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Acutane for acne - any experience with it? What else?

sammy

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My son has very severe acne. We've been avoiding resorting to acutane because of the rare, but severe side effects of depression. But he has tried the antibiotics and they are not working well; and even caused an episode of severe acid reflux that took him off the drug for 3 weeks and now he's just starting back and unfortunately since school just started back, is having major, major cystic ance. So I am thinking maybe we should give that a try.

Experiences with it, side effects, does it ever not work, anything else to try for severe acne, etc would be much appreciated!
 

rickandcindy23

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Our daughter and son both took Accutane a long time ago. It was very expensive, but our insurance covered all but $5.00 a month, so we decided to take advantage of the benefit. That drug was a godsend to our daughter, who was married right after college, and so she took it right up to the wedding date. Her acne disappeared after many years of battling it with other meds.

Our son took it in high school because he basically went to the doctor after a severe, sudden outbreak of acne and refused to take any other medication, so the doc prescribed Accutane without even pushing the other methods first. Josh is a very forceful person.

As far as symptoms, our daughter was extra "testy" during the wedding planning process, but I didn't know whether it was normal, or whether it was the medication at the time. I think it's normal, now that I look back on it. But who knows what the effects were with her? Maybe she was mad at me all the time because of the Accutane. I prefer to think that way. ;)

Josh did have some depression, but he kept saying he would be a lot more depressed if he had the acne again. He made it through okay. He would tell you today that he was a little angrier at life than usual.
 

LUVourMarriotts

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I used it in the early 90's when I was in high school. I had to go to the Dr. once per week for blood tests. I remember some mood swings. I didn't have severe acne but other stuff wasn't making me completely clear.
 

Conan

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Two of our teens took it. The main thing is, it works!
I don't think there were psychological symptoms (hard to tell with teens!!), but it is very drying including on the eyes. One of our contact lens wearers still needs eyedrops ten years later.
 

sammy

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How long did you or the kids have to stay on it? And how long did the depression last (just during treatment or did it linger)? My Dr said its a 2-4 month thing, but I have my doubts it will be that short of a treatment.

Good point about the dry eyes - my son already has dry eye so could that put it over the top. Hmmm.
 

pjrose

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It worked great for my son, who took it for 5 months. His acne wasn't horrible, but persistent - facial as well as back. He had been on antibiotics for several years. He tried various topical stuff, including ProActiv. The ProActiv did help some when he used it - but he was not good about following through with the topical treatments. I honestly feel that if he had been more conscientious with the ProActive or something like it, his facial acne would have been under control - but that wouldn't help with the back.

We were concerned about the depression issue because he had been on anti-depressants since an episode a few years back and never bounced back to be a happy person. Nonetheless, we tried the Accutane, and it worked. His side effects were 1) VERY dry lips - he went through lip balm constantly, and 2) once (that I know of) he said he just felt like crying for no reason that he could figure out. (At that point I wanted to stop, but he said no, he thought he'd be ok, it was just once - and he was ok.) The acne is 100% gone.

A friend of my daughter's, who had severe acne, just finished 6 months, and it worked fantastically for her too. In her case it got a lot worse at first, then cleared up.

The difference in both kids is very noticeable.
 
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Makai Guy

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How about adult acne? Anyone take it for acne in their 30's or 40's?
Makai Gal was in her upper 30's when she took it for acne that she just never grew out of. I recall she was very sensitive to sun exposure, and had very dry itchy skin. She didn't even try to wear her contacts that summer. In retrospect, it probably was not a good time to vacation in the desert Southwest.. (I remember one particularly bad night at Gould's Lodge at Monument Valley when the itching was really driving her up the wall.)

But it sure did clear up the acne and she hasn't been bothered since.
 

IreneLF

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DD 15 just had a 6 month course of treatment for severe acne that 5 other docs could not 'fix' ; this MD said no topical would work on her and it was accutane or nothing. ( said she has a different kind of acne)
She just ended a month ago.
Her skin got a lot worse before it got better and she was upset about that, but then her face peeled and with it the acne -- I'd say 95% is gone.

(Not sure if they will do another course or not, need to be off it for a while and wait til January.)

Symptoms - did not notice depression, nastiness yes but that is always the case :eek: , dry eyes not a problem but her lips were.... they just peeled off, as did a lot of her facial skin. She was given prescription moisturizers for face and special cream for lips. Complained a lot, but now that she is off the meds no more lip problems.
 

labguides

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When our daughter was in university, she took accutane for cystic acne. Initially, she had horrible dry lips. Accutane worked for her, when nothing else did. Our local dermatologoist would not prescribe it due to possible side effects. She found a dermatologist near campus who prescribed it.

That was about 10 years ago. Is there anything more current?

Accutane really helped our daughter's skin and her self confidence.
 

luv2vacation

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Our local dermatologoist would not prescribe it due to possible side effects. She found a dermatologist near campus who prescribed it.
I'm running into the same problem - I really like my dermatologist but have been battling 'adult acne' for more than 4 years. It is not severe, but constant and persistent, and I've tried just about every prescription topical and oral antibiotic there is. Some things 'manage' it but nothing clears it up. I asked her once about accutane and she just said, "let's try this." And then gave me another Rx for a different topical and antibiotic. I'm just so tired of the all the 'work' and no real results.
 

rickandcindy23

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Another great side effect, our daughter also had recurring warts on her knee, and freezing was not effective in the least. Accutane cured that too. It was a lot less painful too. I had warts on my hands and had them frozen, and boy did that hurt! I would rather have taken Accutane.

Josh was on the medicine for four months, and it was a miracle. Laura used it for the same amount of time, and she was beautiful for her wedding. I would never hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
 

bonniedwan

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I have to say I would recommend Acutane to anyone who is having a severe acne problem. My son just finished his 6 month Acutane treatment & we are SO pleased with the results. He had severe acne & was so miserable & uncomfortable with his appearance. This was a godsend in my opinion. He had not one side effect from the medicine at all. The only disadvantage....if you could even call it that was that he had to be monitored every month, which entailed blood tests to check levels & then get another 30 day supply of medicine. He now has the most beautiful clear complexion & not one scar at all!

Oh yes, and expect very dry nose & lips. Use moisturizers & vaseline for lips....you will need it.

(The only thing that you should be aware of is if this if for a female, they say it can be very dangerous if you should become pregnant on Acutane....it can cause very serious birth defects!) If you have any questions, please feel free to email me directly at bonniedwan@comcast.net

Bonnie Johnston
 

suesam

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I had a problem with bad acne about 6 mos ago. This was very uncommon for me. My co-worker told me her daughters used Dr. Wexler's acne treatment from Bath and Body. Well I thought she was goofy but I went and bought the trial pack and have not had ONE SINGLE PIMPLE since then. I kid you not.
My 18 year old son uses it as well and really thinks it works. It is a little pricey for the two of us (approx. $200 a month, maybe a little less) but it sure sounds safer than the accutane.

Sue
 

M. Henley

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Few Years Ago

Had an outbreak several years ago. Dfr. prescribed tetracycline and it cleared up.
Apparently acne is caused by bacteria andan antibiotic will kill them off.
 

lawtechie

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My daughter had severe cystic acne. It affected her psychologically. Nothing worked so her Dr. put her on Accutane. It cleared her up and she hasn't had cystic acne since. Even anti-biotics didn't work for her. She did have to go for pregnancy tests before the Dr. would give her the medication though. I would definitely consider it but watch carefully for side affects.
 
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