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can i please have some adult experiences with roaccutane please??

(53 Posts)
purplerainbow Tue 15-Jan-13 20:31:51

I had acne on my back as a teen had various meds etc and didnt really help. Anyway, It cleared up in my early teens. After i had ds1 (6.7) it flared back up . I was put on every kind of anti biotic going from gp and nothing helped at all. Was sent to 2 different dermatologists. The first one tried a different anti biotic, again did nothing. The second one said the only thing that would get rid of it was roaccutane. At that point i had only heard bad things about it. I spoke to my gp about it but she strongly recommended i didnt try it because of my mental health history. She thought it wasnt worth the risk for me.

I then got pregnant with ds2 (4.2) and it cleared up. After i had ds2 it came back with full force particularly bad on my face. Always worse on my jaw and chin. Again was tried on various meds and still nothing changed. I had quite a few life adjustments and it calmed down a little. Im at a point now though where iv really had enough. If spent money seeing various alternative therapys and nothing has helped. Drink plenty of water. Eat ok, take vitamins. Nothing i do helps. Im currently on sertraline for anxiety. Im wondering if im already on an 'anti depressant' would i still be at risk of the mental health side of things?

Does anyone have any experience as an adult on this?

higherhill Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:03

I took Roaccutane for about six months when I was younger. I had the acne just on my face but like you just reached that point of having tried everything else and this was my last hope. I only started to get the acne in my twenties and put up with it for years until I was about to get married and was desperate for a solution. Paid to see a private dermatologist who prescribed it. I took the tablets and started to see real difference within days. My skin dried out and was smoother.All the bumps and pitted scarred bits on my face just completely smoothed out. It was amazing. Towards the end of the six month period, my lips were very dry and needed lots of lip salve, skin needed thick moisturiser and I had occasional nosebleeds and dry eyes, but after tablets were finished I didn't have these side effects. Didn't have depression or anxiety. Years later I get the odd spot but nothing like old acne. No regrets.

purplerainbow Tue 15-Jan-13 21:02:42

iv heard you get very dry skin.... iv just started another thread on here as i also get eczema sometimes. Do you think it would make that worse?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 15-Jan-13 21:06:04

Both my husband and half brother in law have taken this drug. They both became suicidal and very depressed. Both are fine now but it took a while for my dh and longer for bil. I know this may sound silly but my dh had the kids and me to help support him whereas my bil aged 33 only had his parents. I do know they come with warnings about the depression. Maybe it works for some people and everybody is different, but I know these 2 won't take them again.
There is a good chance that laser treatment will work with some people and in extreme cases of side effects with Roaccutane, offer less side effects.

purplerainbow Tue 15-Jan-13 21:28:10

Do you mind me asking if they had any history of depression? The trouble is my skin is actually getting me down. It really affects my confidence.

BookFairy Tue 15-Jan-13 21:38:23

I'm 27 and currently taking a low dose of Roaccutane (10mg per day, as opposed to the 40mg that would be usual for my weight). My face looks cracking already after a few months! I also have dermatitis (eczema) and although Roaccutane dries out the skin I'm not having too much trouble. I use Cetaphil cleansing lotion and moisturiser (recommended by my excellent nhs Dermatologist).

I think the main point is that I am seeing a very experienced Dermatologist and am taking a much lower dose than was originally suggested by another nhs Dermatologist. I have a history of mild anxiety but have not noticed an increase in this as my acne contributed much to any "low moods" I had in the past.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 15-Jan-13 21:38:25

Hello Purple.

Yes dh has a long history of depression and the specialist said doctor shouldn't have prescribed tablets to him.
My half bil had no previous but has since had a nervous breakdown, totally unrelated to the condition or the tablets. But maybe the side effects of depression are worse for those who have a tendency or would do given certain circumstances like my bil.

FWIW I would stay well away, but I know its ok for me to say this as its not me that feels like you.
My dh still has the condition and an unrelated much more serious condition which makes him very poorly.
will pm you, love.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 15-Jan-13 21:48:12

My aunt took it as a teen and suffered disastrous, terrifying depression. If you do decide to try it, do you live with a reliable adult who can step in and flush them down the toilet and whisk you to the GP if they see you taking a mental downturn?

purplerainbow Tue 15-Jan-13 21:53:03

No its just me and my ds's at home. I really want nice skin. I obviously don't want to risk putting my sons in any 'danger' of any depression from myself but I know it sounds vain but my skin has a massive impact on my day to day life. Avvoiding eye contact, sometimes I avoid talking to friends if its particularly bad. I know it isn't as bad as it could be...it doesn't cover my whole face...its just getting me down and iv had enough!

BookFairy Tue 15-Jan-13 22:08:36

Have you been referred to a Dermatologist? They can offer more than Roaccutane.

purplerainbow Tue 15-Jan-13 22:52:17

Yes I have seen 2 different ones

BookFairy Wed 16-Jan-13 18:39:47

Did they suggest a dose of Roaccutane/how much they monitor patients? I only ask as I saw the only Dermatologist at my local hospital who didn't seem v knowledgable and was uninterested in me. I got my GP to refer me to a big hospital in my nearest city where the Dermatology dept is a lot bigger (8 Consultants). This dept is a lot more experienced and up to date. I only take 10mg of Roaccutane per day and am seen in clinic every 8 weeks.

longingforsomesleep Thu 17-Jan-13 08:40:47

purple - I took roaccutane about 20 years ago and I don't think it had been so firmly linked to depression then. I suffered from bad acne from the age of 16. I kept it under control for a few years with various antibiotics but by the time I was in my early 20s it was really bad (like you, worst along my jawline but pretty much all over my face, neck, chest and back). I moved around a lot in my 20s and every time I saw a gp they insisted on trying various things before they would refer me to a dermatologist.

Finally, around the age of 30 I was referred to a wonderful dermatologist who put me on roaccutane. For about a week my skin got worse and then it cleared up completely. Only side effects were very dry skin and cracked lips. But what a joy to be slapping on moisturiser when I'd spent my life using various lotions to try and dry it up! It did come back a little bit eventually and I had another course. I'm afraid I don't know what strength the tablets were. I then started having children and I don't know if it was a result of that, or if the second course of roaccutane had finally dealt with the problem, but I've not suffered since (am now 53) apart from one or two spots now and again.

As to depression - I'm afraid I don't know what I would do in your shoes. Speaking for myself, I know that in my 20s I felt suicidal BECAUSE of my skin. For years the first thing I did when I woke up was feel my face to see what painful lumps had appeared overnight. I had days when I called into work sick because I couldn't face the world. I would allow myself a whole hour on a morning to try and cover up my horrible face. I know that if I hadn't found a solution I would be living on my own as I couldn't bear to let anyone near me or risk them catching a glimpse of me without make up. Because of that, I know I wouldn't have been happily married for the last 19 years and have 3 gorgeous teenagers.

Only you can balance up any depression caused by your skin as it is now against the possible risk of much worse depression with roaccutane. Nobody else's experiences will dictate how you will respond. Although I must say, Lady Isabella's aunt aside, it does seem to me that roaccutane causes depression in men more than women (though that is just an impression and isn't based on any real knowledge).

I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do. Acne is a terrible affliction and its impact is hugely underestimated by non-sufferers.

CuriousMama Thu 17-Jan-13 08:47:26

Was over 20 years ago when I took it. Interestingly I suffer from anxiety which I have to take meds for. I didn't prior to the roaccutane but tbh my anxiety came on years after the meds. But a friend of mine used it too and she ended up suicidal but also after taking the meds.

I think you have to weigh up the pros and cons? I'd try to get them to start you on a low dose perhaps?

Also have they tested you for PCOS? I have a feeling this could be linked to your skin problems especially as it flares up after pregnancy.

Have you tried a naturopath? Or the oil cleansing method?

Good luck, I hope you find a solution as it's awful suffering so much.

CuriousMama Thu 17-Jan-13 08:57:19
iseenodust Thu 17-Jan-13 09:10:29

DH had roaccutane in his early 30's. It worked for him, he had two courses and he didn't have side effects. However, he wasn't well monitored by the NHS. Didn't even check his bloods before prescribing the second course. Ten years on the acne does come back sometimes when he is stressed but mainly on his back now.

longingforsomesleep Thu 17-Jan-13 10:50:08

iseenodust - that's very bad not to have his bloods checked. I had regular appointments with my dermatologist and regular blood tests all the time I was on roaccutane.

notcitrus Thu 17-Jan-13 11:17:02

MrNC had had depression and the acne wasn't helping, so took R aged 30 and it worked wonders with no side effects other than dry skin in places.

KatoPotato Thu 17-Jan-13 11:23:13

Reading with interest. My dermatologist wants me to try roaccutane for my blackhead acne on my neck, shoulders and chest.

I've had my bloods taken and photographs taken (pleasant) with an appointment scheduled for Monday...

I'd never heard of it before, and was only under a consultant for a cyst on my face when he spotted my blackhead bonanza. Been given swathes of patient information but I'm really not sure!

catladycourtney1 Thu 17-Jan-13 11:48:03

I took roaccutane for about six months when I was 16 (I'm only 20 now so not a million years ago). I did have a history of depression, as did my mother and her mother, but although I'd been referred to psychiatrists and tried a few antidepressants, I'd never been formally diagnosed, apparently. I have to say that, for me, the roaccutane did not make my depression any worse. The only thing is, don't underestimate how dry your skin will be - not just your face but your whole body, eyes, lips, etc. Invest in some good-quality moisturisers or you might find yourself very uncomfortable. My lips used to crack and bleed no matter what I used on them. The worst thing about the treatment for me was the monthly blood tests, but obviously not everyone is as wimpy as me smile

LadyIsabellaWrotham Thu 17-Jan-13 14:09:50

In the interests of accuracy, I changed the identity of my teenaged relative who had terrible depression on Roaccutane - it wasn't my aunt, it was a male relation. I often change little identifying details like that when I'm posting because I'm paranoid about privacy, whilst trying to keep all relevant features the same, but I didn't realise that these side effects were sex-linked, so his sex was relevant.

Having seen the state that his mother was in at that time; unable to leave the house because she worried he'd be dead when she returned, I personally couldn't take it, for the reasons you expressed earlier, to safeguard your DCs. However I've not been in your position, it's possible that your gender is on your side, and there are additional safeguards you and your doctors could take. Is it possible that your anxiety is skewing your self-image? Is it possible that therapy could enable you to live with your appearance? (genuine questions, I'm honestly not having a go - I had bad but not appalling acne as a teen, and took antibiotics for years).

purplerainbow Thu 17-Jan-13 16:49:54

I have tried so many alternative therapys and no luck there. My face definetly affects my self confidence. It gets me down but I know it looks worse to me than others but that doesn't make me feel any better.

Why do you need regular bloods done?

iseenodust Thu 17-Jan-13 17:59:58

Roaccutane can cause liver problems (Not a medic!).

Samvet Thu 17-Jan-13 18:04:49

I took this as a teen with a history of depression and anorexia. No mental health side effects apart from feeling much bloody happier that my skin cleared up! Balance risk vs benefit and how much your skin gets you down.

msrisotto Thu 17-Jan-13 18:56:39

I'm watching with interest here. I am currently on Dianette which has kept my skin clear for 10 years but it's days are marked due to increased risks.

Has the pill ever affected your skin purplerainbow?

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