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Old 06-11-2016, 05:27 PM
 
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My daughter is sixteen and suffers from acne. She is seen by a dermatologist that I both like and respect. The dermatologist wants to treat her with accutane. He went through a lengthy disclosure with us and discussed side effects. The doctor compared patients in his clinical experience with what the disclosure said. The point that he impressed on us was that this drug is remarkably effective against acne. What got my attention about this is that no one in my family has ever had a prescription that required such a lengthy disclosure. Most of the side effects he was concerned about were to a fetus if my daughter had been pregnant. Apparently, two pregnancy tests are required before the medication can be given. One was given during this visit. The next occurs in a month when she returns.

A few questions:

1. Has anyone here taken accutane for acne and what were your experiences?

2. Did you have any significant side effects beyond a dry mouth, lips, and skin?

3. Do you have an adolescent you have allowed to go on accutane? What were their experiences?

4. Do you recommend accutane or not based on those experiences?

5. Did another medication work better for you or your child?

I've done some reading about this medicine. However, I'd really like to hear about some experiences.

Last edited by markg91359; 06-11-2016 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:55 PM
 
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Here's my input:

#1 - I have had topical acne forever (still do in my mid-30s), but have never taken accutane. I wouldn't want to though I'm not anti-pill or drug.

#5 - I was using retinoids (retin-a micro presecription), as well as salicylic acid to control the acne. Your daughter's acne might be hormonal and more severe than the topical acne i have, thus the accutane prescription.

Lately, I have almost discontinued the retin-a since I discovered how effective LED light therapy (blue and red for acne) is, without the side effect of irritation and hypersensitivity. Blue LED kills the acne bacteria, and the red LED reduces inflammation and promotes healing. Ever since I got LED lights to use on my skin to control acne, I have hardly used the prescription retinoid. I am also breaking out much less than when I was using the retinoid.

It's definitely worth looking into, as an alternative, or supplement, to accutane. You can find a cheap red/blue LED bulb on Amazon, or if you're willing to try a pricier, but larger and more powerful, bulb, I'll send you a DM with the website I got mine from. It's amazing how effective the lights, which come in different wavelengths for different skin concerns, are vs. topical creams. I spent so much $$ over the years on skincare, when I should have just gone shopping for LED lights.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:11 AM
 
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My daughter went on Accutane at 16 for acne, also had tried everything else with no success and was under the care of a dermatologist I know well.

The Accutane was remarkably effective as advertised and my daughter had no side effects other than the dry skin and lips.

The list of possible side effects are long and you have to weigh risks and benefits, for us it was worth it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:04 PM
 
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I know you are asking about the drug, and don't know if my grandgirl tried it, but know she tried so much and when she finally got rid of gluten foods, her acne issues were gone.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maura-...b_2601648.html
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:17 PM
 
Location: tampa bay
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Acutane is the only cure for cystic type acne...my daughter and husband both had to complete two rounds of treatment six months each...
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:52 AM
 
4,618 posts, read 10,497,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
I know you are asking about the drug, and don't know if my grandgirl tried it, but know she tried so much and when she finally got rid of gluten foods, her acne issues were gone.

Gluten: The Greatest Enemy of Clear Skin
Naturopathic nonsense...


There is NO link between gluten and acne....
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
13,144 posts, read 7,393,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedevilz View Post
Naturopathic nonsense...


There is NO link between gluten and acne....
Exactly. Here we go again on the gluten thing OP, to answer your question, I took Accutane at age 30 for severe chronic acne. I had suffered from acne since I was 10 years old and had tried every remedy imaginable: creams, washes, astringents, Retin-A, Cleosin T Gel, antibiotics, Proactive (useless) and often these things in combination. Sometimes I was taking four medications at the same time! I had it mostly on my face and back, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts, and was extremely embarrassed by it.

When I met my ex-husband, he suggested I go back to my dermatologist and ask for Accutane. I was desperate and willing to try anything. I went to a new dermatologist and she agreed to prescribe it. I was surprised no dermatologist had ever suggested it. For women of childbearing age, such as myself, you are required to get a blood pregnancy test before you take the medicine, every month before you get a refill, and after you complete the treatment. They are so strict about this I had to get pregnancy tests even though I had had my tubes tied three years before

I started the treatment. A typical treatment cycle lasts five months. The side effects are listed as chapped lips, dry skin, and sometimes dry eyes. Talk about an understatement! Your skin feels like a living version of the Sahara desert: so dry it's like sandpaper. I was forever using Aquaphor, lotion, and eye drops. It also makes you prone to skin infections, so it's important to avoid using anything that can irritate the skin, such as perfume, heavy makeup, waxing or plucking hair, and definitely avoid getting tattoos or piercings until 6 months after treatment.

But it is truly a miracle cure. It fixed my acne when nothing else worked. After the five months were up, I have no acne at all. I get the occasional zit on my face, but it goes away on its own. I recommend the treatment to people, but only if they have SEVERE acne. Because the treatment is no joke. And you have to be willing to push through the pain to see the results. Half measures don't work with Accutane. You have to complete the entire treatment cycle for it to work. But it's worth it, and I would do it again if I had to
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post

1. Has anyone here taken accutane for acne and what were your experiences?

2. Did you have any significant side effects beyond a dry mouth, lips, and skin?

3. Do you have an adolescent you have allowed to go on accutane? What were their experiences?

4. Do you recommend accutane or not based on those experiences?

5. Did another medication work better for you or your child?

I've done some reading about this medicine. However, I'd really like to hear about some experiences.
I'm happy to share my experience with you.

I had moderate to severe acne in my teen years.
At age 19 I was prescribed Accutane.

It was remarkably effective against the acne, in a way that nothing else had been (salicylic acid products helped a LITTLE).

After the several-months course, I literally had clear skin, something I hadn't enjoyed since maybe age 10 or so

I had very few pimples ever since then, perhaps very occasionally very mild acne/a few pimples in my 20s, which were cleared up quickly with some salicylic acid topical products (cleanser or toner, etc.)

To this day - I'm middle aged - people compliment me on my skin.

BUT...

That being said, if I had to do it again, I wouldn't take Accutane.

Why? Because while I was taking it - maybe after a month or so - I experienced a pretty serious episode of clinical depression which lasted for several months. This is a possible side effect of Accutane, and in fact there have been lawsuits of people who experienced clinical depression and even suicide attempts after taking Accutane.

If you have any family history of depression or mental health problems (parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc.), I think it's a good idea to avoid Accutane.
Personally I would avoid it even if no family history because depression is a potential side effect of Accutaine, and - trust me - you don't want to risk that.

The depression lifted after perhaps 6 months or so (but only after causing me to lose a good amount of my body weight, affect my schoolwork, and relationships).

However, ever since then I have been susceptible to clinical depression (never was before), and experienced several more incidents of clinical depression every few years since age 19.

Each time, I had trouble sleeping, eating, lost weight, had trouble studying, holding a job, with friendships, relationships, etc.
Depression is no joke.
Thankfully, I was never suicidal but not everyone is so lucky.

Finally my mental health providers found an anti-depressant that worked for me (I tried several that weren't effective for me), and I have been taking a low dose of it for the past 15 years.
I will probably take psychiatric medication (this medication or another one) for the rest of my life, in order to prevent a relapse into clinical depression.

While I function now, thankfully (I am still somewhat prone to depression and anxiety even on the medication, but I manage and don't fall into a real clinical depression), I lost many many years of my life to depression.

Years where I didn't function scholastically, professionally, or interpersonally.

I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

And no, I wouldn't take Accutane, if I could do it again.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,345 posts, read 1,396,879 times
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Accutane brings up a touchy subject with me because I feel betrayed by advice back then. At age 18, I developed severe nodular acne with some bordeline cysts. Nothing worked really. Not powerful antibiotics, Retin-A, benzoyl peroxide..nothing really. Doc in 1985 put me on Accutane. No fun. The dried lips alone are a killer. So dry they cracked and bled. A common side effect of Accutane. I went on the standard dose for 16-20 weeks. After 12 weeks the acne was completely cleared. One problem. The doctor said that Accutane was pretty much a cure for acne and that it probably would never return. My acne returned after 6 months but not as bad. Doc put me on the other stuff again but it didn't work. Went on another round of Accutane for 12 weeks and stopped. Acne came back and doc put me on low dose for 6-9 months. I think I was on Accutane for a total of 2 years of my life either high dose or low dose. Today, I have never met a person or doctor who had a patient who has ever been on Accutane that long of a time cumulatively. As I approached my 30's, docs put me on antibiotics long term which kept the acne in check then. Clear.

For some reason at age 40, I read something about milk being a driving factor in some people's acne problems. So I tried a little experiment. I stopped the antibiotics but cut out everything in my diet that contained milk or milk products such as cheese, ice cream, etc. Guess what. The acne was virtually gone and stayed gone. That was without antibiotics. I tried this experiment 4-6 times to replicate results and each time I ingested something containing milk, pimples would form in 2 days and stick around until the inflammatory response from milk ingestion died down after stopping it. Usually 2 weeks. I did more research and found that in susceptible people, the body treats cows's milk with all the hormones in it as an inflammatory thing in your body, hence the inflammatory acne response. Back in the 80's, my dermatologists said that diet did not play a role in acne and that there were not enough sufficient studies to make a connection. I call BS and so do many people who have found certain foods can drive acne and inflammation in the human body. Processed sugar is another among other things. I was easily consuming 1/2 gallon of milk in my teens and twenties almost every day. Loved the stuff and now it explains why my acne kept coming back despite being on the most powerful acne drug out there. Even today, docs dismiss the acne - diet connection in some people. Yes some people can eat whatever and some cannot. As a side note, Accutane is a powerful synthetic form of Vitamin A that was originally developed as a cancer drug. Yes you read that right. A cancer drug. They noticed cancer patient's acne would clear on the stuff so eventually there was bigger money to be made using it for that.

I would tell anybody with acne problems to try diet restrictions on known common problems like dairy before committing to powerful stuff and treatments. My parents and I wasted tons of money on treatments that could have been avoided if we were told acne could be diet related. As another side note, my father mentioned over the years, that after consuming chocolate milkshakes when younger, he would develop pimples in various places. I guess I never made the connection. I say it's probably genetic with me about the milk stuff.

As others have mentioned, it is very powerful and there are many people who are still having long term effects from being on it even though they are downplayed by docs and other people. It will almost certainly cause birth defects in females who get pregnant on it and hence ALL the paperwork and birth control checking for female patients.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/for...listic-health/

http://www.clearskinforever.net/milk...lk-cause-acne/

Last edited by Texan2008; 06-20-2016 at 01:39 AM..
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:40 AM
 
Location: The Northeast Kingdom via California
361 posts, read 254,860 times
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1. Has anyone here taken accutane for acne and what were your experiences?

I was prescribed accutane when I was 17 (30 years ago). I had horrible cystic acne as a teenager and really nothing worked. I do still have cystic acne (yes even today), but it is nothing as bad as I had before I took accutane. It is an extremely harsh medication, but it is super effective. I took the drug off and on all the way through college. I did have to submit to pregnancy tests every 3-6mos which wasn't an issue (there was zero chance I was pregnant), but that was the extent to the trouble with taking it. I had no external side effects that I can recall. My oldest younger brother took it as well. He had similar results.

2. Did you have any significant side effects beyond a dry mouth, lips, and skin?

My cholesterol shot up. Not sure why, but it went to 240 and it has never been below that (it is now 320). Same for my brother. I have heard that story along the way over the years. We have never been told by any doctor that we have any other heart disease issues so we are considered low risk, but that most definitely has been an annoying legacy issue. Everyone acts like you're gonna die tomorrow with high cholesterol. I don't have clogged arteries either, but the accutane definitely changed that.

3. Do you have an adolescent you have allowed to go on accutane? What were their experiences?

Nope. My kids are 7 and younger though I expect that if we find ourselves in the same place, I'd probably let them take it for a run.

4. Do you recommend accutane or not based on those experiences?

I recommend it. There just really isn't much left for those with severe cystic acne.

5. Did another medication work better for you or your child?

Not for me. I used all kinds of creams and gels. Retin-A is great but it only works for as long as I use it. Within 3 mos of stopping Retin-A, my cysts are back. I refused to use antibiotics. I never thought that was a good idea so I never chose that option.

I do absolutely believe that diet and autoimmune illnesses can affect skin, but the effectiveness of diet in resolving the issue is obviously going to vary. No one digests food the same way as anyone else. I don't have any digestion issues and I eat a super clean diet and yet I still have acne (most likely genetic since both of my parents have cystic acne way into their 60s). I think it is worthwhile to clean up the diet for anyone, but you may just get better overall health and not necessarily a cure-all for any specific ailment.
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