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Old 07-17-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
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Kitty774 HB User
Starting claravis (accutane)

Hi everyone! I start claravis next week and I'm really nervous. I have mild to moderate persistant acne. It really started about 6 months ago and has seemingly gotten worse over time. In fact, my face is completely covered and it has caused stress and caused me to avoid social situations. I have tried minocycline, solodyn, many different topicals. After talking to my dermatologist, I decided that at the age of 27, I am ready to take on the accutane journey. In the past, I have used proactiv and it helped keep all my blemishes at bay. Unfortunately, after years of success with proactiv, it stopped being effective.

I am basically starting this thread because I was wondering what others felt about their experiences. I am really nervous about the so called initial breakout. Any supportive stories or comments are welcomed!

 
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

hi! i'm 31, and i just finished my first month on claravis (accutane). i'm taking it for the second time in my life. i took it at 15 for pretty severe acne, and had good, lasting results until a couple of years ago when my acne came back. not quite as severe as it was when i was a teenager, but definitely persistent and visible enough to be embarrassing -- i had mostly cysts and papules. and i avoided social situations as well, like you said. my dermatologist said about about 25% of people who take accutane need a second round, especially people who take it as a teenager, so it's probably a good thing that you're taking it in your late twenties!

everyone is different, but i've had very few side effects beyond what i expected from my first round of accutane -- dryness, itching, mild nose bleeds. my initial breakout lasted about two weeks, but it really wasn't unbearable. people are starting to comment that my skin is looking better after being on it for a month. i did let all my coworker friends know i was taking it because i knew i would start to have some serious dryness and flaking, red blotches, and nose bleeds, so i didn't want them to wonder what they heck was going on with me.

a positive side effect i've noticed about taking accutane is that my hair is growing like a weed!! i was wanting to grow it longer, so i'm excited to have that positive side effect. i also used to have extremely oily hair, but thanks to accutane, this has totally cleared up...i previously had to wash my hair every morning, and it would be very oily by the end of the day. but i haven't had to wash my hair since saturday (it's now tuesday), and it still looks as fresh as when i first dried and straightened it!

in my experience, accutane is totally worth it. you don't have to take it long-term like oral antibiotics, and it pretty well cures 95% of acne cases. i'm already feeling better about my appearance and looking forward to this round of accutane being the end of my acne woes! good luck!

 
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:03 AM   #3
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Unhappy Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

Hi, thanks so much for your reply. It is so good to hear someone's experience on accutane. I'm glad to hear that you had positive results with it. I have mild acne but it is really persistant. Even though I don't have severe acne, it covers my entire face and really makes me self conscious. People that I know constantly ask what happened to my face because i have never had acne so bad before. It's weird because I have really really tiny bunks everywhere. It almost looks like a rash but the many derms that I have seen, all agree that it's not an allergic reaction or a rash and that it's onset adult acne. I can't believe at 27, I am dealing with such bad acne. I picked up my prescription on Monday but have to wait before I take it because my doctor wants to make sure I can take it... Since about 5 years ago, I had viral meningitis (which is basically swelling on the brain) one of the rare side effects of accutane is pressure on the brain. He said he would call me on thurs to let me know.

I have recently started taking L-Lysine.... 500mg a day and it seems to help with the swelling and redness of the acne that I do have. I know you mentioned that you had an initial breakout. How bad was it? I'm nervous about taking such a strong medication for my mild acne but because it's persistant my doctor thinks its a good idea. I am supposed to take 40mg once a day. I am 117 pounds and hope that's not too much to start out with but we'll see. I am going away at the end of August and pray that if I start that I won't be going away with even worse acne. I'm going to visit my fiancé's family for the first time and hope I don't scare them with my face lol Anyway, thanks for your post I really appreciate it!!

 
Old 07-25-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

i took 40 mg for the first month, and when i saw my dermatologist yesterday, he increased it to 60mg daily to adjust for my body weight. i weigh 147, and the recommended dosage is 0.5 mg - 1 mg per kg of body weight, so if i did the math, i'd say that 40 mg is probably about right for you...it wasn't quite enough for me since i weigh 30 lbs more than you, so he increased it to 60 mg.

my initial breakout wasn't bad at all...just a few more acne marks than i usually have, although with the amount of acne i have, it was kind of like "what's a few more pimples when you already have a ton!" but the pimples i got during the initial breakout started healing as soon as they popped up, so i knew the medication was working. one month in, i am definitely much better than i was before, especially on my chest and back (i have acne everywhere from the belly up -- even some on my belly). by the end of august, i'd bet your initial breakout will be over and you'll have some good results. but either way, i bet your fiance's family will love you just for being who you are.

 
Old 07-25-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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Unhappy Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

Thanks hizzy for your reply and your comments, you're so sweet! I hope you're right and they welcome me and all my acne. I keep joking with my fiancé that I'm lucky that he proposed to me way before my acne got as bad as it is now. Or else he might have changed his mind. I'm glad to hear your initial breakout wasn't too bad. I keep reading all these horror stories about how people get the worse breakout, that sometimes lasts for the entire course... Which scares me so much!😭

I know everyone reacts differently to the medication and honestly my dermatologist said that he has never had any patients that had bad sad effects besides dry skin and dry lips. If he tells me that I'm good to go Thursday, then I'm going to start the medication. So nervous and really hope if I get an initial breakout that it doesn't last long and that it's like yours. It's great that after one month that you're seeing results.. Thanks so much you've given me hope! 😊

- kat

 
Old 07-31-2012, 05:47 AM   #6
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Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

So, I just wanted to let those who have been reading this thread, that I was told by my dermatologist...that since I have had meningitis in the past, that I there could be an increased risk for pressure on the brain (one of the rare side effects of claravis). This whole thing has been so stressful. I was hesitant to start the medication because of all the risks involved. I did a lot of research and prepared myself for all the side effects...only to be told that it wasn't the best idea. He told me that even though I have mild to moderate acne, that taking a low dose would run the risk of having my acne relapse and return. However, going on a regular dose could be somewhat risky.

I decided to go to my doctor and have an appt at the end of next week to have blood work done... to check my hormone levels. I'm wondering if there is something else I could take to balance my hormones, if they aren't at normal levels. If everything comes back normal, then I am going back to the derm and am going to ask him if I can start a low dose. This acne is covering my entire face and is now on my neck and shoulders. It has made me so self-conscious and makes me hate to leave the house. I am getting really frustrated because I am not sure what the right decision for me is. In the meantime, I am using products from derma topix (which are designed especially for acne prone skin). The reviews that I have seen look positive and I am hoping this can help my acne, until I can figure out what to do. I hope that everyone who is currently taking accutane, are having positive results. Hopefully, I will be able to share in some of your experiences soon!

 
Old 07-31-2012, 05:55 AM   #7
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Kitty774 HB User
Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

Hi jond95, I received a notification that you replied to my thread, but for some reason I can't see it. If you get this, I just wanted to let you know that I am not seeing your reply...I just don't want you to think that I ignored your post...I just don't see it. Hopefully, you can repost and I'll be able to see it...Thanks!

-Kat

 
Old 08-10-2012, 06:11 AM   #8
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Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

Hi

I am in mid 30s. I completed 6 months of claravis treatment in march this year. I had acne as a teenager and then after a long gap started having severe breakouts of cystic acne almost 2 years back both on face and back. After trying different options I started with 10 mg of accuane and ended treatment with 60mg by increasing 10mg dose per month.

I did not have any side effects except lot of dryness. The initial breakout was only in form of lot of whiteheads. Otherwise the cystic acne greatly subsided by end of 4-5 weeks. The only annoyance was constant dryness...especially painful on lips for which Aquaphor helped tremendously and I kept it with me all the time and also lot of water intake. Also used very gentle face wash (cetaphil). Even now I feel some dryness on lips but much less than while I was on medication.

There were 2-3 instances when I felt little back pain but not sure if it was because of the medicine or a result of some rigorous workout sessions.

Have had zero breakout as yet (crossing my fingers) in past few months. Now since my 6 months post accuane are almost up... Am looking for scar correction treatments.

I hope your experience with accutane will also be smooth. Good luck!

 
Old 08-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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laporte HB User
Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

hey r u sure you want to go on accutane....there is a alternative that is less lethal....spironolactone..r u female and healthy?? ...if you are, pls ask your GP or dermatologist if this is a better alternative...I feel your acne is caused by your hormones...but you have to be patient, and you can't eat potassium food while you are on this drug( meaning bananas, yogurt, spinach...you can always google the list) and low sodium intake too...plus you have to drink tons of water... (the drug is like a diruetic) In a way this pill makes you want to eat very healthy...you will have two benefits out of this drug..weightloss and clean skin... also you have to get blood test every two or three months to check your numbers..... it is a very little price to pay if it can cure your acne breakouts...I hope everything works out for you

Last edited by Administrator; 12-19-2012 at 06:20 PM.

 
Old 08-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #10
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laporte HB User
Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

I almost forgot to add....you should use saliycic acid gel 1-2% all over your affected areas every morning and nite...In conjunction with the spiro drug....your skin will clear up faster....as a new user to spiro/saliycic acid user on my 6th day....I have seen improvements to my skin, less oilyness , breakouts are smaller and not cystic type , the texture is smoother and the pores has shrunken too....I can't wait for my results after another month or 2...i really think my skin will be clear very soon......one more tip...clean your face with your hand with cleanser only...don't use a cloth or scrubber..no matter how much you clean these items...they will never be bacteria free...
good luck girl!!!

Last edited by Administrator; 12-19-2012 at 06:20 PM.

 
Old 08-10-2012, 07:10 PM   #11
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Kitty774 HB User
Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

Hi Sunv! Thanks so much for your response. I didn't think anyone was really reading my posts, but am glad that you did and were able to give your input. I am so happy for you! Congrats on completing your accutane treatment. It must feel so great to have clear skin after struggling with cystic acne. I have been going crazy with all the different antibiotics and topicals that I've been trying. Nothing seems to work. It's kind of weird, but in the mornings my skin seems to look a little bit better than it does throughout the day. Not sure why. Again...congrats on your beautiful skin and I wish you a happy and acne free future!

-Kat

 
Old 08-10-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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Kitty774 HB User
Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

Hi laporte! Thanks for your post. I really appreciate your advice. I actually did some research and found some information on spironolactone. I am going to my doctor tomorrow to have some blood work done. I want to check my hormone levels to see if it can be an underlying hormonal condition (such as, POS). Once, I get the results back from the test, I will decide on whether or not accutane is what I need to do. I am kind of scared to take it because I know that some of the side effects are really serious, even if they are rare. I am so glad to hear that the salicylic acid and spiro are already bringing you promising results. It must be so exciting to see that something is working for your skin. I have been trying so many different things and not seeing results, which is causing more stress and let down feelings. Hopefully, I will find out what my doctor thinks and then go from there.

Thank you for the advice and for sharing some of your personal experience. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you continue to see the results that you were hoping for!

-kat

 
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:59 AM   #13
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Kitty774 HB User
Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

I'm not sure if anyone is reading this thread, but I thought I'd just give an update in case anyone is. I found out that my testosterone and shbg levels are higher than normal. Also, I have noticed my hair is falling out more than normal and I'm starting to see fine hair growth along my jawline. I was referred by my doctor to see an endocrinologist and have an appt on the 11th. I am really hoping that the doctor will be able to give an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. I am hoping that once I go to the endo that things will start to get better. This whole ordeal has been super frustrating and depressing. If anyone has any advice or thoughts on my situation or have similar experiences... I would love to hear them. Thanks everyone for your support, it means a lot!


- kat

 
Old 09-25-2013, 10:05 AM   #14
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HAPPY40 HB User
Re: Starting claravis (accutane)

I saw your post about the dermatologist being cautious about putting you on Claravis because of a past history of meningitis. I have multiple sclerosis, and my dermatologist was also cautious and had to get the approval of my neurologist before prescribing the med. My neurologist did give his approval, and I have experienced no neurological problems while taking Claravis, not even a headache.

 
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