Hey everyone, so I’m sure as you can tell from the title, that I’ve started a cycle of Accutane, this will probably come as a surprise because I haven’t really talked much about my acne, or my skin care. I guess I’ll first start off with what Accutane is for those of you who don’t know. Basically it’s a pill you take 1-2 times a day, and it’s a very high dosage of a form of vitamin A. It is usually taken for a 6 month period, and over that time this pill will essentially stop your oil glands and other forms of moisture in your body to stop producing moisture. So your skin, eyes, joints, muscles and nose will get dry. For the eyes, joints and muscles this may present itself as soreness. With your nose this may present itself as bloody noses. Some other possible, though extremely unlikely side effects are depression and swelling of the brain, which would feel like a very bad migraine that even after some form of pain medicine will not go away.
Now I’ll give you some back story on my skin, I’ve had acne since about 6th or 7th grade, and I’m now a sophomore in college, so roughly 7-8 years I’ve dealt with acne. And I’ve tried just about everything, drugstore, department, infomercial or prescription. And the only thing that made any real improvement was the combination of an oral antibiotic and a topical cream. However this combination only lasts 3-4 months before the effect lessens and then my acne starts to return full force. Granted my acne is not severe, I don’t get cystic acne very often, however my acne is very persistent.
And about two months ago I went to my doctor for a check up and I told him, I don’t want to be taking antibiotics for the rest of my life, or for the next 10+ years. I had gone there with the intention of asking him what he thought of me going on Accutane, because at this point this was about the only thing I hadn’t tried. Fortunately for me, I didn’t even have to mention it, he actually brought it up before I could.
The process for going on Accutane as a girl is much more involved than it is for a guy. The reason for this being that if you get pregnant on Accutane there is a near 100% chance your baby will either die before birth or be born with severe birth defects. As soon as you and your doctor agree that Accutane is the right path for you, you will be presented with a large booklet detailing all the side effects of Accutane, al about birth control, and basically just sex ed in 30 pages. You’ll then have to sign some forms saying that you read the booklet and you understand everything. Then you have to take a pregnancy test right then and there, if it comes back negative you can continue on in the process. A month from that first pregnancy test you go to a lab and have another pregnancy test along with a blood test which just provides assurance that your body is able to take the drug. A couple of days after that you go back to your dermatologists office where they read the results and enter it into the online program, iPledge, which allows the doctor to right you a prescription. From there you have to go home, or if you’re impatient like me just go on your phone in the parking lot, go onto iPledge and take a quick quiz. Once you pass the quiz, and only then can you go and pick up your prescription. The pharmacist cannot give you the prescription until you’ve completed that quiz. You’ll repeat this process every month for your cycle and one month after it. I’m very lucky though and my doctor isn’t requiring me to have blood tests every month, just pregnancy tests.
You also must take the pill with food, if you’re one of those people who just won’t remember there is a form of the pill that does not require you to take food with it. Also something to keep in mind, this is just how my dermatologists office does things, your office may be more or less involved. Every doctor is different, some are against Accutane and make it the last possible option for you, while others, like my doctor, are totally fine with prescribing it.
Well I think that’s about all I know about Accutane, please if you have an questions ask, because I’m sure there are things in here I didn’t cover. Until next time . . .