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40 something guy posting experience on Accutane

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So I guess I'm sort of four months late in posting, I see. I"m sure the thousands of followers are disappointed, but life got in the way.

But I took a picture of one of those F-ing little "no pregnant girl" tabs that litter my house in the strangest places (how did one get in my refrigerator?). Something tells me I'll be finding these all over for some time.

So here's the deal: I think it worked. But I have a feeling my acne will probably come back. Just a hunch, but because every once in a while I can feel something cystic making a small attempt, which goes away. Once these drugs are through my system, will they make a reappearance? Who knows, but my Dr. said to me at my last monthly that "well the drugs that you USED to take will be more effective after Accutane"


I thought to myself "this is why I took this drug and put up with the annoying side effects for six months, so I could NOT go back to that miserable Proactiv snake oil and every other craptastic pill or potion that never worked". I'll admit I was a little bummed to hear it. But my Dr. also was optimistic that because it's my second course, I'd be done.

I mean really: I'm in my f-ing mid-40's.

Would I do this again? Yes, I would. I prepared for the worst. I read some horrible stories on here, many of them I think are probably what the person experienced, some I think were over-dramatized. And I saw six different derms for each six visits. And each one rolled their eyes at the list of side effects. Each one had been prescribing Accutane for years, and never once pulled someone off of it.

But. I will say that the side effects can be real: The dry lips, while manageable IF you have Blistex or Aquaphor (your lips know when you forgot the tube, and start peeling immediately, and embarrassingly so), and the annoying muscle aching (how weird is it my heel tendons hurt when I get out of bed every morning?) are the two that hit me. But I also know that I felt a mood change in me. Nothing awful, but I know that more often than usual I could swing into a bad mood and stay there longer than I normally would.

Even though I was asked this, I told my Doctor that no, nothing was there. Mostly because I didn't want to be a wimp, and also because it truly was manageable.

I'm not a teen, so it made me wonder if that's partly why I managed it (no raging hormones!). And I don't know if it was caused by Accutane--in fact I kinda doubt there's really conclusive evidence of this--I've been stressed for other reasons as well. But I feel like it's possible that something just might be slightly different.

So, again: YES. But I know that this drug will take about a month to leave my system, so I'll keep an eye out. I do know that I've been totally clear for the most part, with some weird skin issues that I could take care of (odd dryness in places), but I was able to wear my contacts if not have a little dryness in them (and holy crap, Visine became a morning lifesaver).

Good luck to people on this board struggling with whether to go "nuclear" and try this option. I think it can really work wonders. And good luck to everyone on here dealing with acne. Most of you won't have a zit past 25, lucky dogs. :think:


I'm just past my one month mark (hit last week). I went to the derm and they added another 20mg, bumping me up to 60mg/day. As a 180# male, it's still not the "standard" 80mg/day that is typical for my weight, but I'm okay with that.

Derm told me that if I noticed side effects were too much, to simply just stop the 20mg extra, and I could consider, as many do, to stay on the lower dose for a couple or three more months than just the five total. I opted to at least try the 20mg.

Side effects up until this past week have just included dry dry lips, some dry hands (cuticles) and occasional dry eyes in the morning. Still able to wear contacts.

Skin at the one month mark has improved, I'd say to a 6 or 6.5, meaning pretty significant change in my skin since starting. The big breakout (the single giant one) didn't happen until... this week. So I went over a week without one, and my skin looks very good. But the reminder one came this weekend and so I'm not out of the woods, nor did I expect to be.

Since adding the 20mg, I've noticed being much drier with hands and lips, and have woken up in the middle of the night horrendously dried out in my mouth and throat.

But still overall, those are the only side effects that I've noticed.

So far, I'm really still happy I decided to do this.


Day 14 Update

Two weeks in so far. Yeah, only 18 weeks left? Wow, that's springtime in these parts and well with snow measured in the feet outside, I guess I have a while.

Day 14 is not much different than day 7 was. I have yet to have any side effects beyond slightly chapped lips which go away immediately with Blistex or Aquaphor.

In fact, I've not really been using moisturizer after washing my face other than sunscreen on days when I know I'll be outside a lot.

If I'm still using the scale, I'd say I'm still at a 3, maybe a 3 and a half. I have had one bad pimple come out (the kind that stick around for a few days or more and hurt), and a few other ones here and there.

Improvements seem to be in the small ones, and they have not gone totally away but they are fewer in number. And oily skin doesn't seem to be as much either.

Any other side effect I've not noticed, I take a fish oil tablet every night, I still eat veggies high in vitamin A (because there are few that aren't) and I use topicals on occasion. Nothing. Wore contacts the past couple of days and they're fine all day, no drying. Eyes are red in the AM and sometimes a little dry, but geez, maybe the slow, low dosage is the key to avoiding the problems, but who knows if that will stay that way.

And that's it. thanks for the comments previously, it's encouraging.


Day 7 Update

Today will be the day I take my 8th pill, and I thought I'd update on how it's going:

My first post was a bit of an isolated incident so far. While I did experience dryness within a few hours of my first dose, my side effects nearly all went away the next day, including dry lips to the point of really needing much more than an occasional Blistex Medicated or Aquaphor application.

I may be on a very low dose, or that my body just isn't reacting, I'm not having ANY side effects, and I joke with my friends who know I'm on it about the depression and I think I'm in a better mood overall... I tell them to make sure if I do jump out a window that I want someone to say at the eulogy how great my skin looks. Not that I want to joke about depression.....

On day 7, I notice my skin is somewhat drier, and there is some skin drying evidence around my eyebrows, and I do feel dry in my mouth, eyes, and throat at night. I wake up with very dry eyes, and they are really red.

However, during the day, I drink probably four quarts of water or more, and I have little effects. No lip peeling, nothing. I wash with Cetaphil cleanser, I moisturize with Cetaphil lotion. I also am taking Fish Oil supplements, I'm not eating any sugar and very little grains. I do eat a lot of raw nuts and other vegetables.

Now for my skin:

I thought that my first dose was taking care of things very fast. I was wrong. I still am breaking out. In fact, I've had one or two pretty big underground and painful bumps. They went away a little faster than normal, but I'd also say my skin is still a bit oily at times.

So, perhaps this is the initial breakout, or the "gets worse before it gets better", because I'd say on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being "no change in acne", after day 7, I'd be at a 3.

But I"m hopeful.

Will keep updating.


Week one, day one

I took my first dose at 5pm, and less than 12 hours later already noticed the drying out of my mouth, my lips, and eyes. Woke up this morning with some peeling on my lips and very dry mouth and eyes. Drank a ton of water today so far, put on Blistex medicated and it's mostly fine.

I plan on using:

Cetaphil cleanser for face

Trader Joe's lemon verbena soap for rest of body

CerAv face moisturizer if I need it

Blistex medicated or Aquaphor (whichever works better)

I started my course with a fairly moderate set of acne on my face, not the worst it's been over the past few weeks, but it's been really bad lately. I will say I woke up this morning with the one that was painful not being painful or swollen anymore. Don't know if this is already having an effect, but if I'm drying out already, then it would make sense that some of my acne ought to be as well.



Age: 43

Sex: Male

Weight: 180-185

Dosage: 40/mg (to start)/day

Drug: Amnesteem (generic)

Course: 2nd, last took in 1996

Last night was the night I finally popped my first pill. This is my second (or second and a half, really) course of Accutane. I took it back in 1995, and again in 1996 six months after but stopped treatment without finishing. I'm not sure why I did that, but my skin was relatively clear.

Keep in mind back then the internet wasn't full of forums with posts about all the horrible side effects, and I would guess much more is known now about the drug. Certainly depression was not one of the factors back then, and I did not experience it.

It worked for me, as far as I can remember, and now that I'm in my 40's, I have recently started to deal with breakouts like I was 19 all over again. I've tried everything under the sun, topical, oral, everything. Some worked better than others.

After a couple of months of a losing battle and a new dermo who made me feel pretty good about another course, I'm taking the leap in the hope I can get back to not worrying about my skin.

So I'm taking Accutane again. I'm going to have some challenge with a couple of possible side effects, mostly dryness as I live in a very dry mountain climate, and also hopefully won't have the bone/joint aching as I am an extremely active/outdoor/gym person all year.

This blog is really for me, to just track how things are working, how my regimen works, and to make sure I note if any side effects are taking place. I'm happy to share and respond to any questions.

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