- 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.