The Accutane 411

The uncensored journal of an Accutane (Claravis) patient.

Birth Control Update and Day 1! June 9, 2010

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After much contemplation of birth control options, my husband and I have decided against the NuvaRing.  I’ve had horrible, awful, downright dreadful experiences with birth control.  The pill makes me super irritable, the patch messed with my chemistry, the shot left me with a NINE MONTH LONG period (!) and low iron levels, which resulted in anemia.  Since I’m already putting my body through a ton with the Accutane, we are going to go the abstinent route for the duration of my treatment.  Yeah, it’s going to be tough, but we think it’s really for the best.  Kind of crazy that I just shared that with the whole world, but there you go…

So today is officially day 1!  I’m excited, anxious, and nervous all at the same time.  I’m going to be taking my pills with dinner, so I just took my first pill.  Obviously, its way too soon to assess how I feel.  My biggest worry is that I’ll have an adverse reaction to the medication. I’ll be taking 40mg per day of isotretinoin.  Since Accutane is off the market, I’m  taking Claravis by Barr Laboratories. With my insurance, a thirty day prescription of Claravis cost me only $10!  I was stoked to find that out, as I’ve heard this treatment can be extremely expensive.

My dermatologist taught me more about what isotretinoin is.  As I’ve heard, Vitamin A is really great for the skin, but in large quantities it is lethal to the body.  Isotretinoin is an structurally altered form of vitamin A.  As I understand, they alter one chain of the chemical structure of vitamin A so that it will not be toxic.  This way, isotretinoin can be taken in much larger quantities still giving the benefits of the vitamin without the risk of poisoning.  I thought that was pretty cool, because so many people are extremely critical of isotretinoin, but few realize that it is essentially vitamin A.

I plan on posting updates at least once a week from here on out.  At first, I’ll probably be psychoanalyzing every little pain, headache, and dry patch, so I’ll probably be posting more often initially.  Feel free to comment with any questions, suggestions, or whatever!  Talk to you guys soon!