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13 yr old boy with depression as a result of acne medication accutane

(50 Posts)
alilouise1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:09:34

my son has really bad depression and is being seen by Drs and psychologist etc.. but has now been unable to go to school, he goes on a good day for the odd lesson, but that is all, he is missing so much but just cant get himself to go. we have the education officer coming to pay us a visit on tuesday. but how long can he stay home for... we know the answer is to keep him busy and occupied but we are all heartbroken as this is not my usual child. these tablets are horrendous please be warned... his acne was only mild in the 1st place!!

Chopchopbusybusy Sun 04-Nov-12 21:42:53

Roaccutane is NOT banned in the USA. It can have very severe side effects. These are listed in detail in the booklet given with the tablets. DD2 took roaccutane. It is dispensed by hospital pharmacies only. It came with a booklet (not just a leaflet) Did your DS have a monthly appointment with a dermatologist?
DDs dermatologist was very clear that one of the possible side effects was depression. He did also point out that a major side effect of severe acne was also depression.

bruffin Sun 04-Nov-12 21:44:15

My friends ds was on it for bad acne, she was given lots of information on the side effects and lots of warnings about depression. As it was he had a side effect that only 1 in 10000 get.

alilouise1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:45:13

thank you. i know i blame myself a lot for just going ahead with it but once the gp had said d could take them i just trusted their opinion. oh how stupid was i. yes his acne was relatively mild, and im in the Uk isotretinoin is the name of the drug here. the specialist did give us a leaflet at the time which was for girls as it was the only one she had that day, and it said about pregnancy etc.. and yes he had a blood test once at the beginning and once after 4 weeks. but we are left with the depression. D had the lip problem as well but it defo didnt cure his acne

alilouise1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:45:47

what side effect did he have

Floralnomad Sun 04-Nov-12 21:46:09

If you are in the UK and unable to attend school there its lots that can be done to help , from your school and the local authority .

mercibucket Sun 04-Nov-12 21:46:22

Dh also had the same symptoms you describe. He pulled through and is fine now. It was when he was a teenager before all this became widely known so his family didn't realise it was a side effect. would you consider hypnotherapy to help with panic attacks?

mercibucket Sun 04-Nov-12 21:46:23

Dh also had the same symptoms you describe. He pulled through and is fine now. It was when he was a teenager before all this became widely known so his family didn't realise it was a side effect. would you consider hypnotherapy to help with panic attacks?

alilouise1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:47:12

apparently the drug is banned in the usa from drs but you can still buy it on line etc.

alilouise1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:48:54

can you tell me please how long the side effects seemed to effect him. and yes i have thought of hypnosis but D doubts it would work and he has to believe for it to work i think

mumblechum1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:49:10

Merci what's with all the double postings!

Floralnomad Sun 04-Nov-12 21:52:04

I'm sorry but the leaflet would have said about the side effects for both sexes, however its an irrelevance to your current situation. I'm still a bit confused as to your GPs role in this as in my experience it is all handled by the dermatologist as GPs are not allowed to prescribe the drug . Speak to the attendance officer at your school to see what help they can get you with regards your DS education, as I said there is lots they can do for teens unable to attend school .

ledkr Sun 04-Nov-12 21:55:18

My ds took them as last resort but half the dose for twice the time and I gave him St. John's wort alongside it. He seemed fine. His acne was very bad though

alilouise1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:55:47

the specialist had to get the approval from the GP b4 we could go ahead. the leaflet did say about mood swings etc but all meds tell you about side effects, even paracetamol. he been off school for such a long time im really concerned

alilouise1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:56:29

ive heared about st johns wart i may look into that

Chopchopbusybusy Sun 04-Nov-12 21:57:59

Roche have taken their version off the market in the USA but the generic version is still available.
In my experience the side effects are made very clear. I am sorry your son is experiencing problems with the drug. Have you been back to your GP for advice?

Chopchopbusybusy Sun 04-Nov-12 22:00:40

Be very careful with st johns wart. It has many side effects and can interact (in a bad way) with prescription medication.

Floralnomad Sun 04-Nov-12 22:00:58

Yes all meds tell you about side effects ,and someone somewhere will get that side effect , its just unlucky but if you had the leaflet then you had the choice . Sorry if that sounds hard , still can't see what the GP needed to approve , if a consultant says you need something they don't have to ask a GP . That's why you go to a consultant as my GP said - to get an opinion from someone who knows better than me! Hope you sort out your schooling issues , which is sadly something else I have experience with .

mercibucket Sun 04-Nov-12 22:25:00

Double postings are a blackberry-mumsnet incompatability issue, sorry, nothing I can do about it, altho it does randomly post once or double depending on the moon or something
I'd give the hypno a shot anyway

mathanxiety Mon 05-Nov-12 01:41:13

It is not banned in the US.

DS took it there, prescribed by a dermatologist. For severe acne.

You can buy unprescribed accutane online in the US but you would have to be insane to do that. Is that what you did?
If you are in the UK you would be calling it roaccutane.

There is absolutely no way a doctor would have prescribed accutane for mild acne for starters, and if prescribed (unlikely event) it would never have been done without going through the potential side effects at length.

They sit you down and talk very seriously about family history of depression, signs to look out for, depression in general, and you have to have regular MH checkups as well as blood and urine tests when you are on it. The scenario you described -- just a leaflet given, apologies for only having one for girls -- is bizarre.


The fact that you are considering this makes me wonder if you in fact did buy accutane online and are now reluctant to go to a proper doctor for help for your son out of fear for yourself.

notcitrus Mon 05-Nov-12 07:01:14

If his acne was 'mild' why was he seeing a consultant in the first place? Could he have been depressed in the first place, hence referred to consultant in case acne was a factor, and still depressed now?
Your son needs help for depression now OP - please don't get hung up on the roaccutane.

bruffin Tue 06-Nov-12 00:03:56

What also surprises me is that it must have been prescribed in the middle of summer. My friends ds was only allowed to take it in the winter months.
His side effect was an infection round the toe nails.

mathanxiety Tue 06-Nov-12 06:32:20

It makes you very susceptible to sunburn iirc.

ledkr Tue 06-Nov-12 08:02:58

Sorry I wasn't recommending st Jons wort to treat his depression just that I'd used it alongside a half dose of the meds iyswm he is inclined to be fairly low at times so It was a hard decision to put him meds but the scarring was getting so bad

Maryz Tue 06-Nov-12 08:56:03

My son is on roaccutane, and I think it is unfair to say the drug is evil or to officially complain or scare people about it.

However, we were made very aware of the side effects and both I and my son did a lot of reading about it before he started.

He had very severe acne (on his back and chest as well as his face) and to be honest was becoming severely depressed because of his awareness and all the teasing he was getting. So the roaccutane has been a relief and has really helped. He was on it for six months and his skin completely cleared. Now two years later it has got bad again so he is starting another course, but again we are aware of the side effects and will keep an eye out.

I think you need to stop concentrating on the roaccutane, and put your efforts into dealing with his depression. For that, you need to be positive with him, you need to take the advice of the doctors he is seeing, and don't mess around with any over the counter medication, stick to what the doctors recommend.

About school - he is only 13, so I'm sure you and he can manage a bit of home ed for the moment, concentrating on the important subjects and trying to do some online. Don't worry about him actually going to school if you can't make him, but do ensure if possible that he keeps contact with other children, see if you can persuade him to do an extra-curricular activity (sport, martial arts, swimming, whatever) so that he goes out of the house.

Maryz Tue 06-Nov-12 08:58:44

And, just to add to the support for Roaccutane - the specialist I saw with ds is very careful, starts them on a low dose, does blood tests and sees the kids regularly. He told me he has been prescribing it for fifteen years, sees hundreds of kids a year, and has only come across two cases where the drug had to be stopped due to severe mood swings/depression.

So it would help to be more measured in your response to Roaccutane, and concentrate on your son, rather than putting your energy into an anti-Roaccutane campaign, if you see what I mean.

I hope things improve.

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