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cgs2020

Starting Accutane in October, Really Need Advice

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First let me say...

What a wonderful site! surprised.gif

It’s so unreal to go from the 'real world' where the few (sometimes many) idiots that rome it, give you those rude glares eusa_eh.gif , muffed laughs, and/or blatant acts of stupidity but then to come here, where people go out of their way to help you, not hurt you. As for me, I’ve finally decided to go on Accutane (Sotret) and will be starting (hopefully) right in the beginning of October, and I have this site to thank because from reading the personal Accutane experiences here, I see that it’s not some mind altering suicide drug, but the closest way to a cure with some unfortunate, but bearable, side-effects and that’s at the heart of this post. I can bear dry cracking lips, achy joints, dry scaly skin (my skin is MONSTEROUSLY oily so that would be a welcome change), and the other more common side-effects that you have to accept with this drug. What I cannot and am unwilling to take a chance on is…HAIRLOSS shock.gif . That is absolutely terrifying. I don’t want to trade ‘pizza face’ for ‘chrome dome’. Actually I am willing to shed a few, as long as I was reassured that it was only temporary and would not become a permanent pattern. So I ask from the Accutane veterans and more recent users here, have you experienced an unusual amount of hairloss while on the drug? After your treatment period ended, did your hair return to normal? And most important, if you have any tips and/or advice on how to handle the side-effects of Accutane please, please do post them! It would be tremendously appreciated wub.gif. I do not want to run face first into Accutane so I’m asking for as much help as possible beforhand.

Thanks!

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Im 2 months in now, the recent page of my log is My Weblog and no, I have not experienced hairloss. I was worried about that and asked, and most said there was no problem as its quite rare, but people use Nioxin (in the US) if they do have it. Dont fret, it wil make it more likely to happen!

Good luck, Ill post more on side effects soon nut Im off to bed.

Vanessa wink.gif

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I can sympathize with the fear of losing your hair. . .

I was on Accutane earlier this summer, but stopped my course when I felt that it was making my hair fall out (I was on Accutane for a total of 1 week). I decided at that point to give the old antibiotics one last hurrah along with a new topical - Tazorac.

However, I just recently went back on Accutane, as the antibiotics didn't do too much, and the Tazorac made my skin fall off - seriously. I'm on day 10 now, and I have not experienced any hairloss.

What my dermatologist said about the hairloss: he said that one week would be very early to have been experiencing hairloss from the Accutane. So, most likely, what I thought was hairloss from Accutane was probably due to some other factor, for hair has its own cycles of loss/growth that can be influenced by any number of factors (including stress, of which I was experiencing a great deal at that time). He also said that of the many people who he has seen through courses of Accutane, he has never seen more than a little bit of thinning, and in those cases, the hair always grew back. In the late 80s, he had called Roche, the manufacturer of Accutane, and asked about permanent hairloss, and as of then, no cases had been reported. Granted that was a while ago, but Accutane had been on the market for a considerable amount of time before then, so I would think that any cases of permanent loss would have surfaced by the late 80s. Hearing all this put me at ease, and I am bound and determined to finish my course of Accutane regardless of what happens with my hair. The chances of my hair thinning noticeably are very slim and the chances of it not growing back are even slimmer. I just try not to stress out about each and every hair that falls out, since the loss of up to 100-150 hairs a day is considered normal.

I am willing to trade hair for clear skin. I rationalize: acne is physically painful (I get a lot of cysts) and emotionally painful, whereas hairloss is just emotionally painful. I don't really like my hair as it is anyway, so I'm not too attached. . . at least that is what I tell myself.

Good luck with your decision and feel free to peek in at my log if you're curious!

- C.

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i'm on day 7, i was showering and washing my hair this morning and i saw some hair like about 6 strands fell out, i'm a guy so its no biggie, its the other side effect you should be worried about.

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Thanks Vanessa for the fast response, I'll be looking foward to your advice regarding your experience with the side-effects.

Simply, what other side-effects should I be worrying about that I don't know of and how could I go about preparing for them?

Lemur thats so interesting because my derm asked me to choose between Retin-A Micro and Tazorac before taking Accutane because in my state its required by law that a derm prescribe something beforehand. I was not familiar at all with Tazorac so I choose to take the Retin-A, but she said something that almost changed my mind. She said that Tazorac is "just like" Accutane in the way it treats the acne in your skin. I didn't know quite what to do so I asked for a sample of the Tazorac along with the Retin-A she already had given me, but she had run out. So instead she gave me a prescription to purchase it along with a $20 mail-in rebate which I found odd because I thought rebates were meant for computers and such, not acne cream, but now I have come to find that it costs around $100 for the tube! But compared to the cost of Accutane I guess its not that outragous. Although it is very distressing to read that it nearly took your face off along with the acne and that my derm thought it was a good idea for me. I did additional research and learned that Tazorac is not like Accutane in respects that it does not shrink or destroy overactive sebacous glands (my main problem), instead it stabilizes follicle sheding (if I am interpereting it correctly). So I have to come to the unfortunate conclusion that my derm is not the omniscient professional I thought she was.

As for the advice with the side-effects, I was wondering if you could present it in a two column fashion such as this:

Dry Lips: Aquaphor every one hour

And so on

Vanessa, Simply and Lemur, thank you all three for your responses, it did not go unnoticed.

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You're very welcome. . . smile.gif

Yes, Tazorac was Terrible, at least for me. The dermatologist I saw said that people usually experience greater irritation with Retin-A Micro than with Tazorac, but I had completely the opposite response. I had been using Retin-A Micro (and the original when micro hadn't yet come out - I'm so old!) every day, and really didn't experience much irritation at all. Initially, I had some dryness and peeling, but that quickly went away. I also would flush more easily, but that's about the extent of the side effects with Retin-A. When I went on Tazorac, I started with a twice weekly application, and even then, my skin was so painful and red and peeley - much more so than I have yet experienced on Accutane, if you can believe that (I am only on day 12, though). . . So, although it sounds like you really don't have the choice, I would definitely just go with the Accutane. You have a good chance of remaining clear after your course, after which your side effects should go away. With the topicals, who knows when the itching/peeling/burning will go away. I stuck it out with the Taz for 9 weeks and the side effects never let up. So, in my mind, if the Tazorac is going to make me ugly, red, peely, and uncomfortable, I might as well experience much of the same with Accutane, knowing that it is only temporary and that there is a good chance of remaining clear after the course. Not that there aren't serious side effects to consider with Accutane, but you catch my drift. . .

Good luck with wherever your treatment may lead you!

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I'm really thankful for the people who have posted, but...

What I really need are tips!!! eusa_pray.gif

I need to know what the side-effects are and what to do about each, such as this:

Dry Lips : Aquaphor every hour

I know that tip and a few others from reading the accutane experiences here, but I ,and I'm sure so many others out there reading this thread could really use additional knowledge when it comes to coping with accutane's side-effects.

So now I ask the people using accutane or who have completed the course to please share your knowledge with the rest of us who are about to go through what you have.

Please Post.

Thank you

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Drink tons of water. I drink at least 2 liters usually 3-4 litres of water and always take the tane with high fat meals. ALWAYS. And do cardio so you sweat for a good 20-30 minutes 3x a week. It REALLY helps to clear out the pores. If you're not in great shape, brisk walking would work. But it has to be brisk with arms pumping and all that.

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WOW. Two liters is a lot. How many times do you end up having to go to the bathroom everyday? Well, thank you for the tips, it seems that only a handful of people have some to offer.

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Well, I haven't counted how many times I've gone per day, but it's definitely a lot. Ideally, people are supposed to drink 2 liters per day for a healthy lifestyle anyway. Since tane dehydrates and I exercise, I try to drink 3-4 liters. Also, take vitamin C, at least 200mg per day because it helps protect the vitamin E and A in your body as well as helping to build collagen to repair your skin.

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hehe listen to the homie above, he knows what he's doing, i'm goin to drop the b-6 n start vitamin C soon...also u might wanna get a really GOOD MOISTURIZER that is cosmetic free n fragrance free

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tips to deal with accutane. this is the list you requested i've been on it for a month and a half on a high dosage. however im from australia so the brands may differ.

lethargy- no cure as far as i can tell; just soldier thorugh it in my case it faded in a week

dry lips- carmex "for cold sores" usually found at a chemist. www.carma-labs.com

dry skin- cetaphil cream for night time and any time when not exposed to the sun

dry skin- sun sense 30+ sun screen matte formula, low irritant (maybe not an issue for u if its not too suny where you live)

hygiene- i use a normal shower cream not soap but i do not use a loofah. loofahs may graze your skin as in my case

headaches- lots and lots of water at least 3litres a day. yes you will have to go to teh bathroom but its worth it. this is the single most important thing.

dry eyes- "refresh contacts" eye drops. i use these because i wear contacts but if you don't just get another type by that brand

dry scalp- i use an anti dandruff by revlon

general cleansing- cetaphil cleanser, i use it whenever i want

i assume you are male in which case i don't know how you will carry some of these things with you. fo rexample i always carry moisturiser, eyedrops, lip gloss and headache tablets. either way this is everything i use and most were recommended by chemists in the knowledge that i was on accutane. anyway good luck. drink water like its goign out of fashion. any more questions put them on my log "is this normal".

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Wow, thanks accutane anon! eusa_clap.gif

Wonderful tips! Its extremely reassuring to know what to do when the side-effects do happen, so thanks! Unfortunately I do not have medical insurance and will have to pay for the 5 month treatment out of pocket so do you know where I can:

1) Have my bloodwork done thats cheaper than the major city hospital

(They charge $75 just for the visit and $25 for the bloodwork! Outrageous!)

2) Which online pharmacy can you find the generic at the cheapest price?

(Walgreens currently sells the generic Claravis 20mg @ 30capsules for $234.09 and CVS sell the same for $245.76. Are there any other online pharmacies that sell it for less AND that are reputable, i.e. not; www.canada-pharmacy-cheap-accutane.com

3) Is there anyway you can wiggle your way out of having to see your derm every month?

(My derm charges more than usual, $150 for what basically is a 5 minute visit. I know its to make sure that everything is going according to plan, but I can't help but wonder; why do I have to visit and pay $150 every month when maybe I could just send her the bloodwork results and email her on how I'm doing? And to be honest, the way she just read her mental accutane script in my intial visit really made me feel as if I was the 2:15 appointment that had to leave at 2:25.)

4) Would it be worth it to just buy medical insurance to cover accutane? If I bought that then I would be covered for other things as well just in case.

Hmm...the questions I asked remind me of the 'section chapter questions' I had to do for homework back in high school...scary, especially because thats when my acne was at its WORST, ugh, bad memories.

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YESSSSSSS GET MEDICAL INSURANCE! i currently have BLUE SHIELDS OF AMERICA, its a HMO. i pay 10 dollars fo visits to doctors and my ROCHE ACCUTANE (THE ORIGINAL ACCUTANE PILL THAT MY DERM SAID WAS MOST EFFECTIVE BUT MOST EXPENSIVE) costs me about 15 bucks for a month's worth..........

THANK GOD FOR INSURANCE. good luck buddy.

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sorry can't help you. i'm from australian we have medicare and pbs. i love this country. derm visits cost me about $25 and accutane costs $30 for 60 tablets of 20mg. all together this whole accutane experience will cost me about $250. all in AUD. i know how you feel about 5 minute visits to the derm but i dont think you should shirk them in case something does go wrong. if you do get insurance make sure theres no waiting period.

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That's okay accutane anon, you've been a great help already and best of luck to you with your treatment.

As for Simply_Me...are you serious??? That almost seems WAY too good to be true! shock.gif.

I'm really happy for you that you're getting a tremendous deal because from almost all the accutane experiences here that I've read each of their prespective insurance companies only covered the generic version, and capped off coverage at certain dosages, i.e. 80mgs. So I guess what I would love to have answered, and I'm sure many other of us uninsured hopefuls is...

Where can I get this insurance?

Is there a waiting period?

What type of plan do you have and how much is it?

How on earth do they cover the brand-name?

(Usually I'm not that skeptical, but this is from an HMO)

And is there any kind of catch to all this?

(Do you have to sign some kind of 10 year agreement contract?)

If this is as good as I read it, then you're a rock star Simply. cool.gif

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For anyone without medical insurance, like myself hoping that somehow it could be purchased and cover the VERY expensive course of accutane, very very sad news - its not going to happen.

I did an all-out-research marathon to find some way to purchase medical insurance to offset the cost of the accutane treatment, but every single major policy I checked (Blue Cross Blue Shield, Golden Rule, Humana, etc.) all have one clause that will prevent you from prescription (accutane) coverage; the rule of 'pre-existing' condition. Usually pre-existing means a condition sufferred from the past 6 months, but I spoke with as many insurance sales reps as I could to define what pre-existing meant to their company and they all gave me very similar answers which basically comes down to this: if you EVER had a prior condition, were treated for it, received medical advice on it, or just was evaluated briefly, theres a good chance that the insurance underwriting department will exclude you from your plan's benefits. This one guy from Blue Cross told me that your particular disease could be from 5 years ago and not have re-occured, but that still is a red flag to them that you are a great risk because lets face it, insurance companies don't make money allowing $15 co-pays that cover $300 of prescriptions.

I thought this over constantly because frankly, it would be REALLY pushing my budget to finance the 5 month accutane treatment I would need out-of-pocket, so I thought that even if I did go ahead with the insurance app. and if by way of a miracle I was approved AND covered for my acne, I still wouldn't be able to get the accutane because if a week into my insurance I went out and requested accutane, it would literally be like screaming "pre-existing" to the top of my lungs. I might as well wave a red flag all over the pharmacy because the insurance company is going to think; "accutane is for severe and persistent acne and a person just doesn't develop this type of acne in a week so this person had to have had it before the coverage started so no coverage for him, only a nice fat bill for the entire cost of the prescription"

I really hope I'm wrong on this, and if theres anyone out there who knows of a better way of going about getting covered then please post. Otherwise the rest of us without insurance will just have to read about how everyone else is getting clearer.

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Well, I haven't counted how many times I've gone per day, but it's definitely a lot. Ideally, people are supposed to drink 2 liters per day for a healthy lifestyle anyway. Since tane dehydrates and I exercise, I try to drink 3-4 liters. Also, take vitamin C, at least 200mg per day because it helps protect the vitamin E and A in your body as well as helping to build collagen to repair your skin.

Does it matter what kind of Vit. C? Seems like there are different kinds...with Rosehips and other added ingredients. Anything I should look for when picking out a Vit. C.

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