Accutane Review

I just finished my 6 month dose of Accutane so I thought I would give you a review of my experience. For those that don’t know, Accutane is a prescription medication used in the treatment of severe acne and has had some bad press. Among its many reported side effects are some biggies like major birth defects and insanity. The birth defect thing is real and all appropriate measures need to be taken to prevent pregnancy during treatment. They even have a special web site where you pledge to do exactly that before receiving the drug. The insanity thing is crap, though they still monitor you well. I was routinely asked every month if I was hearing voices (that nobody else hears).

So why would anyone take this death med? I am 33 years old and have the back of a leper. I’ve had “nodular” back acne all of my life and have tried everything to get rid of it. Lotions, potions, scrubs, and tonics…nothing worked. I tried the Tetracycline, but it did nothing for me. I shower twice a day but still my back looked like a meat lover’s pizza dumped on a burn victim. I’m talking big boys too, you know, the ones that can only be popped with a pair of vise-grips or a two handed knuckle squeeze. The three stage rocket types that hit you with oil, a one inch puss dragon winding his way out, followed by the punctuated release of a granular core reminiscent of a well used pencil eraser. Gross? Yeah, well, welcome to my world. Those are the mounds I have been plagued with my entire life. Ironically, my face has been pretty clear for most of my adult life. So, let’s just say, I generally mow the lawn with my shirt on, and I don’t frequent swimming pools, ever.

So on a whim, 10 years after being to a pro, I headed to the dermatologist to see if there had been any medical advancements that could cure my plague. He looked at my pock marks and said “Let’s just put you on Accutane.” It is a once in your lifetime treatment that lasts 6 months. Then he started in on the side effects. There were tons, but nothing more than most meds so I said “Let’s do this thing” and off I went. Again, they monitor you very well so you will have to pony-up your co-pay every month in order to get your prescription filled, but wow was it worth it. I didn’t see anything but side effects for the first 3 months, but then my back really cleared up. I got a few shiners once in a while, but no more 3 stage rockets. These were normal pimples handled in the traditional fashion. Scraped across any corner in your house, like a bear scratching his back. Now I am finished and my back has been clear for a month or so, no alien activity whatsoever.

I won’t go into all possible side effects because I don’t have 100 pages to write, but here are the ones I experienced. My lips got uber dry and I use chap stick about 10 times a day. He says that will go away. Along with the dry lips, my eyes are very dry…but I am also post Lasik. I have to put lotion on my face in the morning to combat the dry skin, but that isn’t so bad either. I also lube up the ol’ undercarriage, but that is for another reason altogether. Ok, I chaif. The final thing I noticed is that my skin scratches very easily and seems thinner. Again, he said these are all things that will go away in the next couple of months.

Acne has plagued my psyche my entire life and now I am free from that puss filled monkey. If I drop some of the belly lard and shave the nipple hair from my otherwise bald chest, I just may go shirtless this summer, or at least start with a tank top.

I only dropped 1 star because the mild side effects are real and the ones that affected me pretty much affect everybody who takes the drug.


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