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    Old 02-16-2007, 12:14 PM   #1
    MT2
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    opinions on accutane please

    Hi everyone - I am a 43 yr old female with what I would call mild to moderate cystic acne. I ahve had acne since my teen years to varying degrees - smetimes just a little and other times a lot. I started seeing a derm last year and she put me on Clindamycin (sp?) in the am and retin a at night(first the creme then the gel). I find if I follow this regimen my skin gets really dry, flaky and uncomfortable so I end up using these meds every other day. Like I said my face I have some pimples and others are hard cysts under the skin that take a long time to go away and I do have some scars as well. I also have somewhat large pores on my face. At my last check up (last week) she rec. accutane and I said that I thought it was pretty controversial and I'm not so sure. She said it has been around 25 years and is a "miracle" drug and then talked to me about the Ipledge thing and using 2 forms of birth control, etc. Anyway I took a pregnancy test and am sched in March to go back for another test and then start taking the accutane. My reluctance is possible side effects (liver, cholesteral, vision, etc.) I have read tons on the web but I don;t know what the statistics are for bad side effects (for example. less than 1 % have liver issues??). I would feel better if I knew what the statistics are for people who have bad side effects.

    It sounds like it is beenficial for a lot of people and I would love not to have acne anymore. On the other hand I can live with some acne but not with a damaged liver, etc. As an aside I am in excellent health - excellent blood pressure, cholesterol, don't drink, good weight, quit smoking (6 weeks ago!) and I exercise! Thanks for any opinions or advice. Maureen

    Last edited by MT2; 02-16-2007 at 12:16 PM. Reason: typos

     
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    Old 02-16-2007, 08:28 PM   #2
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    All I know is that Accutane SAVED MY LIFE

    well not really but it made me a MUCH happier person, cleared up my moderate acne really fast, I never had the dreaded "initial breakout" everyones afraid of, and the only side effects I got was overall dryness of my body. Like I had a dry nose, eyes, skin, lips, etc. But I just bought some moisturizers and stuff and it was fine. It is true that accutane is hard on your liver, but just don't do a lot, if any, drinking while your on it.

    My opinion is that accutane is the ANSWER to acne, and while it obviously wont give the same results for everyone, I HIGHLY recommend it. Just do your research and talk to your doctor of course.

     
    Old 02-16-2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    It worked for me, twice, the first time for about a year and the second time for about the same. But the acne came back in FULL FORCE.

    It is a short term fix for most people. But I understand how acne can ruin your life and outlook, and sometimes people need a short term fix. If you're relatively healthy and are not going to have kids in the future, then I could understand how you would want to try it. Everyone who knows acne should have the right to take Accutance to see for his/herself, but don't get your heart set on it being a miracle drug - otherwise it hurts too much emotionally when the acne comes back.

     
    Old 02-17-2007, 11:19 PM   #4
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    Personally, accutane was a godsend for me. I took it my senior year of high school, and it cleared up my acne 100%. I had the normal side effects...dry skin, chapped lips, nosebleeds, etc., but it was well worth it. After a few years my skin started to get more and more oily like before, and my acne started getting worse, but the only problem now are the new restrictions on accutane. I went to 3 different dermatologist to try and get put back on accutane, and all 3 said that they don't prescribe it to female patients at all now.
    However...since I wasn't able to take accutane it made me look for more options, and I found one that works like accutane...but better. It's called the Smoothbeam Laser. It works by decreasing the oil production of your sebatious glands just like accutane does, but without the effects on the rest of your body. It also helps with acne scars as well. It has worked WONDERFULLY for me. Before smoothbeam laser I was taking minocycline for my acne along with tazorac gel and all sorts of cleansers...now I wash my face with cetaphil and use cetaphil moisturizer...and my acne is approx 90% improved after 3 Smoothbeam treatments.
    I would highly suggest looking into smoothbeam before you start accutane. Mine costs about 300$ a session (not covered by insurance unfortunately), but it is well worth it not to risk all of the side effects caused by accutane...and to get the same results out of it.

     
    Old 02-18-2007, 12:06 PM   #5
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by littlebigeyes View Post
    It worked for me, twice, the first time for about a year and the second time for about the same. But the acne came back in FULL FORCE.

    It is a short term fix for most people. But I understand how acne can ruin your life and outlook, and sometimes people need a short term fix. If you're relatively healthy and are not going to have kids in the future, then I could understand how you would want to try it. Everyone who knows acne should have the right to take Accutance to see for his/herself, but don't get your heart set on it being a miracle drug - otherwise it hurts too much emotionally when the acne comes back.
    I really disagree with this post. How do you know accutane is only a short term fix for most people? Its been a miracle drug for me, my acne has been gone for 3 or 4 years now and I really don't think its coming back. But your right, its not a miracle drug for EVERYONE.

     
    Old 02-18-2007, 05:54 PM   #6
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    Accutane was a God send for me. I completed it 5 months ago, am now I'm acne-free. I guess you have read about people's bad accounts? It must be noted that these aren't as common as it is made out to be. People who have bad experiences are more likely to post about it, compared to people who have had success with this powerful drug.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MT2 View Post

    It sounds like it is beenficial for a lot of people and I would love not to have acne anymore. On the other hand I can live with some acne but not with a damaged liver, etc. As an aside I am in excellent health - excellent blood pressure, cholesterol, don't drink, good weight, quit smoking (6 weeks ago!) and I exercise! Thanks for any opinions or advice. Maureen
    Liver damage is rare, as long as you don't drink excessively, then you will have no problems. Also the dermatologist will do blood tests to make sure your liver is okay to take accutane. Also you should not consume high vitamin E stuff, i.e. cod liver oil. Accutane already overloads it.

    Being in your 40's, everything has matured. I read somewhere that if you're in your teens, various factors are still developing, and accutane can inhibit these things (very vague, can't remember )

     
    Old 02-18-2007, 05:56 PM   #7
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MT2 View Post
    It sounds like it is beenficial for a lot of people and I would love not to have acne anymore. On the other hand I can live with some acne but not with a damaged liver, etc. As an aside I am in excellent health - excellent blood pressure, cholesterol, don't drink, good weight, quit smoking (6 weeks ago!) and I exercise! Thanks for any opinions or advice. Maureen
    You would have to cut down on any extreme excercises whilst on accutane

     
    Old 02-18-2007, 07:23 PM   #8
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    DS - Thanks for your post. Glad it worked for you. You're right I can't speak "for most people". I was trying to speak for me, and let others know that they cannot lead someone to believe that it WILL work for them - because there are always going to people like me that it won't work for long term. It's pretty heartbreaking when you put yourself through Accutane and then it comes back stronger than ever after a full 20 week course. But, you are right, I can't say that it is short term for "most people." It was a short term fix for me.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 08:52 AM   #9
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    I just finnished a 5 month course of Accutane. I'm 27 and have suffered with acne since puberty. It took 3 dermatologists and 2 family Dr's to convince me to go on Accutane. I was very concerned about the possible side effects but my acne was the cystic kind that was not responding to anything else. I finally said enough and went on it and I am so glad I did!
    My skin is 100% clear at this point, 1 week since last dose.
    My cholesterol did go up during treatment, it went up pretty early on and stayed at around 200 for the whole treatment. I'm hoping it'll return to normal soon, I haven't tested yet. Other side effects I had was dryness, dry skin,lips,nose, female parts and towards the end dry eyes. I have also been extremely tired for some time but it actually started before Accutane when I was taking an antibiotic so I'm not really sure how much Accutane had to do with it.
    It's been well worth it!

     
    Old 02-20-2007, 11:46 AM   #10
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    i am 20 years old, on day 72, and for the first time in over 4 years i dont have one active spot on my face and i feel great, none of the less common negative side effects.
    it seems to me accutane has a higher success rate in males based on the feedback you read from former users. females seem to note relapse incidents more often than males, this could be based on hormones playing a large role in female acne and a smaller role in men, but thats just an uneducated guess. anyone have any thoughts on this?

     
    Old 02-20-2007, 06:58 PM   #11
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    Hi everyone - thanks for all of the responses so far - would appreciate hearing more because I am still undecided. Thanks, Maureen

     
    Old 02-26-2007, 11:24 PM   #12
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    hii i took accutane about 3 years ago! it reallyyyyy changed my life.. i used to constantly be worried about my face.. now i havent even thought twice about it.. it tottalllyyy cleared up my skin! i really really think you shoudl give it a try..my acne never came back along with a bunch of other people i knwo that took it! it gives u perfect looking skin also..i never ever imagined i woudl have! the only thing i noticed that was negative was my hair got alot thinner.. but after getting off of it it all came back!

     
    Old 02-27-2007, 08:22 AM   #13
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    Thanks Elizabeth - glad to hear that your acne hasn't come back after 3 years...wow! I am still so undecided -I guess it is because I don't get that upset by my acne - I mean it would be awesome to have no pimples, esp. on my back but I really don't think about it all the time, you know what I mean? This is prob because I am now in my forties, married witha kid and busy,etc. In other words, I don;t take the time I used to to think about myself? Not sure. Anyway I am seriously thinking of picking a number and then counting how many pimples (even tiny ones on my back) I have and if I have more than the number I go for the accutane. Sounds crazy I know. I just want to make up my mind....

     
    Old 02-27-2007, 09:03 AM   #14
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    i started accutane in november of last year and now i am just starting my fifth month. my process has been slow but it is clearing up. i would reccommend it. with this you take two blood tests a month one pregnancy and one to check out your liver. so if you livers is becoming damaged because of it, the doc will take you off of it before it does any real damage.

     
    Old 02-27-2007, 12:24 PM   #15
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    Re: opinions on accutane please

    A friend's daughter had terrible acne on her face, neck, back and shoulders. The dermatologist said it was the worst he had ever seen and recommended Accutane, with of course the usual safeguards of blood tests, etc. She had had the acne for more than 5 years when she started Accutane and within a few weeks it was lessening. After 5 months it had gone completely and now, 7 months later, she hasn't had a single spot come back. Her skin looks wonderful but the nicest thing is to see the change in her self-confidence, she's just so happy to be 'normal'. She had only the most minor of side effects and far from feeling depressed (sometimes depression can be a side-effect) she spent the 5 months getting happier and happier as she saw her skin getting cleared.

    In an ideal world we wouldn't need drugs of any kind for anything, but the simple fact is that for certain things drugs do provide an answer. This is not to say that every drug is suitable for everyone, including Accutane, but for those for whom it is suitable it truly does seem to work wonders. I had acne in my teens many years ago and was helped by taking antibiotics, but my friend's daughter also tried them before Accutane and they didn't help her at all. Nor did diet or special cleansers. It took the Accutane to finally get rid of the acne and allow her to feel the same as her friends who all seem to have good skin. So I would say to anyone who has acne which simply can't be shifted by other means to at least consult a dermatologist and see if he thinks Accutane would help.

     
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