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Post Accutane Side Effects

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So Far So Good

Hello, I'm taking a small break from studying. Next week I have finals and then I'll be off for the summer. I'd like to say that perhaps, only perhaps, my facial flush has improved. My face flushes when I wipe off my make up or when it is very hot outside. Before, it would be red constantly and follow a rosacea-like pattern. I am now under the care of a naturopath to get rid of the body flushing that's relentless. The ND has adviced to get an ESR and CRP test. These tests detect internal inflammation and it is the ND's belief that even after 4 months of the last dose of accutane, the metabolites are still present.

I'm constipated and have been even before accutane, so to me it is normal not to go to the bathroom for a week. However, what the ND told me is that my constipation might have delayed the riddance of the accutane therefore allowing its active ingredients to still linger in my body and inflame system after system. I check my glucose levels everyday to make sure I'm not developing diabetes. I got those self test machines to monitor. While my fasting glucose level has increased after accutane, it is still in the norm, which is an 82 mg/dl. Before accutane is was much lower than that and so was my blood pressure.

Accutane causes diabetes because it fosters the sedimentation of fat on the liver and pancreas. The monthly blood tests that are required, do not catch that and so by the time patients are through with their accutane regimen, they have already developed or in the process of developing diabetes. Only a body MRI can detect organ fat deposits. If MRI scans were gonna be part of the monthly tests, then no one would be willing to take accutane and the pharmaceutical companies would lose clients and profits. Doing blood tests is already a pain, imagine an MRI. Well, unfortunately it is as important.

Now, in people who develop diabetes inspite of having all tests normal and being lean, diabetes would be an autoimmune disorder and of genetic source. But we are talking about the isotretinoin sourced diabetes, and in that case the fat deposits are the culprits.

I'm very glad to have found a naturopath (ND). She seems to know more than doctors do. For instance, no doctor adviced me to take an ESR and CRP tests and I didn't know there ever existed blood tests to detect internal inflammations and autoimmune disorders.

It's the very irony of the American health system.

Love you all. For the rest, I sleep fine, taking the supplements the ND gave me and will keep you posted on flushing and diabetes. I also donated $30 to the National Rosacea Society. rolleyes.gif


Hello! I'm back. It's rainy and cool here in NYC, so much for May. Well, I found out that the nerve inflammation that I had at my limbs was due to Accutane. An oncologist told me that it being a chemotheraphy drug, developing neuropathy is common and should be reversible especially for me, since I haven't followed through the entire course.

Good news is, I do not get those electric shocks anymore. I get funny feelings on my face, such as my sinus area and cheeks, but do not believe it is accutane related. I gotta be rational.

I'm so happy my depression/irritability resolved! It took a lot of work from my part as well. I think having my optimism back andmental strenght will help resolve whatever "weird" side effect I have left.

No more joint pain! Bones do not hurt anymore!

Currently studying for finals! Can't wait to get out of the rainy muggyness of NYC and fly to LA. I also made myself member of the local community swimming pool, as i love to swim.

The pain on my cheecks and upper nose is not too bad, it is a numb pain. It goes away when i do not think about it, or at least doesn't hurt as much. That's why i want to be positive and busy.

What about the redness? I think...again...think....the red cheeks are gone. The erythema persists on my abdomen and upper chest as well as back, and occasionally on my arms.

I'm so sad I have hurt myself so bad. I really didn't mean to. I have always treated myself as my own best friend, so this whole accident has left me perplexed. All I wanted was to be cyst free.

I cannot press charges agains the doctor who prescribed it to me because she had me sign a lot of paperwork, saying that i was aware of all the possible side effects of isotretinoin. I cannot sue the manufacturer because the condition that i have is not detrimental or life threatening. Most lawyers deal with the conditions related to Hodgkin's disease, pancreatic conditions, and IBS.

So it is time to move on and believe the facial neuropathy will subside. June 20 will count as the third month since being off isotretinoin.


The Electric Shocks

From May 7 to May 10, I experienced severe pain in my left and right arm. It felt like electric jolts running along the limbs and extreme burning. My left leg had cramps in the thigh and calf area, accompanied with tingling in the palm of the foot. On the right leg, only the calf cramped. Because of the timing, I'm not sure whether to attribute the event to Accutane. Through my research, it does seem that many side effects occur months after the last dose of Accutane, for some arcane reason. The electric and burning pain, were later attributed with nervous inflammation.

It made sense to me, since Accutane is known for messing with the nervous system, particularly with the peripherals. This explains the manifestation of blushing/flushing, Reynaud's Disease, and Barre Syndrome, which are all possible but rare side effects of Accutane/Claravis/Amnesteem.

On May 11 I was finally able to breath and sleep again. The pain subsided consistently and my normal life began again.

The only side effect I am experiencing is the flushing. I flush when it is sunny and warm outside, after exercise when my body cools down, and right after I wake up. The flush doesn't happen when I lay down, and when the temperature is constant.

While the flushing was much worst during and right after Accutane, it is persistent and random. It entails my arms, my abdomen, my chest, my neck and face. Sometimes even my scalp suffers.

I don't see doctors anymore because the only thing they tell me is "i don't know what it is." I cannot pay $400 per visit for someone to tell me "I don't know." Hence, I have come to accept my new "skin color" and thank God that it is the only side effect I have now, since things could have gone much worst.

I do not understand how people can go through 5 months of this medication without having side effects. Some people even "pale out" after Accutane.

The only thing that worries me about my flushing is that persistent inflammation of the capillaries can eventually bring some serious issues.

May 20 marks Month 2 since I've been off Accutane. I stopped Accutane on March 20.


it all began. I took only 40 mg for 26 days of Accutane. The original cycle was of 4 months. I didn't follow through because of the side effects encountered. In my case, it seems the drug was very effective. I dare to say it was way too effective. I didn't experience breakouts, rather, my skin began "healing" beginning the second week on the medication. "Healing" because while my skin was drying, it felt also extremely swollen, rare, and red.

Being told those were typical side effects, I continued until common sense kicked me stronger than ever, and decided to quit altogether, to the dismay of my dermatologist who was very enthusiastic of Accutane.

During Accutane

Week 1 - no side effects besides moderately dry lips, slight sensitivity to light

Week 2 - lips are very dry, peeling around the mouth, and forehead, dry scales on my ears, flu-like symptom without running a fever. Mild irritability, headache.

Week 3 - lips are swollen (chelitis), swollen face, redness, blushing twice a day, peeling around mouth and jaw, sores at corner of lips, thinning of hair, extreme dandruff.

Week 4 - All of the above plus mild joint pain at lower back. Bone pain (numb pain along the left arm, very deep). Swollen eyelids. Muscular pain at legs. Pale lips. My hands are completely dark (dark brown).

Stopped Accutane altogether and now I'm dealing with persistent side effects.

After Accutane

Week 1 - Blushing in the evening, once or twice a day. Chelitis went away. Lips gradually went back to a normal color. Dandruff and scalp dryness persisting. I didn't wash my hair both afraid to damage it, and because it was extremely dry so there was no need. I'm flushed like a deep sun tan. I used to be alabaster.

Done research on the net and found that Biotin and Vitamin D help with the side effects. That week i start with biotin and Vitamin D, Selsum Blue, Vitamin E, Glucosamine. Selsum Blue shampoo cures away the dandruff.

Week 2 - Biotin seemed to do its job. Sores are gone, hair is a tad thicker. No dandruff. Flakiness on skin is gone. Irritability persists.

The blushing is less severe but is there when I change temperatures, when near heat sources, when laying down. I begin to cry, figuring that the blushing/redness is forever and could be rosacea.

Until on April 3, the unthinkable happens. Dermatologist doesn't know how to help me. I'm the first patient to have blushing/flushing after accutane.


April 3, i go to the ER. Hands, thighs and feet feel in flames. Extremely red and hot. Severe flu symptoms. I exclude Lyme disease or sun exposure...i've been moving by metro and not been in contact with sun. I realize it could be the liver....i never had my liver checked after stopping Accutane.

April 4, i flunk my macroeconomics exam and withdraw from the course. From a 4.0 GPA, i fall to a 3.3 GPA. I try to keep my mind off the side effects and embark in a mission to boost my GPA back up.

April 6, i go to ER again. The fingers on my left hand feel cold. I don't think much of it, until a couple of hours later my hand feels cold. Coldness spreads on the whole arm. Fingers feel numb, then hand feels numb, until i cannot feel the whole limb. At ER they cannot find blood clots, my blood pressure is normal, white blood cels, all exams normal. They give me iron. My arm is back to normal.

THIS EVENT NEVER REPEATED AGAIN. Doctor in ER told me that Accutane is a horrible drug which is prescribed like candy in the USA. There is a rally in Europe to have it banned for dermatological use. Accutane is chemotherapy for blood leukemia.

I could have Barre' Syndrome or Vasculitis, two permanent side effects of Accutane, yet extremely rare. Lupus is not an option unless i had the disease before accutane. Bottom line is: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AND I NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE WORST.

April 16, very mild flu-like symptom. Lethargy went way. Hair is back to oily, but thin.

I visit another dermatologist to keep track of my progress. I have scalp erythema. My scalp feels hot, but i never paid attention to it until now. It looks like an overall erythema that caught my legs, arms, back, abdomen, chest, neck and head. It took only 27 days at 40 mg to develop this. I am allergic to retinol, or do not stand it as well as the average American.

April 19, i get an A on my business exam and microeconomics exam. Seems like i might be able to salvage this semester. My mood is better. Not irritated and decide to live within my new means (no strenous activity, go to bed early, avoid the sun). I also avoid looking at myself in the mirror. I used to be very beautiful, used to model. I don't know how i look like now. My hands are not dark brown anymore. They are red and blush. The redness comes and goes. My chest is red and hot, my neck feels hot. My abdomen and back are red and hot. My hands, though, seems they are improving.


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