The Accutane 411

The uncensored journal of an Accutane (Claravis) patient.

Let the waiting game begin. May 9, 2010

Filed under: Accutane Blog — theaccutane411 @ 11:00 pm
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For starters, let me just tell you I hate pap smears.  Okay, so most women don’t like them, and I know there are worse things in life.  But, really?  Do we have to put our feet in stirrups while you shine a bright light and poke around you-know-where?  Well, at least it’s over with!

On Wednesday, I spoke with my doctor about a hormonal birth control.  I told her I needed it to start Accutane treatment.  She responded with complete surprise, “Your skin is beautiful!” she told me.

“Look at my back,” I said.

After a little shuffling of the paper robe, she responded with a deep, “Hmmm,” and she shuffled over to her computer to write a prescription for the NuvaRing.

Upper "Bacne"

Sidenote: My friends, like my doctor, seem surprised that I’m going on Accutane.  I can see why.  My face, the most visible part of me, breaks out badly about once or twice a month.  Plus, let’s be honest.  After dealing with acne for the past 10+ years, I’ve become quite the pro at using concealer on my face.  My back, however, is broken out almost all the time, which people rarely see.  I get more cystic acne on my neck and back than anywhere else on my body.  I hide the breakouts by wearing my hair down almost everyday, and wearing clothes that don’t reveal my skin problems.  When I shop, I always look for “bad skin” clothes.  When I get those hideous breakouts on my chest, I usually wear shirts that come up high enough to cover my collarbones.  I can’t wait until the day when I never have to wake up and evaluate my skin before I pick out what to wear to work.

Anyway, back to the doctor’s visit…

I laughed out loud when I found out that the NuvaRing must be stored in your refrigerator until you are ready to insert it.  My husband was a little weirded out when he saw birth control in the fridge hanging out next to the leftovers. He can deal with it until I get started.  My doctor told me the ring wouldn’t be effective for at least one month.  That means I won’t be able to start Accutane until approximately the second week of June.  It sounds far away, but I’m sure it will be here before I know it.

I’ll keep you posted on how my body responds to the NuvaRing.  I’ve read some mixed reviews about it, but hopefully it works out for me!  Check back for an update sometime toward the end of the month.  For now, take care.

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Accutane, here I come! May 2, 2010

Filed under: Accutane Blog — theaccutane411 @ 6:30 pm
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The diagnosis

In less than one week, I’ll be 26…and I still have acne. I’ve tried everything from creams to gels to pills, and nothing seems to discourage those pesky breakouts.  About a month ago, I was thinking I’ll probably just have to deal with bad skin for the rest of my life.   And then, my dermatologist suggested Accutane.

At first, I was hesitant.  I mean, my skin isn’t horrible, but I break out on my face, neck, chest, and back.  My smorgasbord of skin issues includes blackheads, white heads, and cystic acne.  If you know anything about cystic acne, you know it hurts like crazy.  Honestly, if I were still in my early 20’s, I’d probably keep trying alternative acne treatments.  But, let’s face it, I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20.  It’s time to have a clear, beautiful complexion.  So bring on the Accutane!

I’ve learned that taking this pill can be risky business.  You are required to have monthly blood tests and pregnancy tests if you are a woman.  If you are sexually active, you are required to use one form of hormonal birth control, and one backup such as condoms or spermicide.  I have an appointment with my gynecologist in two days to talk about birth control.  Last time I was on birth control, I took Yaz and it made me a very cranky lady!  This time, I think I’m going to try the NuvaRing.  I’ll keep you posted on how that works out!

I’ve already registered for iPledge–the government mandated program to prevent pregnancy while taking drugs containing isotretinoin.  According to my iPledge account, I could start treatment as soon as May 7, but since I’m not on birth control yet, I’m guessing it will be a bit longer.

The goal of this blog will be to discuss all aspects of my Accutane treatment.  Just to be clear, I have no connection to Accutane or Roche Laboratories, I’m just a patient documenting my own experience with the drug.  Hopefully this blog will be helpful to others who are on Accutane or thinking about taking Accutane.  Please feel free to comment, share thoughts, products, etc.  I look forward to hearing from you!