(Closed) Any former or current Accutane users? Or know someone close who has taken it?

posted 6 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
2183 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium

I did a cycle of Accutane about 5 years ago… and it was the best decision I ever made. (this may get long, but I want to tell you my story because I understand how massive a decision this can be)

I had always had problems with my skin, and I had seen a dermatologist when I was in high school… nothing really worked, but he said I was doing just fine. I was frustrated, but just moved on. Then I studied abroad in London when I was 21, and my skin was a wreck. At that point, I had had enough. I was in my 20s, and I could not face another day feeling like a teen… and it’s not even really okay for teens!

I made an appointment with a new dermatologist. I hadn’t even heard of Accutane before my friend (who was having the same issue after returning from London) told me about it. Well, lo and behold, the doctor talked to me for about five minutes and recommended I do a cycle. He explained all of the consequences and provided tons of reading material and agreements I’d have to sign (regarding sex and abortion and lots of other things that terrified me). I took it all home and read. And Googled. And talked to my husband (boyfriend at the time).

There are tons of risks. My primary concern was doing all we could not to have a two headed baby that I’d have to abort because I signed the form. So, he and I made the decision that we would abstain from sex during the Accutane cycle. Then, we had all of the other health risks to be concerned about. I decided to take the plunge anyway.

I was given a blood test and pregnancy test each month, and my doctor asked at each appointment what two forms of birth control I was using– that’s required. I was lucky because my doctor was housed in a sort of mini hospital, so everything was run in house and quick. So I had an appointment each month to check in and get the next month’s prescription. After just the first month, I was totally clear. It was amazing. My lips were really, really dry, so vasoline was my friend, but that was all.

And each month after was the same– dry lips, but no other side effects, and clear skin. I did so well, that I was only on it for four months. The typical cycle is 4-6 months, and some people need more than one cycle. During my final appointment, I was given a prescription for Retin-A and told to use it pretty much forever. I stopped using it years ago, and my skin is still pretty good. Every now again, I’ll get a blemish, but I’m not complaining at all.

In terms of cost, it was all covered by insurance– which was great. The doctor had to call my insurance company to say it was medically necessary, and then they covered it. Just make sure to specify that you want a generic when you pick the prescription. So I had my $30 copay for the doctor each month and $30 for the pills.It does take a time committment, though, so be prepared for that.

It was worth it for me, and I had a really positive experience. BUT, if a doctor suggested I do it again, I wouldn’t. I got lucky the first time around and wouldn’t put my body through it again.

Post # 4
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I took Accurane about 15 years ago.  I had regular breakouts and the occassional cyst along my jawline. Over the course of about 2 years by dermatologist tried everything; Accutane was the last option.  I would do it all over again. 

I did not have problems with super dry skin, nose bleeds, or cracked lips, which are common side effects.  The worst side effect I had was back and hip pain.  I couldn’t sleep at all because my back hurt so incredibly bad.  The only depression I had was because of the pain and lack of sleep.

I had to use two forms of birth control (one being BC pills) and have a monthly blood draw for a pregnancy test and to assess my liver function.  I had to stop taking Accutane before full treatment was complete because my cholesterol was over 400.  Even though I didn’t have a full treatment it did the trick. 

I asked the doctor if I would ever have acne again and he said there was no guarantee that I would be acne free.  15 years later I do have the occassional breakout but nothing like what I suffered before.  I now use Tazorac (a topical retinoid) on a regular basis and it helps.

Hope this info helps.

Post # 5
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2012

i had a friend who used it and it definitely worked but she had really bad mental side effects.  it made her depressed and she considered suicide at one point.

Post # 7
Member
2863 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I took it during my sophomore year in HS and loved it. Before I would break out non stop, I hated it. I was not sexually active at the time so it was easy for me to say yes since I knew getting pregnant and how dangerous that would be was not a concern. I can’t remember how long I took it, maybe 6 months? I had severe side effects- my face and lips peeled horribly. It was really really bad, but I stuck with it.

Now I very rarely break out and it usually has something to do with around the time I am cycling for IVF. My skin is so clear even now as a 28 year old. I don’t take any meds, use any creams or any anything related to acne besides a blackhead scrub. My only lasting effect of having acne is I do have scaring on my cheeks which means I do still use concealer and foundation, but that is nothing compared to breaking out. I would do it all again in a heartbeat! 

Post # 8
Member
1695 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

My husband used accutane.  To him it was a wonderful decision.  I know that he really struggled with skin issues all through high school and it really affected him. 

My brother in law also used it.  I know that there are no current studies showing links between birth defects and male usage, but my nephew (who is now 20), has had Crohn’s disease since birth.  So I think it’s super important to follow all doctor’s orders regarding birth control. 

Despite that, my husband still thinks that for him, accutane was a good choice. 

Post # 9
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I forgot to comment on cost.  My insurance covered it so I think I might have paid $30-40 per month for the co-pay.  Some insurances do not cover it and I know it used to cost about $300-400 per month back then.  Not sure of costs now. 

Good luck with your choice.  Everyone reacts differently to it so i think it’s worth giving it a try.

Post # 10
Member
1765 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I have a friend who used accutane. He had horrible horrible cystic acne all over his body. It completely stopped the acne, and its been years since he used it. His only side effect was extremely dry and peeling lips. I don’t know too much about it or any other side effects, but it definitely helped him.

Post # 11
Member
3367 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I took Accutane 20 years ago and at that time I thought it was a miracle.  My skin cleared-up (nothing had worked before) and I didn’t have side effects (no dry lips, hair loss, etc).  I was elated!  Several years later, I struggled with severe depression and suicidal thoughts.  My memory is shot and I feel like my brain doesn’t work the same way.  I’ve since read studies which found shrinkage of the frontal lobe from Accutane use.  I think the side-effects outweigh the initial beneft.  I wouldn’t use it again.

eta:  I’m sorry if this sounds like the lecture you asked not to have…  it’s my honest experience with the drug. 

Post # 12
Member
2863 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Oh yeah I forgot the cost aspect too. My insurance covered it, it was just a co-pay. This might be due to my age when I was on it, but they only required me to fill my first RX of birth control. I have heard stories of insurance companies refusing to cover the Accutane if you do not fill the RX for the pill too. Most married women are on some form of birth control anyways, but just thought I’d share that tidbit. 

Post # 14
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I took Accutane my sophomore year of high school (about 10 years ago) and I’m so happy I did it. I was really nervous at first because I heard a lot of horror stories about some of the severe side effects. The worst part was how dry my skin was while I was on the medicine. I had to use a strong dandruff shampoo because my scalp was so dry and itchy. I pretty much lived off carmax lip balm and moisturizer. Since coming off the perscription I’ve had minimal breakouts that I’ve been able to maintain with over the counter face wash, toner and moisturizer, which never worked prior to taking Accutane.

As for the cost, I’m not sure since my parents covered whatever costs there were. Looking back, I would definitely so it again! Good luck with whatever decision you decide to make!

Post # 15
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

You might want to search medical journals.  I know there is a ton of research and many, many papers written on Accutane.  I had never heard of the shrinkage of the frontal lobe.  Also, ask you doctor lots and lots of questions.  Another good source is a pharmacist.  They know drugs up one side and down the other and can provide a wealth of knowledge.  🙂

Post # 16
Member
1827 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

my brother used it around age 15 or so.

like someone mentioned before, it gave him very chapped lips.

it completely cleared up his acne!

but he started getting nose bleeds after his cycle was done and it was probably from using accutane.

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