Here’s a list of questions I wish I knew the answers to when I started thinking about taking Accutane:
Q: Should I take Accutane:
A: Have you tried everything else? If not, then I’d recommend doing that first. Accutane should be your last resort. I tried at least 10 OTC topics medications, two prescriptions oral medications, and then another prescription topical one. And then I resorted to Accutane.
It’s a Satan pill. The symptoms can be ugly. Don’t take this decision lightly.
On the other hand, if you’ve done your research, think you can handle what you’re in for and are real proper tired of having acne, do it. I’ve had acne for 7 years. Square up. 🙂
Q: How long do I have to take Accutane?
A: 4-6 months –
The drug works by being in your bloodstream for a certain amount of time, during which it reduces the oil flowing through your pores which causes them to shrink. Once a target cumulative dosage has been hit (about 120mg/kg… so if you weigh 120 pounds, or 54.5kg, you’ll need to take ~6500mg), you should be good to go. Your doctor will tell you “Until it’s been a month since you’ve had a breakout.” This can, of course, vary across body types, and how much you’re taking per day.
If you’re taking 40mg/day at 54kg, it would take you 5.5 months, a pretty standard time. If you’re having a rough time with the symptoms, you can take it at a lighter dosage, 20mg/day, and it could take you almost a year. If it’s going well and you up the dosage after two months (60mg/day) you could be done in about 4 months even.
But naturally, your body doesn’t always see eye to eye with the numbers. So you might fall on either end of the 4-6 month timeframe.
Q: Accutane is supposed to be bad. How bad is bad?
A: Bad is bad. But not THAT bad. Over 90% of patients report having dry lips and a six-month-long bloody nose. So maybe think about how kissable you want to be before diving headlong into this venture. You will also probably experience some mental challenges as well. If you already have mental health concerns, think twice about Accutane. If you’re doin’ just fine, you’ll probably be just fine.
Other patients have observed more severe symptoms, which are seriously worth factoring into your decision of whether or not to take Accutane. A full list of symptoms can be viewed here. Some of them are kinda hairy…
Q: I’ve heard Accutane can make people want to kill themselves. Is this true?
A: Every document you sign when agreeing to take the drug says that there have been cases where patients start taking Accutane and end up committing suicide, but no causality has been determined. Which sounds like a bunch of BS. Even so, Accutane will not make you want to commit suicide, but it WILL aggravate any mental health conditions you might already have. If you have depression, it may make your depression worse. If this is the case for you, I would seriously consider trying other treatment options, because this will put you through six months of hell.
I have some measure of anxiety, which is much worse a state than when I wasn’t on Accutane. I find myself much more indecisive and emotionally confused than I used to. But with the right support system (friends, confidants, lovers, dogs, cats, third-aunts-once-removed), getting through it is totally doable.
Q: How does taking Accutane as a guy differ from taking Accutane as a girl?
Have a question you’d like answered? Ask it below! I don’t bite (hard) 😉