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Carys

The Accutane Show

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I don't know if it's common to start your 'Tane journal before you actually begin taking it, but I'm going to do that since I'll most likely be starting it tomorrow or the next day (if my triglycerides {sp} come back ok).

Background info: I'm a 26 yr old female who has been battling adult acne since I turned 18. I've had periods of relative clarity and other periods of horrific breakouts. The only time after my acne started that I was completely clear was during the time I was pregnant w/my son and for one year afterwards. Then, slowly but surely, the acne came back.

My acne is moderate and persistant and I've taken everything OTC and prescription that I've been offered, my last combo being Retin-A Micro (.1%) and Ortho-Tri-Cyclen. My doctor right now says that, obviously, I'll have to continue to take the OTC and resume RAM usage once I'm off the 'tane.

Anyway, I hope I'm not jinxing myself by starting this journal early! I'm really excited to start this stuff and get myself clearer!!!!!!

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I don't know if it's common to start your 'Tane journal before you actually begin taking it, but I'm going to do that since I'll most likely be starting it tomorrow or the next day (if my triglycerides {sp} come back ok).

Background info:  I'm a 26 yr old female who has been battling adult acne since I turned 18.  I've had periods of relative clarity and other periods of horrific breakouts.  The only time after my acne started that I was completely clear was during the time I was pregnant w/my son and for one year afterwards.  Then, slowly but surely, the acne came back. 

My acne is moderate and persistant and I've taken everything OTC and prescription that I've been offered, my last combo being Retin-A Micro (.1%) and Ortho-Tri-Cyclen.  My doctor right now says that, obviously, I'll have to continue to take the OTC and resume RAM usage once I'm off the 'tane. 

Anyway, I hope I'm not jinxing myself by starting this journal early!  I'm really excited to start this stuff and get myself clearer!!!!!!

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That sounds awesome! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out and I can get my prescrip tomorrow.

I'll definitely be keeping a lookout for your journal! Good luck to you, too!

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Well, I managed to score a visit w/the dr this morning. I'll be going in about two hours so I should know for sure by then if my labs came back ok.

Hopefully, I'll be starting my course by tomorrow morning!

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Just got back from the Dr's! My triglycerides were perfect and she said my cholesterol was the BEST she's ever seen. She said it was sooo good she had to ask the lab if they had made a mistake since my readings for good cholesterol were super high and my bad was almost nonexistant! YAY exercise!

Anyway, the doc put me on 40 mg/day straight-off. Is this normal? I though most people started out at a smaller dose, but if this works, than so be it. And I ended up w/Claravis instead of actual Accutane, but it's all the same, isn't it? And it only cost me $3 for a month's supply so I can't be too picky about that. Every pharmacy I called didn't even have the Accutane brand in stock, so I didn't have a choice.

I hope I don't have too much of an initial breakout, but I guess that's one of those details that you can't predict, huh? I would hope not, seeing as how I've been using Retin-A Micro faithfully right up to today and that's supposedly the topical version of this stuff. I don't know, I just want to get this next six months over with (assuming I'm even able to complete the whole course, knock on wood!).

I also bought some Eucerin daily renewal lotion, some foot balm (I tend to get seriously calloused feet because I run a lot) and some Aquaphor. I suppose tomorrow I'll go pick up some vitamins because I totally brain-farted that detail while waiting for my 'scrip to get filled.

I'll take the first pill tomorrow morning. Here goes nothing!!!

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Twocanyon,

eusa_dance.gif I know!! But I'm sort of freaked in a way, too!!! :crossing fingers for both of us:

One thing I think we both should avoid is reading the prescription medicine forum here. I just made that mistake and saw a thread regarding people who regretted taking isotretinoin and I wish I could "unread" that stuff!! It was a little scary!!!!!

Ok, I'm going to exercise now and then eat something so I can take my first pill. PLEASE LORD, LET IT WORK AND NOT PRACTICALLY KILL ME IN THE MEANTIME!

eusa_pray.gif

Also, for anyone else who may happen to be reading this, how do you post pics in the gallery? I took some baseline photos today that I'd like to post (even though they're embarassing) to keep track of my progress. I tried to figure it out, but I guess I'm somehow not getting it! Thanks in advance!

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Day One: Just took my first pill about five minutes ago on a full tummy. Had perogies and a glass of 2% milk w/Ovaltine for breakfast, so hopefully that has enough fat to aid in absorption. I also took 1 1200 mg Omega 3 tablet and one 400 IU vitamin E tab.

I feel dizzy right now, but that's because I hyped myself up before I took the pill. I just need to chill out and not worry so much!

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hahah, excited about a tablet wacko.gif ... I've been taking tablets for like 5years now (2 per day) and when i started roaccutane it was like just another tablet... ahhhhh.

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hi carys,

congratulations on getting accutane. I'm curious about your reaction to the metrocream you talked about in your other thread. Did it help?

verini

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hi carys,

congratulations on getting accutane. I'm curious about your reaction to the metrocream you talked about in your other thread. Did it help?

verini

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hahah, excited about a tablet  wacko.gif ... I've been taking tablets for like 5years now (2 per day) and when i started roaccutane it was like just another tablet... ahhhhh.

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hahah, excited about a tablet  wacko.gif ... I've been taking tablets for like 5years now (2 per day) and when i started roaccutane it was like just another tablet... ahhhhh.

Wow, taking meds for 5 years!! Well, I guess I'm pretty much the same, except my treatments have been more along the lines of topicals, I guess.

Hope things are going well for you. I see you should be done soon w/your course!

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Hi, Carys -

I just started my Accutane course today - I'm a 24 y/o female with acne for what seems like forever. It has always been mild-moderate, never severe, but I had my worst break out ever with lots of cysts this summer - after trying lots of things, I decided to bite the bullet and go with the Accutane. I was on it for a week earlier this summer but my hair began falling out enough to make me quit the Accutane and make one last last-ditch effort using antibiotics (my derm says it might not have even been the Accutane that was causing the hairloss - 1 week is a little early to begin to see hairloss). Well, they worked okay, but whenever I try to taper off of them, I break out again. . . so here I am. I am on 40/80mg per day (average of 60mg per day), and I weigh around 100-105. So that's a pretty hefty dose to start with, but I hear the larger the daily dose, the better the chance of remaining clear, so I'm ready for it.

Here's what I am doing to try to control any side effects: 400 IU vit. E daily, 3 mg Biotin (can possibly reduce degree of hairloss), lots of body lotion (haven't put any on the face yet - still pretty oily, obviously, since I just took my first pill an hour ago), I might think about adding fish oil to halp with the cholesterol, but I think I'll wait to get my 1-month lab results before taking it - I hear they taste pretty nasty, I've got Cetaphil cleanser and lotion waiting for me when I start to dry out. . . until then I'll continue using my Clinique salicylic acid cleanser, Carmex works wonders for my cracked dry lips in the winter - figure it will also work well with the Accutane - if not, I hear Aquaphor is very good, I'm also preparing for dry eyes and plan on using Systane drops (I have dry eyes to begin with, and this drop is the only thing I've tried that lessens the irritation). Just trying to keep things simple. . . My first Accutane experience wasn't long enough to really experience the side effects, so I don't really know what to expect!

I should probably begin my own log, seeing as I have just been posting in others' logs. . . maybe later. . . .

Anyway, just wanted to wish you good luck, and I'll be looking forward to any updates!

- C.

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Hi Lemurlover,

I'm wondering at all these high doses if I'm not on a high enough one myself! I don't want to have to go through this a second time!!! I hope at my next appointment I can convince my doc to up it just in case, if I'm tolerating it well. I weigh about 115 at 5'5", so I would think I could stand to use a higher dose. We'll see, I guess!

I'm talking vitamin E and Omega-3 supplements, but that's it. I sincerely hope they can help battle whatever side effects I might end up having. I'm using the Purpose cleanser and cetaphil lotion for now, but am still dotting on the bp on trouble spots (something I'll discontinue when the dryness sets in, of course). I already use a good body lotion so hopefully that'll be enough as well.

I'm so excited to get this ball rolling. Right now, I'm just waiting for the side effects to kick in. Day two hasn't been any different from the first day!

Good luck to you and I'll be checking your log if you decide to keep one!

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Day Three: Still no side effects yet. I had some cysts that seem to be clearing up rather fast on the sides of my chin, but those were already on their way out before I even started taking Claravis. I have one that I can't decide if it's coming or going on my forehead. It's underground, but it doesn't hurt, so I'm confused by it. Is it coming up or not?

Anyway, aside from the hyperpigmentation on the sides of my chin from the old cysts, my face isn't too bad off. I can't see any blackheads or many whiteheads, so that's nice. It's weird, but I feel like this stuff is working already, but that could be the placebo effect!

I also have been giving my face a break from makeup as much as possible, especially after the fiasco w/the last foundation I used. (L'Oreal Infallible) After using that stuff, my face got SOOOO much worse than normal. I've since switched back to a mineral foundation when I do wear makeup and I think that has made a huge difference. When I was wearing the Infallible, I would get a new cyst every one to two days and the cysts that I did have on the sides of my chin seemed to stick around FOREVER and were much LARGER than usual. Plus, I started to get zits in areas where I NEVER break out, which was how I knew it was the makeup that was causing all this mayhem. What a horrible foundation for my skin! I only used it for 2 1/2 weeks, but it was enough to see that stuff was not helping me in the least!

Well, I'm going to exercise and get my day going.

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Just exercised (no problems there yet) and took a shower washing w/Purpose and my face is DRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. Moisturized, but it still feels mighty-tighty! I called my hubby @ work and asked him if he had plans for us tonight because I'd rather just sit around the house w/no makeup on for the evening! He said he was supposed to call a guy about plans, but that he would try to suggest tomorrow rather than anything for this evening. WHEW. Thank you, honey!

I have to go downstairs and eat something so I can take my pills, but I'm afraid I can't open my mouth enough to get anything in! EEEP! Maybe this is how some people end up losing weight on this stuff. I don't really want to drop any more weight at all, so it figures if it did happen to me. I'd look like a malnourshed stick if I weighed any less and I don't want my doc to lower my dose! (Isn't that what happens if you lose too much weight?)

Ok, on w/the day! Gotta get this house cleaned up! My last day of freedom till school starts on Monday! BOO HOO! cry.gif

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Hey thanks for posting on my log. I swear time seems to go so slowly while on Accutane. I'm about 2 weeks in and still too early to tell if its working. But oil production is way down, i have absolutely no oil on my face. I used to have to wash my face maybe 3 times a day to control the oil but now i don't even have to wash it at all, although i still do twice a day.

The first week it seemed as though it pushed all the oil to the surface of my skin, I WAS OILIER THAN EVER!..but its gone now. okay i'm rambling uh oh.

Anyways good luck. we're in this together.

ouch, school. glad i'm done with school. confused.gif

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Hi Smileinyoursleep,

Yeah, in some respects it does seem that time is creeping by, but I think once I start school on Mon, the time will fly by. Especially since my son will be starting preschool the week after and I'll be busy shuffling back and forth between his school and mine. My husband is also starting school (along w/working full-time) so this semester should be interesting around my house! If anything, it'll give me less time to obsess about my facial progress in front of a mirror! Probably a good thing!

Day Four: I haven't taken my pills yet because, as usual, I'm going to exercise first and I always do that on an empty stomach. I can't run w/anything in my gut, even if it's been hours after eating, because I just get the worst HEARTBURN if I do.

Woke up this morning w/very dry eyes and bloody boogies (lovely!) but other than that, not much else to report. I thought I felt some weird muscle pains in my calves but perhaps that was just my body waking up. No real difference in my face, except that it looks like it's clearing up rapidly. I would say this was awesome, but my face usually improves during the week of my period. Starting sometime late next week and all the way up to my period, my face usually starts to breakout, so I'll get more excited in the next few weeks if things stay the same or improve more.

I've read so many places that 'tane won't really help hormonally related breakouts, which I'm convinced that I suffer from! I tried to get my doc to give me an antiandrogen first, but she wouldn't hear any of it and said Claravis was the way to go, so she better be right or I'll be PISSED OFF!!! I told my husband my concerns and he said that if Claravis doesn't work, he'll do whatever it takes to get me seen by an endocrinologist (if my stubborn doc refuses to refer me) even if he has to pay for it himself. I heart my hubby! wub.gif He totally understands how frustrating this has been for me and has suffered w/me because I've canceled out on plans he's made for us so many times. I feel like acne prevents me from being the kind of wife/mom I really want to be. I've been brave enough to take my son out, because it seriously isn't fair to him to keep him cooped up in the house all the time due to his mom's zits! But I hardly enjoy myself when I'm all broken out and count the minutes till I can take him back home and hide myself in the house.

I don't know, I'm just gabbing on and on here. Today, things seem ok, which is good because we're probably going to have to go hang out w/some of my hubby's friends today. I just want my skin to be good next week when my classes start again.

Here's hoping it'll all work out well in the end! eusa_pray.gif

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Hi, Carys -

Wow - you are dry already on only day 4? That's great! I'm on day 3 now, and don't really notice anything except redness. . . I have very fair skin to begin with, and I just know that I am going to end up looking like a tomato. . .

I must say that you are very lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive husband. My boyfriend of nearly 3 years is wonderful as well, except that he does not support my decision to take Accutane. He says that the fact that I have acne doesn't matter at all, which is very sweet of him, but he just doesn't understand how much it affects my self-confidence, and it really bothers him to see me get so down about 'nothing.' He doesn't know that I took it for a while in the summer - I had mentioned taking it before, and he was upset that I was even considering it. So now that I am back on it, I am afraid to tell him. And of course he'll be even more upset over the fact that I waited to tell him until after I actually started taking it. My passive-aggressiveness really gets me into trouble!

Anyway, I also am concerned that my acne might not respond very well to Accutane, as I have suspicions that my acne may be hormonal in nature. I really don't notice much of a change in my skin around my period, but my acne is almost exclusively on my chin and around my mouth and jawline - I have heard that this can be indicative of hormonal acne, but I don't know if this is true or not. I asked the PA who prescribed my Accutane the first time about this, and she didn't know (my derm. was booked, so I had to see the PA instead). I also read somewhere that acne in adult women is almost always hormonal. . . I had my hormones checked, and everything was supposedly fine as far as my testosterone levels, so I don't know where that leaves me. My derm. said that I had about a 75% chance of remaining clear, but who really knows. . . I feel like it is all kind of a crapshoot. I'll have to ask my derm. when I go back in September. . . I would like to assume that if the Accutane injures the sebaceous glands to render them ineffective, it shouldn't matter how much testosterone is floating around - unless it can somehow re-activate the sebaceous glands? Who knows - I'm not a doctor. . . I'm just going to continue taking the pills, cross my fingers, and hope for the best!

Well, I need to get back to my work - I'm also in school full-time. This message board is certainly addicting! I did start a journal by the way. . . feel free to visit if you're interested!

Good luck to you!

- C.

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Hi LL,

I'm sorry you haven't been able to confide in your bf about your 'tane experience. I can understand you not wanting to say anything, though, if he doesn't clearly get why acne bothers you so much. That's why my husband is great. He doesn't have acne (clearest face in the WORLD, lucky him!) but he struggles w/weight issues. He's not overweight, but like most males, has troubles w/his midsection and the fact that he doesn't have a six-pack drives him insane sometimes. To me, his weight "problem" is minimal and not much to get all upset about, but to him it's very psychologically distressing, kinda like how my acne is to me. He obsesses over his stomach and has "fat days" that send him into a serious meltdown. On days where he feels ok and his uniform is fitting well, he's happy as can be. But on his down days, he's seems like he's got a bit of a cloud hanging over his head.

Anyway, he gets why my acne upsets me so much because even though to him it doesn't seem that serious, to me it wrecks my life in so many ways that I'm willing to risk the side effects to get what I want (CLEAR SKIN!). He's the same about his tummy, wanting eventually to get lipo for that six pack he's always working so hard to get but never seems to materialize for him.

I'm glad for all of us who are trying to battle acne that we have these boards! Even though I can talk to my hubby about it, I don't want to take up all his extra time yammering on about it, so this place rocks for getting out all the crap that's on my mind, acne-wise!

I know how you feel about wondering if this stuff will end up working for us in the end. I'm w/you though. Might as well take the pills and hope for the best! I think if the sebaceous glands are killed off (or severely reduced in function) then the amount of hormones floating around shouldn't matter at all, so I agree w/your hypothesis!

I'm going to go make some dinner now! I just got done w/my psych homework so I need to take some time and hang w/the fam! I'll be checking your journal soon!

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Day Five: I think I *might* be a little dryer, but not much. My lips are definitely starting to get more chapped and that stinks, but the Aquaphor is really helping in that department. I know I said I thought I was dry yesterday, but about halfway through the day I realized my face was an oil slick still. Oh well!

As far as any new blemishes, today I think I have one possible cyst brewing directly in the middle of my chin! ICK! I'm thinking this might be part of the initial breakout since I rarely ever get acne in the middle of my chin. It's usually only on the sides and in that area, things seem to be clearing up rapidly, aside from one little baby zit, which is NOTHING compared to the usual state of things.

No overall redness yet, just my chin seems to be redder. Weird, huh? I bought some samples of mineral makeup to use when I have to go out in public, but for the most part I'm trying to go makeup-free as much as possible. I tried the to use one of the samples yesterday, but sort of screwed up the application because it's a loose powder mineral and I'm used to working w/pressed versions. Anyway, all day yesterday I ended up looking like a makeup freak. It didn't help that the shade I used was probably a few shades lighter than my neck. I started out w/too much of the powder on my chisel brush and when I went to apply it to my chin, it was just foundation OVERLOAD. I didn't want to wash it off, though, and risk drying my face out to the point where makeup application would have been troublesome, so I just grinned and beared it for the day. The only complaint (aside from the application, which was more my fault) I have is that this particular brand smells weird, like old sunscreen and it didn't fade during the day at all, but seemed to get stronger. I'm hoping the next time I use it and manage to put it on a bit sheerer, that won't happen. Other than that, it seemed to stay on pretty well and covered great. Now we just have to hope that it doesn't break me out more as well!!!!! It shouldn't, since it doesn't have mica or bismuth oxychloride in it.

I hope this underground biggie dies off before tomorrow. It's my first day of physics class and I'd just like to go and get the first day over with w/as little skin disturbances as possible!!!! eusa_pray.gif

More updates to follow!

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Midday post!

All of a sudden, I'm super tired. Like I could fall asleep right now!! Also, my back feels a little stiff. Not painful, but a bit on the immobile side.

Gonna go take a nap for a few! ninja.gif

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Day Six: No real difference yet. Still oily and stuff. The smaller baby zits from yesterday have dried up and left town, along w/a bigger cyst that also dried up. That would be EXCELLENT, ecept for the fact that another whitehead next to an old extinguished cyst has become more inflammed and larger overnight on the right side of my chin! It doesn't hurt, though, so hopefully it'll just come up and go fast. It doesn't bother me as much, strangely, when the bumps aren't tender.

I had one little baby zit coming up on my left eyebrow and I got overzealous and tried to pop it. WHOOPS! Wasn't ready yet! Hopefully, I didn't just make things ultra-worse and it doesn't swell up to a ginormous cyst. Oh well, that's what I get for picking, huh?

Over all, I only have one active zit (possible cyst) a few closed comedones and one baby zit. Still dreading the onset of the infamous IB (stealing your abbreviation, Lemurlover!). OK correction: I just got up to go pee and looked in the mirror and found that inflammed whitehead I thought was turning into a cyst has already come to a head!??! Wow! Not complaining about that!

Hm, side effects to date, all of which have come and gone already: Backache, headache, dry eyes, ankle pain. Still contending w/today: Bloody boogies (ICKY!)

I've already gone through my first pack of Claravis and have opened the 2nd blister pack of 10 pills. Has anyone else found the "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" labels plastered all over the packaging slightly over-the-top? I mean, I understand why they do it, it's just so MUCH, you know? I also find trying to get the damn pills out of the packaging a BITCH, for sure! I'm always scared I"m going to accidentally break the damn capsule open because I have to press so damn hard on the blister pack to get it out!

Tonight's first night of Physic's class. I'm dreading having to go and face a bunch of fresh-faced youngsters while I have my icky blemoids to contend with! I'm gonna get there early so I can get a seat in the back!!!! ninja.gif A part of me is really looking forward to it as well, so I can get this school stuff over with!!! WOO HOO!!!!!

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