Post # 1
My dermatologist has suggested I use accutane to clear up my acne after several attempts to clear it with antibiotics. I hear such terrible things about it and was wondering if any bees have any experience with the med and what were your results. I probably wouldn’t even consider it if I didn’t have the wedding coming up. I would have to make a decision in the next couple of months whether I want to give Accutane a shot.
I have had acne issues all of my life and have been on antibiotics before as well as benzaclin, retin A, and differin and they’ve worked fine. But my skin has been progressively getting worse over the last year. Thanks!
Post # 3
I used it when I was in HS or college (don’t remember). It worked great. The acne was gone like it was never there. The reason I used it because antibiotic wasn’t working for me anymore. Too bad the drug can do wonder to acne, but is so bad for the body. I’m sure the doctor mentioned the negative affect of acutane to you.
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I took Accutane five years ago because nothing would completely stop my acne. It wasn’t terrible, but it was persistent. When my dermatologist suggested it, I sort of expected it. He talked to me about all of the risks but really focused on the positive side. I was already 20 and really didn’t want to deal with it anymore. He explained I’d have to have monthy pregnancy tests and blood tests, and I may have to do a second cycle. I decided to dive in, and I’m SO happy I did. The whole baby-with-two-heads-thing frightened me, and Fiance (boyfriend at the time) and I decided we would just abstain so there would be no worries. Within literally the first month, I was clear. They say it gets worse before better, but I didn’t experience that. Also, the ONLY side effect I had was that my lips were super chapped– so I used vasoline on them. My skin wasn’t even dry. Every four months since, I may get a blemish, but it goes away SO quickly and is so rare.
ETS: Also, I actually didn’t finish the whole five month cycle– I had been clear since the first month, so at 4 months, my dermatologist told me I could stop. And he prescribe retin-a for me, as a lifetime just-in-case failsafe. I stopped using that two years ago (when my insurance stopped covering it!), and I’ve still been clear since.
My experience, as I understand, is not typical. The risks are huge! And with all of this said, if I could go back, I would certainly do it again, but I would not now do a second cycle because who knows what it did to my body, or if I would be as lucky a second time.
I hope this helps! And if you have any questions, I’d be happy to give my best answers.
Post # 5
I used it as an adult and it worked like a charm. Which is amazing when you consider how bad my acne was and all the other treatments I tried first. I did everything from change my diet to spread retin a micro all over my face back and chest for 5 years and it made absolutely no difference. When I took antibiotics it was like I was taking placebo pills. In fact, my acne continued to get worse the older I got.
I had no side effects from accutane which I hear is very rare. I made an effort to drink more water than usual adn sometimes my lips felt dry, but other than that nothing unusual happened. It’s annoying taking it as a female becuase you have to get blood drawn every month in order to refill the perscription but I’m telling you it was 100% worth it. Not having acne all over my face chest and back is absolutely priceless, people who aren’t cursed with it will never understand.
Post # 6
I’ve used it and it did nothing for me. I had no side effects or problems on it, it just had hardly any effect on my acne.
I’ve realized after many different treatment programs that my acne is hormonal and that birth control (specifically estrogen) is really the only effective treatment.
Post # 7
I took this the summer before I started HS and then again my sophomore year. I first started and the side effects were pretty severe. I would get nose bleeds and my lips would be so chapped that I could never eat anything without making them bleed. My acne did not seem to be clearing up and my pupils would get really dialated. I decided to stop taking it for awhile.
Eventually I started getting really self conscious again especially because I had the unfortuate luck of getting braces on my sophomore year. (HS was so much fun!) I went back on it and almost instantly had the bad side effects again but this time with the addition of dialated pupils/bloody noses/chapped lips/and peeling skin I would get really bad headaches. I had to see a specialist and they determined my headaches were a result of water forming in my BRAIN!!! I was instantly taken off of it.
The second round my skin did clear up (I used to get it on my back and I haven’t had it there since I started taking this). I was told that I shouldn’t get many breakouts after but now at 25 I still have some acne but not fullblown like I used to.
EDIT: Forgot to mention my scalp would get so dry and hurt that it would wake me up in the middle of the night and I would have to go stick my head in a cold bucket of water.
Post # 8
I was on accutane when I was 16 was 6 months. I had horrible acne. No matter what the derm gave me it never worked. As PP mentioned, you do have to get blood drawn every month and I was required to take birth control as well. The side effects for a prenancy while taking accutane are severe.
Other than my skin being as dry as the Sahara, it wasn’t too bad. My hair literally took a couple weeks to get greasy, nasty I know. I had to apply chapstick alot and the inside of my nose would annoy me because without that moisture my nostrils were sticking together. lol. IMO though- 100% worth it. The acne was gone after 6 months and I haven’t had a breakout since. I am almost 22 now.
Post # 9
I took it my freshman year of highschool and I only ended up taking it for about a month. I didn’t have any cystic acne, but I always had bad, persistent pimples. During the month I was on it, my face cleared up and it was just wonderful! I still get pimples now at 24, but nothing like before. Unfortunately, I had to stop taking accutane for the same reason as @june42011. I was getting terrible headaches, and had to get glasses. Eventually it was so bad I told my dermatologist and they took me off of accutane. I was told that I would probably have a hard time finding a derm that would let me back on the medication, but luckily I never needed a second round. I no longer wear glasses either!
But keep in mind that was 6 years ago. Definitely not giving medical advice or anything lol. I was a pharm tech and I don’t even think they make the original accutane I was on anymore, so they’ve done all kinds of changes to the medication (for the better, I’d assume!) The best bet is to talk about the concerns with the doctor. Everyone is different!
Post # 10
@Mrs. Guinness: VERY good point about the time. I imagine they could have made improvements to the drug by now. I took it 10 years ago.
Post # 11
I was on a 6 month course of Accutane 7 years ago in college. I had terrible acne and hated my face. I did the whole retinue of antibiotics and creams before deciding to go on Accutane. The biggest push was seeing the outcome of my younger brother’s acne when he was on the medication. I had to get monthly blood tests before being able to pick up my new prescription. Really dry skin on my face was the only side effect I suffered. It totally cleared up my acne and even now I only get the occassional break out which is fine compared to what it used to be like. My only regret is not starting it sooner.
Post # 12
I was also on Accutane when I was 16, which was 13 yrs ago to treat persistant small pimples that were all over my forehead and cheeks. I had used Retin-A and Differin beforehand, but only had minor improvement of my skin. I remember having really really dry skin and lips while on Accutane. I used a lot of 1% hydrocortisone to help hydrate my skin during that time. I only had one strange reaction on the medication. One day I used a cold medicine that contained pseudoephedrine (which isnt really in meds anymore) and my veins in my left leg got really dark and bulged for 1 hr so.. scary but then went away! Other than that I was fine and my acne progressively cleared up more and more, but it took a couple years to develop smooth skin and be absolutely pimple free. Now I only get one annoying pimple every once in a rare while, but other than that I felt it was worth it b/c now everyone tells me that I have beautiful skin. Even though the dangerous side effects are only supposed to be while actively on the medication I do sometimes wonder if using Accutane could cause some long term damage to the development of my future children…hopefully not!
Post # 13
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. I am really hesitant but at 33 years old “sick of it” doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about my acne. It seems like if I’m ever going to do it, now’s the time. We’ll be in fully baby making mode after the wedding. The dr. and i have talked about the risks of taking it. But he didn’t mention blood tests just pregancy tests.
Post # 14
@NJmeetsBX: They basically make you take a “pledge” that you won’t get pregnant and you have to bring this little pledge card to the pharmacy. It basically is just a system for them to monitor you are keeping up with your blood tests. The blood test isn’t just a pregnancy test it also is for monitoring the amount of vitamin A in your body (if I remember correctly) because I think Accutane has a large quanitity of vitamin A so if you get too much it can be bad for your liver and kidneys. I can’t recall if that’s 100% true but I *think* so.
It sounds very serious writing it out, but if you are unhappy with your face, I would try it out now before you want to TTC. I don’t regret trying it at all, because even for the short amount of time I got to be on it, it changed my face forver 🙂
Post # 15
used it for 8 months and LOVE the results. I wouldnt go out of the house without make up caking my face and wouldnt let anyone touch my face because of acne. It seriously is a miracle drug and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who has tried everything else and nothing worked. The dry skin/lips/hair and no sun is worth it to have no pimples.
Post # 16
@NJmeetsBX: This probably sounds really messed up but even with all the risks, burning scalp, inability to open my mouth without making it bleed, constant bloody noses, and the whole water on the brain thing I was bummed when I had to stop taking it because the second go around it did seem to be helping.
It would make me a little nervous though about the baby making right after the wedding. They tell you not to take it if you are planning to become pregnant b/c of the risk of miscarriage/birth deformaties. My pills came in a pack that had a picture of a baby with a giant head and an x marked through it.