claravis (Accutane) Advice, Please Help!

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Hi there!

So here's an overview,

So I was put on Claravis a month ago by my derm. Suffering from nodule/cystic acne since I could remember, around 13-14 years old. I'm 20 now. I've literally tried EVERYTHING, every single face wash, cream, diets, antibiotics. Being with my derm for 2 years and he's given me every single pill there was til he finally told me, "I have nothing else to prescribe you, all there is left is Accutane." I chickened out twice and had to go through the annoying Ipledge program twice. Finally, after giving up, I went on it.

He prescribed me Claravis, which is the generic version, still isotretinoin capsules. Started with 40mg once a day.

I experienced crazy symptoms from switching to a new drug. Broke out really bad at first, head aches, drastic mood swings, EXTREMELY

dry skin/lips. I went back for a check up, told my derm about the frequent headaches and he lowered me to 20 mg a day.

So now, I am on that, currently a few pills in. Still the same symptoms, except now I had tiny little blisters all over my lips. I do get occasional cold sores, but nothing has ever been like this before. Luckily I had some Valtrex pills, so I took a few of those. But I still have tiny bubbly blisters. I got an eczema rash last night that I noticed. My scalp is flaky which I have never had before, assuming its a type of dandruff. It's nice to not get such oily hair after a day of washing it though! Also, my skin used to be very oily and now I don't have to use oil papers once throughout a day!

I do suffer from depression even before taking the pills, I notice that sometimes my mood will change several times in an hour. I'm more worried about long term effects since I've seen some horrible stories on here. My derm noticed I was worried, but told me he's prescribed to hundreds of patients, and told me it would be the first thing he would put his son on.

How is it for you guys? I don't have any friends who've taken this, so I need some support

cry.gif All my friends are blessed with good skin, good everything and I just feel alone right now with this situation. I am currently having a crying spell, but more because I am so scared about my health. No one really understands this drug and how it affects us, except the people who are taking it.

Which is why I want to hear some advice from people currently taking it/people done with the course.

Hope I can make some friends throughout this life journeycatdance.gif

P.S. chuck.gif

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Hello! I havnt been on Claravis before, but Accutane i have! That cleared my skin, quite literally :) i had no acne for about a year and only a few spots occured now and then. Sorry i cant be much help but thought id reply and let you know how my course went on Accutane, and i do recommend it. I was so scared to go on the drug at first like yourself but it was the best thing i had ever done. Also the only side effects i had were dry lips, and little patches of dry skin, and that is all :) Good luck with your course.

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Whew. Ok, take a deeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath. Relax. I am on Claravis, 40 mg a day. I have about 8 friends who have been on Accutane and they now all have flawless skin. None of them suffered from permanent side effects.

I will be your isotretinoin friend! You can follow my log if you want. I haven't had major side effects yet, but I can tell the medicine is working. Try to think of it as Vitamin A instead of it's scary. Make sure you're taking really good care of yourself, drinking lots of water, going for walks if you can or any kind of mild exercise. Try to get out of the house, and out of your head. Our heads are scary places, and I would hate to see you feeling down on yourself. Another suggestion if you're worried about side effects is taking a daily Milk Thistle supplement. You can take capsules or a tincture. It protects and cleanses your liver, which will lessen side effects because isotretinoin is known to elevate liver enzymes or do other strange things. Try to eat lots of vegetables--this will also protect your liver.

The blisters and eczema sounds really painful. Are you eating oily fish, avocados, or taking fish oil? All of these contain essential fatty acids that will nourish your skin and lips while going through this dry spell.

Take care <3

Gina

Also, what body lotion are you using? I use the Shikai Borage Oil fragrance-free moisturizer which is designed for eczema and very dry skin. You could try that?

http://shikai.com/products/borage.htm

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I am also on Claravis and have found moisturizing and drinking lots of water to be essential in keeping the major side effects at bay. I used Cerave cream in the morning and wash my face as soon as I get home then re-moisturize. I I also used Olay's In-Shower moisturizer. Carmex lip balm during the day and Aquaphor during the night help too. How many non-caffeinated liquids (i.e., water) are you drinking? Headaches are often a sign that you are not drinking enough water. If you can swing it, I would drink water exclusively. It's easier to do if you carry a Nalgene bottle around with you. Although these steps don't make things go away completely, following an intensive moisturizing/hydration routine can help.

Regarding the mood symptoms, I second Gina's recommendation. Make sure you do something each day that you enjoy. Put it into your schedule just like you would an appointment or class and make sure you do it. Yoga, journaling, meditation, long walks...whatever works for you. Also, be sure to maintain in regular contact with your dermatologist. It sounds like you've been working together for a while. Although this forum is great for general support, he/she is the expert in this treatment and is in the best position to advise you. You do not have to wait until your next appointment to share concerns. I email my doc whenever I have a question and although I don't do it often, it feels good to know that the resource is there. Also, I think it is important for someone (friend or family) to know you are currently on the drug. If you ever feel like doing something to hurt yourself call this person, the authorities, go to your local hospital emergency room, or call the national suicide hotline (1800-SUICIDE) ASAP!

Accutane can take you on a ride. Instead of thinking about it as scary, think of it as an opportunity toward an acne-free life. You are taking a very important first step toward this. Avoid reading the horror stories. All they will do is play with your head and make you think you are experiencing them too. The mind is a powerful tool. Don't fuel it with bad and scary thoughts. Hang in there!

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Thank you Gina and Hazel,

I just went to the store and dropped $90 on several products for lips, scalp, dry skin, eczema, eye drops, moisturizer.

Mostly Aveno and Nutrogena items. I do drink lots of liquids, but I could just not be drinking enough. I'll increase that!

I also am taking omega 3 - Salmon oil actually, I don't really like normal fish oil since the fish are sardines and anchovies. But I did read somewhere

that any kind of omega 3 is toxic for accutane users? Unless its post-tane, but not sure.

It's more of the horror stories that have freaked me out, I will take your advice for the liver cleanses, that's another thing I'm worried about since I've been taking

every antibiotic under the sun for a couple years now, i'm sure my liver is destroyed.

Oh! Also something I've been experiencing is memory loss. Has this been an issue for you as well? I'll just completely blank out on a certain word or name, or anything. It's the most bizarre thing.

I do talk to my derm about problems, I'd rather he know than it kept a secret, but since it's a once a month thing and he's never been on it, I wanted to talk to people who are on the same journey as I am!

Also, I attached a picture of what I bought today, the blistex medicated ointment isn't in the picture but I bought that as well. I'm also using aquaphor and vaseline.

fyzqts.jpg

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I am a twenty three year old, college graduate with my first “big kid job”. I work with youth and my acne looks like I am one of the awkward teens suffering with acne. In high school I took Accutane twice, two different rounds and it worked great. During undergraduate my skin was flawless. Over the past six months I have noticed that my skin was changing and reverting back to that awful acne that I had in high school.

At the end of May will mark my first month of treatment. I am taking 40 mg twice a day (one in the morning and one at night). I am experiencing severe dry lips, nose bleeds every morning, and the back of my hands are scabbing up. I almost feel like an elephant, I lather myself with lotion every time I get out of the shower. Every thirty mins I am applying chap stick. My fiancé jokes that we should by stock in Burt’s Bees.

It is just hard to talk about everything that I am feeling because all of my friends have flawless skin. I just want to look normal again and be able to not wear makeup on the weekends and not be embarrassed to go in public.

Lindsey

Edited by Lindseyll

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Thank you Gina and Hazel,

I just went to the store and dropped $90 on several products for lips, scalp, dry skin, eczema, eye drops, moisturizer.

Mostly Aveno and Nutrogena items. I do drink lots of liquids, but I could just not be drinking enough. I'll increase that!

I also am taking omega 3 - Salmon oil actually, I don't really like normal fish oil since the fish are sardines and anchovies. But I did read somewhere

that any kind of omega 3 is toxic for accutane users? Unless its post-tane, but not sure.

It's more of the horror stories that have freaked me out, I will take your advice for the liver cleanses, that's another thing I'm worried about since I've been taking

every antibiotic under the sun for a couple years now, i'm sure my liver is destroyed.

Oh! Also something I've been experiencing is memory loss. Has this been an issue for you as well? I'll just completely blank out on a certain word or name, or anything. It's the most bizarre thing.

I do talk to my derm about problems, I'd rather he know than it kept a secret, but since it's a once a month thing and he's never been on it, I wanted to talk to people who are on the same journey as I am!

Also, I attached a picture of what I bought today, the blistex medicated ointment isn't in the picture but I bought that as well. I'm also using aquaphor and vaseline.

fyzqts.jpg

Fantastic! I love your new stash! :) So great to see your taking care of yourself. Let me know how the Aveeno spf moisturizer is. My derm always recommends them, but I'm never sure since it has fragrance in it, which can irritate things for me. Also curious about the T-gel. I used that in high school because I had bad dandruff then, but haven't had dandruff since. I haven't heard that about the fish oil being toxic while on accutane. I think if it's cod liver oil or a fish oil very high in vitamin A, it would be a problem. Maybe ask your derm? Flax oil and borage oil can also be taken instead since they don't have Vitamin A and will also help with the severe dry skin and joints.

:)

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Thank you Gina and Hazel,

I just went to the store and dropped $90 on several products for lips, scalp, dry skin, eczema, eye drops, moisturizer.

Mostly Aveno and Nutrogena items. I do drink lots of liquids, but I could just not be drinking enough. I'll increase that!

I also am taking omega 3 - Salmon oil actually, I don't really like normal fish oil since the fish are sardines and anchovies. But I did read somewhere

that any kind of omega 3 is toxic for accutane users? Unless its post-tane, but not sure.

It's more of the horror stories that have freaked me out, I will take your advice for the liver cleanses, that's another thing I'm worried about since I've been taking

every antibiotic under the sun for a couple years now, i'm sure my liver is destroyed.

Oh! Also something I've been experiencing is memory loss. Has this been an issue for you as well? I'll just completely blank out on a certain word or name, or anything. It's the most bizarre thing.

I do talk to my derm about problems, I'd rather he know than it kept a secret, but since it's a once a month thing and he's never been on it, I wanted to talk to people who are on the same journey as I am!

Also, I attached a picture of what I bought today, the blistex medicated ointment isn't in the picture but I bought that as well. I'm also using aquaphor and vaseline.

fyzqts.jpg

LOVE Aveno Eczema!

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I am a twenty three year old, college graduate with my first “big kid job”. I work with youth and my acne looks like I am one of the awkward teens suffering with acne. In high school I took Accutane twice, two different rounds and it worked great. During undergraduate my skin was flawless. Over the past six months I have noticed that my skin was changing and reverting back to that awful acne that I had in high school.

At the end of May will mark my first month of treatment. I am taking 40 mg twice a day (one in the morning and one at night). I am experiencing severe dry lips, nose bleeds every morning, and the back of my hands are scabbing up. I almost feel like an elephant, I lather myself with lotion every time I get out of the shower. Every thirty mins I am applying chap stick. My fiancé jokes that we should by stock in Burt’s Bees.

It is just hard to talk about everything that I am feeling because all of my friends have flawless skin. I just want to look normal again and be able to not wear makeup on the weekends and not be embarrassed to go in public.

Lindsey

Lindsey,

I'm sorry to hear about your troubled skin, I know how you feel. I have the stubborn/bad nodule type of acne too. It's hard to deal with since none of my friends have that type of acne, if they do, it's the normal small type of pimple that I wish I had instead. :(

But yes, the dry everything is completely normal, you should use aquaphor lip gel for your lips, that's what I use and it's AMAZING, the second you put it on it's a relief. I also put some inside my nose to relieve dryness.

I believe you are experiencing eczema like I am. It usually targets the backs of your hands. I have some right now actually :( lol,

look at the picture I posted above, on the very left is aveeno eczema therapy. Works wonders!

You should also get the aveeno body wash in the picture. Basically anything in that picture will help you with severe dryness.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Thank you Gina and Hazel,

I just went to the store and dropped $90 on several products for lips, scalp, dry skin, eczema, eye drops, moisturizer.

Mostly Aveno and Nutrogena items. I do drink lots of liquids, but I could just not be drinking enough. I'll increase that!

I also am taking omega 3 - Salmon oil actually, I don't really like normal fish oil since the fish are sardines and anchovies. But I did read somewhere

that any kind of omega 3 is toxic for accutane users? Unless its post-tane, but not sure.

It's more of the horror stories that have freaked me out, I will take your advice for the liver cleanses, that's another thing I'm worried about since I've been taking

every antibiotic under the sun for a couple years now, i'm sure my liver is destroyed.

Oh! Also something I've been experiencing is memory loss. Has this been an issue for you as well? I'll just completely blank out on a certain word or name, or anything. It's the most bizarre thing.

I do talk to my derm about problems, I'd rather he know than it kept a secret, but since it's a once a month thing and he's never been on it, I wanted to talk to people who are on the same journey as I am!

Also, I attached a picture of what I bought today, the blistex medicated ointment isn't in the picture but I bought that as well. I'm also using aquaphor and vaseline.

fyzqts.jpg

Fantastic! I love your new stash! smile.png So great to see your taking care of yourself. Let me know how the Aveeno spf moisturizer is. My derm always recommends them, but I'm never sure since it has fragrance in it, which can irritate things for me. Also curious about the T-gel. I used that in high school because I had bad dandruff then, but haven't had dandruff since. I haven't heard that about the fish oil being toxic while on accutane. I think if it's cod liver oil or a fish oil very high in vitamin A, it would be a problem. Maybe ask your derm? Flax oil and borage oil can also be taken instead since they don't have Vitamin A and will also help with the severe dry skin and joints.

smile.png

The aveeno spf 15 moisturizer is great! I suffer with UBER sensitive skin, and that one is oil-free, hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic made for sensitive skin, also helps reduce redness. I've had no problem with it so far and I put on a lot! I honestly LOVE Aveeno. And the T-gel seems to be working, I've only used it once, since I don't need to wash my hair that often anymore, but it's said to start working just after the first use, and I haven't seen as much dandruff as before. It has a medicine smell, but honestly, it is a million times better than dandruff.

Also, what could I ingest to help my insides/outsides? I heard milk thistle is good for your liver, is there anything else? I really don't want long term damage, I'm sure my liver is destroyed already since I've been on every antibiotic for a few years now. Hopefully this session of calavaris accutane can be my last.

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I am a twenty three year old, college graduate with my first “big kid job”. I work with youth and my acne looks like I am one of the awkward teens suffering with acne. In high school I took Accutane twice, two different rounds and it worked great. During undergraduate my skin was flawless. Over the past six months I have noticed that my skin was changing and reverting back to that awful acne that I had in high school.

At the end of May will mark my first month of treatment. I am taking 40 mg twice a day (one in the morning and one at night). I am experiencing severe dry lips, nose bleeds every morning, and the back of my hands are scabbing up. I almost feel like an elephant, I lather myself with lotion every time I get out of the shower. Every thirty mins I am applying chap stick. My fiancé jokes that we should by stock in Burt’s Bees.

It is just hard to talk about everything that I am feeling because all of my friends have flawless skin. I just want to look normal again and be able to not wear makeup on the weekends and not be embarrassed to go in public.

Lindsey

Lindsey,

I'm sorry to hear about your troubled skin, I know how you feel. I have the stubborn/bad nodule type of acne too. It's hard to deal with since none of my friends have that type of acne, if they do, it's the normal small type of pimple that I wish I had instead. sad.png

But yes, the dry everything is completely normal, you should use aquaphor lip gel for your lips, that's what I use and it's AMAZING, the second you put it on it's a relief. I also put some inside my nose to relieve dryness.

I believe you are experiencing eczema like I am. It usually targets the backs of your hands. I have some right now actually sad.png lol,

look at the picture I posted above, on the very left is aveeno eczema therapy. Works wonders!

You should also get the aveeno body wash in the picture. Basically anything in that picture will help you with severe dryness.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Thank you Gina and Hazel,

I just went to the store and dropped $90 on several products for lips, scalp, dry skin, eczema, eye drops, moisturizer.

Mostly Aveno and Nutrogena items. I do drink lots of liquids, but I could just not be drinking enough. I'll increase that!

I also am taking omega 3 - Salmon oil actually, I don't really like normal fish oil since the fish are sardines and anchovies. But I did read somewhere

that any kind of omega 3 is toxic for accutane users? Unless its post-tane, but not sure.

It's more of the horror stories that have freaked me out, I will take your advice for the liver cleanses, that's another thing I'm worried about since I've been taking

every antibiotic under the sun for a couple years now, i'm sure my liver is destroyed.

Oh! Also something I've been experiencing is memory loss. Has this been an issue for you as well? I'll just completely blank out on a certain word or name, or anything. It's the most bizarre thing.

I do talk to my derm about problems, I'd rather he know than it kept a secret, but since it's a once a month thing and he's never been on it, I wanted to talk to people who are on the same journey as I am!

Also, I attached a picture of what I bought today, the blistex medicated ointment isn't in the picture but I bought that as well. I'm also using aquaphor and vaseline.

fyzqts.jpg

Fantastic! I love your new stash! smile.png So great to see your taking care of yourself. Let me know how the Aveeno spf moisturizer is. My derm always recommends them, but I'm never sure since it has fragrance in it, which can irritate things for me. Also curious about the T-gel. I used that in high school because I had bad dandruff then, but haven't had dandruff since. I haven't heard that about the fish oil being toxic while on accutane. I think if it's cod liver oil or a fish oil very high in vitamin A, it would be a problem. Maybe ask your derm? Flax oil and borage oil can also be taken instead since they don't have Vitamin A and will also help with the severe dry skin and joints.

smile.png

The aveeno spf 15 moisturizer is great! I suffer with UBER sensitive skin, and that one is oil-free, hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic made for sensitive skin, also helps reduce redness. I've had no problem with it so far and I put on a lot! I honestly LOVE Aveeno. And the T-gel seems to be working, I've only used it once, since I don't need to wash my hair that often anymore, but it's said to start working just after the first use, and I haven't seen as much dandruff as before. It has a medicine smell, but honestly, it is a million times better than dandruff.

Also, what could I ingest to help my insides/outsides? I heard milk thistle is good for your liver, is there anything else? I really don't want long term damage, I'm sure my liver is destroyed already since I've been on every antibiotic for a few years now. Hopefully this session of calavaris accutane can be my last.

There are some great things you can do to alleviate the side effects. I wouldn't be too scared about it damaging your insides if you make sure to try as hard as possible to practice really healthy habits. I have also suffered from long-terms side effects from antibiotics. They really destroyed my digestion. HOWEVER! I have been able to get a lot better by doing some pretty key things:

  • Drinking lots of water. Aim for 2 liters a day, more if you sweat from exercise. It will help your kidneys release the accutane metabolites, meaning...you want to help your body gently detox on a daily basis.
  • Green tea will protect your cells and your liver as well.
  • Eat as many vegetables as you can! Lunch and dinner. Make half your plate vegetables. Eat some fruit as a snack, maybe with some nuts or nut butter. Or yogurt. whatever you like. Just try to eat vegetables and fruit. We've heard this a million times, but vegetables and fruit help your body detoxify drugs, especially kale, broccoli, spinach, apples. I learned this in nutrition school.
  • Try to eat some salmon or oily fish. Or at least sprinkle a tablespoon or more of ground flax seeds on your yogurt or oatmeal, smoothie, whatever. Eating more omega-3's will alleviate all the dryness and eczema. It also helps with occasional constipation if you experience that.
  • Sleep as much as you can! Your body repairs during sleep.
  • Take a probiotic since you took so many antibiotics. This has been a HUGE part of my healing process. I have to take a probiotic every day because I took antibiotics off and on for 10 years.

That's my best advice right now. :) Be good to yourself. Drink smoothies. That makes me happy! Haha

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