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Accutane/isotretinoin. Abnormal wbc w/differential

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Old 07-30-2013, 08:28 PM   #1
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Accutane/isotretinoin. Abnormal wbc w/differential

36y/o male. 3rd cycle of accutane for acne. First 2 cycles were taken in 2004. My pre treatment blood work was all normal with the exception of slightly elevated cholesterol.

Fast forward after 1 month of being on accutane all my labs were normal with the exception of elevated lipids and 0.1% NRBC's on differential!! I freaked out because Dr. Google says that the presence of NRBC's in your peripheral blood is a strong indicator for LEUKEMIA!!! Saw my derma and she told me not to worry because she does see low levels of NRBC's in her other patients that are taking accutane. She also added that the automated counts are not always accurate.

2 months into accutane I take my normal monthly labs again. Everything is again normal with the exception of sky high lipid panel and 4.9% NRBC's!!! I see my derma and she immediately takes me off accutane and says that it was a significant jump and wants to continue monitoring it.

3 months later (today) I take my labs again and everything is back to normal. NRBC's back at 0.0%. I'm very happy with the results but I'm also weirded out about the blast cells. I scoured the Internet and the general consensus is that The presence of NRBC's generally means that your bone marrow is under severe stress ie a hematological disorder or metastasizing cancer...not good.

I wanted to post this just in case other accutane patients run into the same scenario.

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:21 AM   #2
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Re: Accutane/isotretinoin. Abnormal wbc w/differential

depending on dr internet is not a great thing to do.....if you look hard enough, youll find whatever info you are trying to find..right, or wrong.

Its not abnormal for certain patients to respond exactly like this to accuatane. I had the same reaction and within 6 months of being off the drug my labs were completely back to normal. Youll repeat them down the road and more than likely find that things are okay.....dont freak out.

Its good that your doctor took you off the drug. After 3 rounds, one has to assume it isnt working for you. I did 2 rounds myself and gave up. What actually worked for me was going the medical spa route- I found a dermatologist who uses lasers. Had IPL laser done 5 times, 6 weeks apart, and shrunk all the sebaceous glands in my face- this reduced the production of cystic acne. 3 years later, my skin is 95% perfect. I can live with that. Its a huge improvement.

I wish better days ahead for you.
RRMS- dx 05

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accutane, isotretinoin, wbc

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