I think the best way for me to educate people interested in taking Accutane is for me to leave a review in a question and answer format. Hope this helps those of you who are considering taking Accutane.
What sex are you?
How old were you when you went on Accutane?
What was your height and weight when you were on Accutane?
160lbs. and 5'11"
What type of acne did you have?
I had cystic acne. It was very painful and I had no self-esteem as a teenager because of it. My face looked like a bunch of small volcanoes. I think I woke up every single morning and discovered multiple new acne breakouts. It was horrific and saddening.
Did I experience depression while on Accutane?
No, I did not. The only depression I suffered from was having severe acne while going through high-school.
How long were you on Accutane?
I was on Accutane for 6 months.
Did you experience dry skin while on Accutane?
Yes, I did. I was able to control the severity of my dry skin with lots of moisturizers and lip balm. My eyes, nasal passages and lips were also dry.
What dosage of Accutane were you on?
Month 1: 40mg twice a day
Month 2: Two 30mg tabs in the morning, One 30mg tab at night
Month 3-6: One 40mg tab in the morning and two 30mg tabs at night
Did you have any side-effects?
I had dry skin as noted above and in month 6 my bones were very achy. My liver enzymes and cholesterol were elevated for 1 out of the 6 months. (This was picked up during my monthly blood test. The doctor didn't change anything and the following month my liver and cholesterol levels returned to normal.) My blood work also showed that I was frequently dehydrated. My doctor kept telling me to drink more water. I tried, but I don't like drinking a lot of fluid. I should have been better about this.
When did your skin clear up?
By month 3 I had stopped breaking out. Around month 5 my skin started feeling really smooth. It was the first time in many years that I finally had clear skin.
Did you have an initial breakout?
No, but to be honest, when you have acne as bad as I did, it's really hard to tell.
Products you used while on Accutane?
I used Aquaphor for my lips, Visine for my eyes and Neutrogena moisturizer for my face.
Worst part of taking Accutane?
Having monthly blood tests and doctor's appointments. Oh, and when you take your Accutane pills, you need to pop the pill through a picture of a pregnant woman with a big X on it each time. (Not really the worst part, but that was a bit odd.)
Best part of taking Accutane?
It's the only medication that actually worked to clear my acne. I had very bad acne and it really impacted my quality of life. I'm now in college and not having adult acne is amazing. I have so much more confidence now and don't worry that I'll wake up with zits every morning. Not having acne takes one less worry off my plate. I've been off Accutane for years and my skin is still clear and I did not experience any long term side effects because of it. Accutane was a godsend for me.