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Old 02-13-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

My derm started me on 40mg a day. By day 3 I had called her office to figure out something because I couldn't take it any more-- chronic migrane headache, severely itchy body and sandpaper dry eyes. I couldn't go anywhere.

So she told me to do one 40mg pill every other day. I took 3 days off (so started and did 3 days then took 3 days off) and did a pill and skipped a day and took another pill.

Since this seemed to be working, I developed a creative titration of taking one pill every 30 hours... Or so. So like one pill Monday 7 am. Tuesday noon. Wednesday 5 pm. Thursday bedtime. Friday off. Etc.

Of all the horrors of persistent side effects, the dry vagina and chronic yeast infections have been the worst. I started using a product called "rephresh" and it seems to be at least soothing.

I had my one month appointment and I had gotten in 20 pills.

My derm decided to move me to 20 mg once a day saying the new protocols seem to be use the lowest amount that works. She doesn't want me to be miserable, so we are trying this now.

And today I have another yeast infection. *Sigh*. I don't think I have had sex in 6 weeks. This is a first for me. And is the most challenging part of the protocol (happily married).

I had been trying over the counter yeast infection medicine, but it isn't budging (I don't know if this has been one long infection or several ones). Derm prescribed me diflucan 150 mg.

As for the acne, I did have a small to medium initial breakout-- mostly on chin and forehead. My lips are actually not that bad (thank god for aquaphor). Now my face looks less inflamed, my pores are noticeably smaller and my dark spots seem to be fading. So my complexion is definitely looking better.

I can't really work out with my trainer any more.... Severe muscle aches afterwards... Like an exaggerated DOMS. We do a two set baby weight lifting plan now. I'm definitely having the muscle aches problem-- had to take vicaprofin a few times.

And I have had small little bumps break out along my forearms and hands. I regularly spray saline in my nose as my nostrils get real dried out (take this one seriously... If your nose hairs dry out, you can get infections more easily).

I'm not sure I'm going to make the whole 6 months because of the yeast infections, but I'm taking it one day at a time and hoping to get as much in as possible.

 
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Well... 4 or 5 diflucan 150mg and 3 or 4 boxes of over the counter yeast creams later, and I still have this indestructible yeast infection. And now I have a little spot on my shoulder/neck area that is a little yeast rash.

UUGH!!! I hardly ever had yeast infections before. I am even taking a yeast defense supplement that has oregano, garlic, etc (smells like a pizza place when you open the bottle).

My lips are bone dry considering I keep them slathered in aquaphor. I'm getting cracks on the sides now.

I had another breakout along my lower cheeks, chin, jawline and going down under my chin toward the neck, but that is clearning up now.

I have a few continuous spots that just cycle breaking out on my forehead.

BUT.... The rest of my face is looking great. My pores have shrunk, the post acne spots have faded and I'm getting a clear, clean, almost peaches and cream complexion.

I have also developed the "accutane cough" which is a dry, loud, never ending hacking cough that embarrasses me and makes everyone around me uncomfortable. I live with Halls Breezers drops. And yes, I do drink my water which helps but only in the moment. The minute I stop sipping the cough comes back.

My muscles also feel brittle. I'm having to cut down my personal training to 2 days a weeks and we do a small baby steps maintenance type of lifting now. It is really pointless, but I would hate for my trainer to lose a client because of accutane.

I'm living on advil... By 6 p.m. I am so stiff that it literally is an issue to get me moving after I have been sitting still. I'm going to restart fish oil for this.

Accutane has been a giant frustrating experience, but I have tried everything and have been hospitalized before for giving myself staph infections from the pimples. So there is a real medical issue here. My c reactive protein is slightly high (measures inflammation in the body-- high is bad) and I'd like to repeat the test after my acne is gone just to see if the accutane helped lower inflammation in my body.

So onward I go, dealing with this.

Last edited by Yattycathy; 03-03-2013 at 09:15 AM.

 
Old 03-03-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

To date, I am 1260 mg into accutane. I thought that might help people. Someone remind me what the "magic" dose is on mg per kg. I guess I'll go google it.

I'm still throwing in a 40 mg occasionally since I paid 330.00 for the month of 40 mg and I hate to waste that.

Last edited by Yattycathy; 03-03-2013 at 09:58 AM.

 
Old 03-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Noooooo. The yeast rash on my neck has expanded nearly all around my neck by the collar. I have some ketoconozle I have been putting on it.

I don't mess with yeast. If this doesn't go away, this will be the reason I quit.

 
Old 03-05-2013, 07:46 AM   #5
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Some things I forgot: I stopped the rephresh since I wasn't sure if it was contributing to the vaginal yeast infections or not. And the magic accutane dose is 120-150 mg per kg of body weight.

The coughing is starting to wear me out... Kept waking me up last night. It is a dry, non productive, loud hacking cough that nothing helps. I can't be 100% sure it is for accutane but it happened to begin after a week of accutane and I am otherwise not sick.

But who knows.

 
Old 03-11-2013, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Update. Still have the vag yeast infection, so derm wants me to Check with my gyn about what to do. So now I have an appt with him in a week and a half.

The neck rash she said is polymorphous light eruptions. Light sensitivity. I've been having this for a few years each time I first am exposed to the sun. She gave me a topical steroid for that. It looked different from the last few times (which all looked the same) so at least that will calm down.

We are sticking with the 20mg daily of accutane.

I am seeing a new complexion emerging, but really am questioning it more and more about maybe I can go back to retin-a and spiro.

Not coughing so much so maybe that was the pollen (in the southern USA so pollen is thick right now).

Questions?

Last edited by Yattycathy; 03-11-2013 at 02:27 PM.

 
Old 03-12-2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Forgot to say I had the light eruption while wearing 50 SPF and a hat. She does think it was more sensitive from the accutane, but also the brand I was using likely didn't work so much for UVA rays. She recommended a brand of sunscreen by La Roche Posay called "anthleios" with cell-ox. This line apparently was made for light erupters. CVS sells it along with places like Ulta.

On a positive note, my face looks incredible today. I still have 2 spots on my forehead and 2 spots on my chin, but my skin looks so clean and even-toned.

 
Old 03-20-2013, 05:14 PM   #8
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

I tried to go back a while ago and change my title to add something like: warning, yeast. So the men and teens wouldn't gag. But oh well can't change the title.

Nine 150mg diflucan and 6 boxes of cream later and the yeast infection is gone. Thank heavens!

I am 1600mg into accutane and my face looks the best it has in a LOOONG time. I have a few spots under my chin that broke out after my last post, but they are drying out quickly.

I am so exhausted all the time though. I think I made it over the hump and plan to keep going.

Just wanted to update. Accutane has been no fun. No fun at all.

 
Old 03-28-2013, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

I'm about 1800mg in accutane and stil have some stubborn spots on my chin. I do see clearing, but I still have a lot of post acne marks on the sides of my face. With makeup on it looks flawless, but I guess I'm feeling anxious for all of this to pay off. I should be thankful that the acne is much much less, but hey.... We want it all, right?

 
Old 03-28-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Hi, glad you are responding to Accutane, Wash gently with your fingertips with cool water to make the marks go away sooner.

 
Old 04-07-2013, 02:46 PM   #11
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Thanks for the tip! I'll remember it next time I need it.

I am 1900mg into Accutane and my face is "almost" amazing!! The spots on the chin line of my face that I was beginning to think would never go away are gone and I've only had two TINY spots develop since then.

So this is the first time I am having positive gains, more result and less rebound.

My face has never looked this good. Now if I can only get those post acne spots to disappear, I'll be golden.

 
Old 04-17-2013, 07:44 AM   #12
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

So naturally after the last post, I had a large break out on my chin. I also had my derm appt. on Monday and she isn't happy with my progress and wants to put me back on 40 mg a day.

I completely understand why. I know I have to get the mg/kg in. But I'm tired. I can't function on 40 mg and I am back to questioning if this is good for me.

Accutane has definitely knocked me into the special needs category. My joints hurt, I'm very fatigued, my thinking is spaced out, etc. I'm slower and weaker.

I happened upon a master herbalist and she wants to help me and brought up the whole idea that accutane isn't fixing my problem. It is treating my acne, but not solving why I have such bad acne in the first place.

I agree. I know my hormones are a wreck and I live in an area of the country where no one wants to touch that. I have a metal allergy. I do better on a gluten free diet, etc. I do believe I have underlying issues that are causing the acne and, yes, I do want to address those issues too.

My derm prescribed me 20 mg twice a day. I still haven't taken the online test. I have fifteen 20mg pills left, and I will do 40mg a day until those are gone, but at this point I believe I have had enough of accutane.

IDK. I'm going to to give her nurse a heads up (put a call in already) and let her know my thinking.

I also have thought about driving a few hours to see an academic endocrinologist. Has anyone seen an endo before going on accutane? Curious.

 
Old 04-17-2013, 08:04 AM   #13
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

I truly believe in the low dose, longer treatment approach. I think you could get off on a very expensive and frustrasting path with the endo and holistic approach. Cystic acne is largely hereditary, and since the accutane is working, I would continue it but at 20mg day or 40mg every other day to lessen side effects and be PATIENT. You are still very early in the course of treatment, and improvement can continue even after you stop the accutane as long as you have been on it an adequate time.

 
Old 04-17-2013, 02:43 PM   #14
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Chin acne can be caused by toothpaste. Try brushing with baking soda.
There is no cure for acne. I would follow your dermatologist advice and take 40mg daily. Yes, it is painful ( I remember) but it won't be foreever and the clear results will be well worth it!

 
Old 04-17-2013, 04:00 PM   #15
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Re: About 5 weeks into Accutane. My experience (age 43)

Thanks to you both for your points of view. 40mg a day isn't happening. I am extremely fatigued and can't function. I'll have to think more about the 20 mg once a day.

Thanks,

 
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