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andrewg6

Severe Anxiety caused by Accutane

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For the past 6 months, I have been plagued by severe anxiety and occasional anxiety and panic attacks which all started when I took Accutane at a fairly high dose. It has impacted my every day life. My dermatologist I feel increased my dosage too high and way too fast. I have tried almost everything besides medication prescribed by a doctor such as going gluten-free (which made me feel great but did not do anything for my anxiety) and by cutting caffeine out of my diet completely. I currently play collegiate baseball to which we exercise and run a ton daily. It has gotten me into the best shape of my life so far (lost 15 pounds) but yet has not had a huge influence on my anxiety so I know for a fact that my exercise is not the culprit.  My anxiety was so bad I had to cut my Accutane course short 3 months because of my horrible daily anxiety I only experienced while taking this drug. My doctor said it was not the Accutane which caused  this because of side effects supposedly suppose to vanish after 1 month off it but it still hasn't gone away and I have been off of it for months now. All my doctor told me was how to live with it not how to GET RID of it for good and get back to my normal self. He told me it wasn't the gluten which I eventually realized to be true, but I couldn't stress to him enough how I have never felt like that before until I took such a harsh drug which main side effects are ANXIETY, depression, and suicidal thoughts. 

I cleaned up my diet and made sure I was eating very healthy which made me feel more active, but like I have mentioned before my anxiety was still here. I went to the extreme of thinking I was vitamin deficient and made sure I was getting my 100% daily value of vitamins such as B and Magnesium which was good but didn't do anything for my anxiety. 

My doctor was quick to prescribe me on low dose of Zoloft and even Xanax later on when my anxiety wouldn't go away. I had done tons of research and even had gotten advice from my aunt who has been in the medical field for well over 20 years and she said to stay away from anti-depressants such as those because of the negative effects it has on the body and your overall health.  I currently have started taking one 50mg 5-HTP with B6 from Vitamin Shoppe and haven't really felt a huge difference due to the fact that I am only a week in.

The research I have studied from is of taking natural amino acids such as 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan, GABA and etc. People have mixed opinions and reviews about each, saying they have had success with it or do not try it because it either did not work or it is potentially dangerous so it is hard what to believe . I found out that Accutane actually depletes serotonin in the brain and causes them to drop too low which causes anxiety and depression. My question is that what supplement should I take that has the highest chance of curing my anxiety for good (daily dosage and brand name) and is probably the most safe. I am open to all opinions and would be truly grateful to hear your success story if you have one that could possibly help me out with my life at this moment. I am currently still dealing everyday with this generalized anxiety.

Can anyone direct me as to how I should go about treating my anxiety and by giving me possibly a solution if I am coming off oblivious to this whole matter? I would very appreciative...
P.S.  Accutane has cleared up my face still to this day (as for now at least) but has given me a bigger problem to deal with besides acne.

Edited by andrewg6

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I am so sorry to hear you are suffering with the anxiety. I would give the 5-HTP a chance as a week is not enough, though I can relate you probably want a quick solution as anxiety can be horrible. I would also continue with a clean diet, exercise, being around those who's company you enjoy. Though I don't suffer from permanent anxiety, when I am stressed or have bouts of anxiety I have found mindful meditation and EFT tapping (check out Nick Ortner) have helped. Also, I have noticed you mentioned B6 which is good to take and also maybe some b12.

I do know that some who developed anxiety after taking Accutane have had some success with L-tryptophan, which can also help with sleep if your having problems there. I would also try to stay from any high retinol rich foods. You can also maybe connect with a few in the long term suffer thread who might suffered from the same.

I hope this helps, good luck and hang in there :)

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My god, I can relate. I don't think Accutane caused mine but may have worsened it. What are your panic attacks like? My anxiety is odd and v much based around me feeling out of body on bad days, and then attacks will hit me with 2mins of complete derealisation. Sucks because it happens at literally the worst times, e.g. at restaurants, and I feel like I'm going numb, totally out of body and having some sort of stroke. It passes but is traumatic.  And so hard to explain to anyone. 

Has cutting out caffeine helped? I should try but I feel like I'd be even more nervous because caffeine helps my social anxiety and makes me feel like a more clear-headed person.

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On 11/5/2016 at 11:19 PM, oli girl said:

I am so sorry to hear you are suffering with the anxiety. I would give the 5-HTP a chance as a week is not enough, though I can relate you probably want a quick solution as anxiety can be horrible. I would also continue with a clean diet, exercise, being around those who's company you enjoy. Though I don't suffer from permanent anxiety, when I am stressed or have bouts of anxiety I have found mindful meditation and EFT tapping (check out Nick Ortner) have helped. Also, I have noticed you mentioned B6 which is good to take and also maybe some b12.

I do know that some who developed anxiety after taking Accutane have had some success with L-tryptophan, which can also help with sleep if your having problems there. I would also try to stay from any high retinol rich foods. You can also maybe connect with a few in the long term suffer thread who might suffered from the same.

I hope this helps, good luck and hang in there :)

That's pretty comforting to hear your friends had success with L-Tryptophan since 5-HTP is the same type of amino acid, just with lesser side effects and is one step closer into creating serotonin in the brain. 

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On 11/6/2016 at 9:22 AM, chicanery said:

My god, I can relate. I don't think Accutane caused mine but may have worsened it. What are your panic attacks like? My anxiety is odd and v much based around me feeling out of body on bad days, and then attacks will hit me with 2mins of complete derealisation. Sucks because it happens at literally the worst times, e.g. at restaurants, and I feel like I'm going numb, totally out of body and having some sort of stroke. It passes but is traumatic.  And so hard to explain to anyone. 

Has cutting out caffeine helped? I should try but I feel like I'd be even more nervous because caffeine helps my social anxiety and makes me feel like a more clear-headed person.

My panic attacks are random as well but it feels like every week i'm dealing with a new symptom. Back in July I went through a phase where my throat would create this dry sensation, almost like I was choking (actual proven anxiety body effect). I knew i had nothing in my throat just that a lump would randomly appear and wanted to make myself start to choke out of now where for as funny as that sounds. I also went through a phase where I would get extremely dizzy like i was about to fall over. Caffeine never really impacted my anxiety, i just quit because I was doing an intense amount of cardio and i knew it would be a great time to break my addiction. I still will have an occasional cup though. 

I totally agree with you that it is so hard to explain the symptoms you have to put up with and that the only people who understand it are the people who truly suffered from it, not those who had it for a week. But I would agree, the worst part is the intense adrenaline rush and the potential chest pains and soreness from having your heart rate pick up so fast. 

I never had any anxiety ever or panic attacks (besides anxiousness for a test) until I took accutane. That's how I know i'm not crazy and not making it up. I'm just praying to God it isn't a forever thing... Edited by andrewg6

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Im so sorry, anxiety is awful. I developed it after spironolactone use. Accutane has all sorts of effects. Depression is a big one, makes me so mad when doctors arent aware of these things. Marijuana helps me sometimes but I also have emergency attivan when smoking doesnt work. I understand its not for everyone. Vitamin D helps some with depression/anxiety if you arent already taking it. Seems like youre on the right track. 

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11 hours ago, Exning said:

Im so sorry, anxiety is awful. I developed it after spironolactone use. Accutane has all sorts of effects. Depression is a big one, makes me so mad when doctors arent aware of these things. Marijuana helps me sometimes but I also have emergency attivan when smoking doesnt work. I understand its not for everyone. Vitamin D helps some with depression/anxiety if you arent already taking it. Seems like youre on the right track. 

Ya sorry to hear you have it as well. I know a lot of people who smoke to help with theirs, but in the end it is only masking the problem and is only temporary (unless you're high 24/7 lol). Smoking in moderation can ease the symptoms but getting too high, too fast can actually trigger uncontrollable anxiety (at least for me it can). I like the idea though.

I have also seen facts online that it is proven that Accutane causes vitamin deficiencies...particularly in Vitamin D, B, and K.

I appreciate the feedback!   

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I was wondering if the people in this post could help me out. I am asking this question for my daughter who just finished taking accutane for about 5-6 months. She has always been a worrier and had anxiety but it has escalated recently when she stopped taking it. Did any of you have this happen when you stopped taking and if so, does it go away/get better with time. She stopped it 5 days ago and said her mind is racing and she can't stop it. Is this a side effect of going off of it? Thanks!

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On ‎3‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 4:53 AM, Alexishy said:

I was wondering if the people in this post could help me out. I am asking this question for my daughter who just finished taking accutane for about 5-6 months. She has always been a worrier and had anxiety but it has escalated recently when she stopped taking it. Did any of you have this happen when you stopped taking and if so, does it go away/get better with time. She stopped it 5 days ago and said her mind is racing and she can't stop it. Is this a side effect of going off of it? Thanks!

It's not a effect of stopping the medication. It actually has caused anxiety or depression in those who have never suffered before or if one suffers prior to taking Accutane it may enhance or make worse. There are some suggestions posted above posts and what have you done to help her anxiety?   diet, meditation, exercise, etc...

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Hey I just came across your post and I was wondering how its been since a few years have passed. IM currently on my 20th day of accutane and experiencing severe anxiety and depression. Im really considering stopping this drug because the anxiety is making everything in my life harder. 

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Hi! I know this thread is a few years old, but I’m dealing with the same symptoms as most of you mentioned. I’m 24 and currently ending my 2nd month of 40mg per day of Accutane. I was diagnosed with Panic disorder 2 years ago. My dermatologist said I had nothing to worry about and that I’ll be fine. I went in with a positive attitude and truly excited to finally have clear skin.

Sadly, I’ve seen my mental health decline fast these past 2 weeks :( panic attack, after panic attack. It feels like I’m back to square one. I also feel out of it and unstable when I walk If that makes sense? I’m fine when I’m laying down or sitting, it’s just when I walk around I’ll feel dizzy and it won’t go away. 

Im seeing my dermatologist tomorrow so hopefully I get blood work done and thoroughly answers. 

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