Accutane is the brand name of a medicine containing Isotretinoin as its main active ingredient. It was first manufactured and distributed by Hoffmann-La Roche which is a Swiss multinational healthcare company on May 7, 1982. Accutane is the first product that contains Isotretinoin. It belongs to a class of drugs known as retinoids which are used to treat severe cystic acne that has failed to respond to other treatment. It can be used to treat moderate to severe acne especially those with persistent acne that has not responded to antibiotic creams and pills.
Accutane is discontinued from the shelves in 2009. The reason for this as stated by Hoffman-La Roche is declining sales. Roche spokeswoman Martina Rupp said, “This was an economical decision driven by falling market share.” However, several brands of Isotretinoin are still available in the market.
Today, most people still refer to Isotretinoin by its former brand name which is Accutane. In this post, we will also refer to the drug as Accutane to identify with what most people call it.
We are not doctors or partaking in any particular opinion. We are just sharing the experiences of people who have tried the product through the videos and photos posted below. We aim to share important information that can guide you if you are planning to take Accutane. Like any drugs, Accutane has its advantages and disadvantages. It is a medication that can only be purchased with a prescription from a dermatologist. If you are dealing with severe acne, consult your dermatologist and undergo tests to find out if you are qualified to take Accutane.
Before and After Results of Using Accutane As Told By Users
If you have moderate to severe acne and is frustrated about the condition of your skin, this post may help you. The videos and photos below are testimonials from real people who have acne and have used Accutane as their last resort. This medication has many side effects so it is best that you consult your dermatologist for advice and to avail a prescription.
✅ Video – One-year medication experience
Jess has been struggling with her severe acne condition. She has tried different products since she was fourteen but they all failed to clear out her acne. At last, she finally tried using Accutane to cure her acne problem. After a month of taking the medication, she has noticed that her skin has become better. According to her, new acne still grows on her face but they fade towards the end of the month. Also, she noted that her acne are still red but not that “angry red” anymore.
After two months of using Accutane, her acne looked less inflamed and it is not that bumpy anymore. After a few months, she experienced side effects like her hair have started falling out, her eyes have become sensitive to the sun and she needs to use heavy moisturizer because her skin has become super sensitive. After taking Accutane for 13 months, she is happy with the result. Her skin has become clearer and smoother. For more of Jess’s Accutane experience, click on the video above.
✅ Video – Using Accutane for six months
Another user that can testify to the positive effects of Accutane is Learsi. She took Accutane for 6 months to get rid of her acne. After two months of taking the medication, she noticed a difference in her acne. It has become less inflamed. On the other hand, she also experienced side effects like skin rash and back pain. She said that she often has to take a break to sit down because she cannot stand for a long time due to her aching back. She also experienced having nosebleeds as a side effect of using Accutane.
According to Learsi, she has noticed the effects of Accutane after two months. After four months, her skin looks clearer, the redness has subsided and the big acne bumps has shrunk. She is still experiencing back pain but it is not as bad as compared to the past months. After completing 6 months of taking Accutane, she said that her skin has become clearer and smoother. For more of Learsi’s Accutane journey, push on the play button above.
✅ Photo – Day 82 on Accutane
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The Instagram photo above shows the skin transformation of an Accutane user. She has been taking the medication for 82 days and she noted that there is a big difference to the condition of her skin. As shown in the photo above, her acne has cleared and the redness on her face has lessened.
✅ Video – Journey to having clear skin
The video above is about Sabrina’s journey in having clear skin. She has been struggling with bad acne ever since she was a teenager and she has become self-conscious with it to the point where she does not go out with her friends. According to her, the reason for the severe acne break is when she switched her birth control pill. After a few weeks, her skin has started to become very bad. She tried using different products to clear out the acne but none of it worked for her.
She talked to her dermatologist and she was asked if she is willing to try out Accutane. At first, she said that she is a bit scared because she has heard a lot of side effects from taking the medication. After the first month of taking Accutane, her acne blew out and became worse. After a few months, she started seeing positive results and her skin has become clearer. Watch the video above to find out more about what Sabrina has to say about her Accutane experience.
✅ Video – Alex’s Accutane journey
Another user named Alex has her own Accutane story to share. Alex has acne and she has tried a lot of products and medications to get rid of her problem. Unfortunately, none of those worked for her. So, she talked to her dermatologist and she was prescribed Accutane. At first, she said that she was nervous about taking the medication because she has heard about the side effects that can happen. However, she prepared herself and went ahead with it.
Alex said that the very first side effect that she experienced is a headache. She consulted her dermatologist about it and her dosage was brought down from 40mg to 10mg. Another side effect that she experienced is back pain. After a while of taking the medication, most of the side effects that she experienced have gone away. She took Accutane for 9 months and she is very happy with the end result. She now has clear and smooth skin. If you want to know more about Alex’s before and after results, click on the video above.
✅ Photo – Before and after treatment result
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The photo above is from an Instagram user named James. He has undergone Accutane treatment for his acne. In the photo, it can be seen that there is a drastic change in his before and after skin condition. After taking Accutane, he said that his skin seemed to glow and his acne cleared. He has been under treatment for six months.
He said that he is more in love with his skin and that the treatment definitely brought back his confidence. In his post, James mentioned that he experienced bad side effects but looking at his skin condition after taking Accutane, he said that it is worth it.
✅ Video – Six months Accutane story
The video above is from another Accutane user. She has undergone Accutane treatment for six months. According to her, she experienced the worst side effects during the first month. One of the side effects that happened to her is dry lips and she said that she uses lip balm every day to keep her lips moisturized. She also stated that she did not experience any breakout in the first month after taking Accutane.
After taking Accutane, she said that she is happy and contented with the results. According to her, she can now put on makeup flawlessly because there are no bumps on her face that look bad when makeup is applied to it. To find out more about what she has to say about Accutane, push the play button above.
✅ Video – Using the medication and quitting early
In the video above, the girl is talking about why she stopped using Accutane. According to her, she started using Accutane because no other medication can improve the condition of her acne. She said that both her sisters have used Accutane and with great results. So, she took the necessary tests to qualify for using Accutane. After qualifying, she reads the instructions that her dermatologists provided to her and she is overwhelmed with the list of the possible side effects that can occur.
After taking Accutane for a week, she said that she experienced ear infection and nosebleeds. After a while, she got better. However, the worse thing that happened was that she got a glandular infection and mental anxiety due to Accutane. According to her, she gets emotional and irritable easily. So, that is why she decided to stop using Accutane. For more of her experience, you can watch the video above.
✅ Photo – One-month skin progress
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The before and after photo above is from an Instagram user who shared her Accutane journey. After a month of using Accutane, the cysts on her face have become smaller and flatter but she is experiencing hyperpigmentation. She shared that the side effect that she experienced after using Accutane for two weeks is fatigue. On the third week, she got a bad stomach ache and diarrhea. On the fourth week, her eyes and skin have become drier. The photo above shows a big difference in her acne condition after a month of taking Accutane.
✅ Video – Complete Accutane journey
The video above is from Alexa who has really bad acne. According to her, she has tried everything but nothing works. That is until she used Accutane. She said that she has been using the medication for five months and not once did she experience an acne breakout after that. She also stated that she did experience side effects but as compared to what she heard from other people, she did not experience severe side effects from taking the medication.
According to her some side effects that she experienced include peeling, dryness, backache, and tiredness. While taking the medication, she also noticed that her skin has cleared and that her hair becomes healthy. After using Accutane for five months, she is happy with the result on her face. For more information about Alexa’s Accutane journey, you can watch the video above.
✅ Video – 5-month medication, side effects, and progress
Another Accutane user who is happy with the result is Cynthia who has undergone a five-month treatment. According to her, she started seeing results in the second month of taking the medication. She said that the first month is usually the purging period where acne breakouts are constant. Same with other users, she experienced side effects such as dry lips and nose bleeds.
After five months of taking Accutane, she now has clearer and smoother skin. Another thing that she is thankful about is that the redness in her face has started to vanish. Find out more about what Cynthia has to say about her Accutane journey by watching the video above.
How Does it Work?
Accutane is a derivative of vitamin A. Like other retinoids, Accutane works by changing DNA transcription. According to Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care, “One of the main effects acne has on the body is in the sebaceous glands of the skin. [Accutane] reduces sebum production and makes the pores less ‘sticky’ so they don’t get clogged and cause acne.”
Accutane minimizes the size and output of the sebaceous glands which lessens the amount of sebum that it produces. Thus, this prevents the glands from being blocked which mean that the bacteria are less likely to flourish. In addition, it also lessens the inflammation in the skin.
How Long Does it Take for Accutane to Work?
When you start taking Accutane, your acne can get worse. According to Dr. Colin Theng of The Skin Specialists & Laser Clinic, most people do see improvement within 1 to 3 months of isotretinoin treatment. He also stated that “The response does depend on the initial severity, dose of treatment and individual factors.”
According to Dr. Neil Zemmel of Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, most acne patients will notice a reduction of the lesions by the end of the second month. He said, “By the end of the second month you should start seeing positive results, such as fewer new acne lesions and a gradual shrinking of existing acne.”
✅ Video – Accutane tips from dermatologists
Accutane or Isotretinoin can be very helpful to those who have moderate or severe acne. On the other hand, there are things that you need to consider before you take the medication. You need to be fully aware of what Accutane is and what it can do to your acne as well as the side effects that you can experience. In the video below are some tips provided by dermatologists that can help you with your Accutane journey.
The Pros of Using Accutane
It Improves Your Skin
Accutane is the only drug that deals with major acne causing factors. It reduces the production of the skin oil, improves the pores, decreases bacteria on the skin and reduces inflammation. Using Accutane will provide you with glowing and clear skin.
According to Jen, who has been suffering from Acne and has shared her skin journey on her blog, “Accutane improved the overall texture and appearance of my skin in addition to clearing up my acne. It truly was a miracle medication for me when it comes to results.”
It Eliminates Acne
Accutane can treat your acne until it is gone for good. There are instances that your acne will come back but it will not be as severe as before and you will be able to manage and treat it easily.
It is Effective
Accutane is your last resort if all other treatments failed you. It is often called as the last resort drug.It will no doubt improve severe cystic acne and help you achieve clear skin.
The Cons of Using Accutane
It Can Result in Birth Defects
Women who would like to use Accutane are required to be on two forms of birth control a month before starting the treatment and a month after the end of treatment. Accutane is known to cause birth defects and should be avoided by women who plan and are pregnant. There are studies that show possible long term effect of Accutane on pregnancy. To find out more about why women at childbearing age are put on birth control when using Accutane and why it can cause birth defects, you can watch the video below.
✅ Video – Why it cannot be used during pregnancy
It Has Side Effects
Like any other drugs, Accutane has many side effects that need to be considered. The side effects can be mild to severe and can cause irritation and pain. Also, studies show that Accutane can result in depression.
Why The Brand Accutane is Discontinued
Accutane is a popular brand of Isotretinoin but it was discontinued in 2009 by its manufacturer due to what the company described as low market share. There are also lawsuits that are being filed after researchers have discovered that the medication can increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis. While the brand name is no longer available in the market, the drug is still available under names like Sortet, Claravis and Absorica.
Controversies Surrounding Accutane
Accutane is an effective drug and due to its dramatic results, it also became the center of many controversies. After its release in the early 1980s, numerous adverse effects were reported which leads to various medical controversies. Three of these controversies are the following:
iPledge and Pregnancy Prevention Program
Accutane is well known to cause birth defects that is why women are advised not to get pregnant while taking the drug. A pregnancy prevention program named iPledge is created. On the other hand, the program is not considered to be successful since there are still a small number of women who get pregnant while using Accutane.
For more information about the iPledge program and why women are required to get into the program before starting Accutane, you can watch the video below. The girl on the video shares her Accutane treatment. She discussed what iPledge is about and the process that she had done to get into the program.
✅ Video – iPledge program checklist
Studies show that those who are using Accutane for acne are at risk for depression. This is manageable as long as there is patient awareness and communication takes place between the patient and the doctor.
On the other hand, researchers reviewed 31 previous studies on depression and its link to Accutane. In the data result, they found no evidence that the drug was linked to higher depression risk. The results showed that treating acne seemed to decrease the symptoms of depression.
Below is a video shared by an Accutane user that tackles the different side effects that she has gone through during her Accutane journey which includes depression and anxiety. To know more about her experience, please watch the video below.
✅ Video – Depression, anxiety and other side effects of Accutane
There are users who have shared that they experienced suicidal attempts while taking Accutane. Research shows that between 1982 to 2000, there are 431 reports of depression, suicide attempts, suicidal ideation or suicide recorded by the FDA. All of these 431 reports are from Americans taking Accutane as reported by an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
There are even highly publicized suicide cases that are blamed on Accutane. For example, In 2000, Rep. Bart Stupak who is a four-term Democrat from Menominee said that he blames Accutane for the suicide of his son. Bart Stupak Jr. was popular in school, a football player, and killed himself after a prom-night party. He shot himself in the head with his father’s gun.
Common Side Effects of Accutane
The following are some of the common side effects that can be linked with Accutane. Take note that the drug will affect patients in different ways. If you feel any of these side effects, you need to talk to your doctor immediately.
- Dry Eyes: This can cause eye irritation and inflammation of the eyelids. It can be treated with the use of artificial teardrops. Dry eyes can be a hassle most especially if you are wearing contact lenses. Your doctor may advise you to wear glasses for the meantime.
- Dry Lips and Skin: This can lead to redness, cracking, peeling, itching and soreness of the skin and lips. To relieve this, you can apply lip balm and moisturizers. Refrain from waxing any part of your body or have laser treatment while taking Accutane because it can lead to skin irritation and infection.
- Joint and Muscle Pains: This is a common side effect that teenagers can experience when taking Accutane. To minimize the pain, avoid strenuous physical activity while taking the drug.
- Mood changes, anxiety, and depression
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Increased liver enzymes
- Birth defects
- Feeling drowsy, dizzy or nervous
A lot of people are hesitant to use Accutane because of the many side effect that comes with it. This is also why it is called as the last resort medication. If you want to know more about the side effects that can be experienced when using Accutane, watch the video below.
✅ Video – Side effects of using the medication
Consulting a Physician before Using Accutane for Acne Treatment
Refrain from purchasing Accutane on the Internet from vendors outside the USA. Take note that Accutane is available under a program called iPledge. Selling and distribution of Accutane outside of the iPledge program violates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation. To make sure that you are safe when taking Accutane, talk to your physician about it. Inform your physician about your health. Be honest especially if you are experiencing health issues. In addition, you may not be allowed to take Accutane if you are taking other drugs or maintenance.
How Should I Take Accutane?
Accutane should only be taken under prescription from your physician. Follow the prescription strictly and do not take larger amounts than necessary. The prescription should be filled within seven days after. You will receive exactly a thirty day supply of Accutane. You need to take Accutane with a glass of water to avoid the drug from melting in your esophagus which can cause irritation. Swallow it as quickly as possible.
Do I Need to Eat Before Taking Accutane?
Yes, you need to eat before you take Accutane. Like any other drugs, Accutane will best work if you do not have an empty stomach.
Are There Drugs That Should Not Be Taken With Accutane?
Yes. There are drugs that can interact with Accutane. Steroids or any vitamin and minerals should be avoided when taking the medication.
Do I Need a Prescription to Purchase Accutane?
Yes, you need to have a prescription to purchase Accutane.
Thank you for reading this post that tackles Accutane. If you are having the same issue as what the users in the video have dealt with and is thinking about using Accutane, you can get some ideas and tips from their videos. Remember that Accutane is a prescription medication. This means that you need to have a prescription to purchase and take the medication. Do not attempt to take Accutane without consulting your dermatologist because there are a lot of side effects that you can experience when taking the medication and you can put your health at risk.