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It's my first day of taking Claravis... So this is my first attempt at keeping a record of my newest fight against acne... I'm a 30 year old woman who has dealt with acne since puberty. It was really terrible during middle and high school, but by college I was on birth control consistently and it really evened things out for many years. The problem is that in the last 8 months or so, my acne got really bad. Breakouts around my jawline and ears were especially terrible, and I'd never dealt with that kind of acne before. Before it was usually just on my chin and sometimes forehead, and occasionally near my nose during my period. I generally didn't have particularly good skin, but it was manageable. I learned the jawline breakouts are hormonal and fairly normal around age 30, but my skin was worse than it had ever been since I was a teenager.
 
At this point, I was ready to do some serious work to finally fight it. I went on oral antibiotics (Solodyn), as well as topical tretinoin (Atralin) and benzoyl peroxide (Onexton), which weren't terribly effective but did help. After a few months though they just really didn't help much so my dermatologist and I decided to try out Accutane in its current form... I shied away from it in the past, but now I'm 30 and don't want to deal with terrible skin anymore. I have to say I'm pretty nervous, but optimistic.
 
So today I took my first dose of Claravis, 40 mg. Since you're supposed to take it with a big meal, I took it with a bowl of homemade beef stew and a fish oil capsule. My stomach is a little queasy (I wouldn't say I'm nauseated but I don't feel great), and my mouth is a little dry... So maybe this is due to the pill, but it's a little early to tell.
 
To mitigate the side effects, I'm trying to use as many preventive treatments and be as proactive as possible. I moisturized the hell out of my skin already. I always drink a lot of water, so will up that as much as I can. I also already regularly moisturize as soon as I'm out of the shower, and plan to do so before bed as well. I also keep lots of lip balm and hand moisturizer with me at all times, so I try to will be prepared... 
 
Question 1: I've read that fish oil is good for keeping your skin and hair healthy, and keeping them from drying out too much. Has anyone had any experience with this? Does it seem to have any effect on dryness? I anticipate serious dryness no matter what, of course, but I'm trying to keep it in check. 
 
Question 2: I also have heard about taking biotin for hair loss--this is something I'm really afraid of, since I actually really like my hair! Has anyone had any positive results by taking biotin along with Accutane or Claravis? 
 
Any feedback or support is much appreciated. I will try to post as often as possible in order to help others and track my progress... Thanks! 

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Edited by queenannie
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Welcome to the journey! The biggest advice I can give you is to stay optimistic. Accutane will test you emotionally and sometime might make you wish you never started taking it. But with patience you will reap the rewards. 

The dryness is unavoidable for most. Some people dont get dryness, which is surprising. For those that do, its chronic and sometimes painful. The dryness for me is to the point where I get out of the shower and glob on cetaphil, which is the thickest moisturizer I have found, and within an hour my skin is tight again from dryness. Some people have it alot less. 

Another thing I can suggest is to be aware of changes in your body, but do not focus too much on them. This is advice my derm gave me. Things happen in life that you never give much thought, but when you are on accutane you think everything is because of accutane. Like your example of the stomach being upset, it most likely was the accutane that made you queezy, but it could just be something in the stew, or the fish oil. Thinking everything is Accutane's fault can drive you mad. Also, know that there are alot of very common side effects, and you will most likely experience them. I fall victim to this one too, I started getting the dreaded accutane rash on the back of my hand like everyone else, and I started thinking I was allergic to something and freaked out. It went away in a day with some moisturizer.

Remember to stay positive and read about others journey.

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7 hours ago, queenannie said:

It's my first day of taking Claravis... So this is my first attempt at keeping a record of my newest fight against acne... I'm a 30 year old woman who has dealt with acne since puberty. It was really terrible during middle and high school, but by college I was on birth control consistently and it really evened things out for many years. The problem is that in the last 8 months or so, my acne got really bad. Breakouts around my jawline and ears were especially terrible, and I'd never dealt with that kind of acne before. Before it was usually just on my chin and sometimes forehead, and occasionally near my nose during my period. I generally didn't have particularly good skin, but it was manageable. I learned the jawline breakouts are hormonal and fairly normal around age 30, but my skin was worse than it had ever been since I was a teenager.

At this point, I was ready to do some serious work to finally fight it. I went on oral antibiotics (Solodyn), as well as topical tretinoin (Atralin) and benzoyl peroxide (Onexton), which weren't terribly effective but did help. After a few months though they just really didn't help much so my dermatologist and I decided to try out Accutane in its current form... I shied away from it in the past, but now I'm 30 and don't want to deal with terrible skin anymore. I have to say I'm pretty nervous, but optimistic.

So today I took my first dose of Claravis, 40 mg. Since you're supposed to take it with a big meal, I took it with a bowl of homemade beef stew and a fish oil capsule. My stomach is a little queasy (I wouldn't say I'm nauseated but I don't feel great), and my mouth is a little dry... So maybe this is due to the pill, but it's a little early to tell.

To mitigate the side effects, I'm trying to use as many preventive treatments and be as proactive as possible. I moisturized the hell out of my skin already. I always drink a lot of water, so will up that as much as I can. I also already regularly moisturize as soon as I'm out of the shower, and plan to do so before bed as well. I also keep lots of lip balm and hand moisturizer with me at all times, so I try to will be prepared... 

Question 1: I've read that fish oil is good for keeping your skin and hair healthy, and keeping them from drying out too much. Has anyone had any experience with this? Does it seem to have any effect on dryness? I anticipate serious dryness no matter what, of course, but I'm trying to keep it in check. 

Question 2: I also have heard about taking biotin for hair loss--this is something I'm really afraid of, since I actually really like my hair! Has anyone had any positive results by taking biotin along with Accutane or Claravis? 

Any feedback or support is much appreciated. I will try to post as often as possible in order to help others and track my progress... Thanks! 


Hey annie! I thought I'd reply to let you know your not alone on this journey. Maybe we can encourage/support
eachother through this process. Good to know I'm not alone. I just started Accutane a couple days ago. Its Day 3 for me. Its funny how similiar our stories are and I have the exact same questions... I heard about fish oil for joint pIain and taking b. complex
vitamins... My GP said I'm young (23) and shouldnt need it, as long as I have a well balanced diet.  So I'm just trying to eat as healthy as I can. I did notice I had some stomach queesyness as well.. its bearable.. Although, I always have stomach issues so Its too early for me to tell if its a side effect or not. 

On a side note, fish oil/biotin might be the culprit for your stomach.. I used to take both before Accutane and I'd complain right away. So test out what works for you. I'm also concerned about my hair too.. Hopefully someone replies to this thread with some helpful preventative tips lol 

Anyway, best of luck with everything!! You can do this. 
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Happy Monday! It's been almost a week that I've been on Claravis, and I'm feeling good!! My face has already gotten less oily, so that's a plus. But I also have noticed it is more sensitive and red after I get out of the shower and my lips are getting a bit dry especially towards the end of the day. I've combated these by using plenty of moisturizer all the time, only using mild Cetaphil cleanser, and very gently patting my face dry. I use lip balm all day--I have about 3 in my various bags at all times and one is on hand by my bedside, on my desk, on my dresser, etc. And before I go to bed at night I am using both a lip moisturizer and then vaseline over that (the vaseline works to seal in the moisture and it helps it stay for hours!). I've only had a few tiny new breakouts, which are not a big deal. So at least my skin isn't going crazy (yet!). 

I am really concerned with side effects, however, I'm really wondering about supplements! I'm taking fish oil and was considering taking Vitamin E as well, but found this study that said it didn't do anything to reduce side effects: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15807739. However, that is from 10 years ago... 

Then I found another one that said that a dietary supplement containing "gamma linolenic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, betacarotene, coenzyme Q10 and Vitis Vitifera" was helpful in reducing side effects, and it's only from 2014 so seems much more relevant! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25068233 I looked into GLA and have seen it mentioned here as well, it's an omega-6 fatty acid. However, apparently you can get most of this from your regular diet, so I'm going to continue with the fish oil, which is an omega-3 fatty acid, as it is good for skin and hair and apparently for fighting depressive effects of isotretinoin. 

I also found this study that shows there IS a clinically significant effect of omega-3 fatty acids on people taking isotretinoin, though it doesn't discuss dryness of skin, but "hypertriglyceridemia," which is not applicable to me... Nothing scientifically conclusive about fish oil and Accutane so far, but from reading online, people seem to respond positively to it even if just anecdotally, so I'm going to stick with it every day just for the sake of my skin and hair.

I don't want to overwork my liver with supplements that aren't proven to be effective, but I may try adding Vitamin E, C, D, and zinc, maybe just one a day in rotation. I figure it doesn't hurt to try to add some additional nutrients that my diet might not always include, right? 

So we'll see what happens in the coming weeks! I'm going to keep trying to find science-based evidence for what supplements can mitigate the effects of Accutane, and if anyone finds more please post them! Good luck, everyone...

THANKS!

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Edited by queenannie
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Following alone girl! Thanks again for stopping by my log. Do you get cystic acne too? Or just pustules, whiteheads, blackheads, etc? I'll have to look into the fish oil thing, sounds interesting! Are you going to up your fish intake in general too?

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