I get quite a few question about Accutane. I did some research about it and here are the answer to the most common questions I get. If you think about taking it take a moment to read through this.
How it works
Well the funny thing is that even after 20 years on the market nobody knows how it works – not even LaRoche (the company that makes it).
Sound unbelievable? I know, but that’s what it says on the patient information delivered with Accutane. It’s on the first page under “CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY” heading.
What is know that it somehow alters the DNA of skin cells. This decreases the size and output of oil glands. Less sebum, less acne. It’s just that nobody knows how it happens.
How well it works and will my acne come back
It’s not called the miracle drug for reason. It’s so popular because it often works when all the other drugs have failed.
Despite its effectiveness Accutane is still a band aid solution to acne. It does nothing to address the root cause of acne.
Because it doesn’t address the root cause it’s often a temporary solution. Most people find that their acne comes back. Some remain clear few months some few years.
Since Accutane may damage the liver and the colon the long-term effects on acne may be harmful. If it damages the liver most likely you’ll find that your acne comes back with a vengeance.
How long it takes to work
The standard treatment period is four months.
How much does Accutane cost
The price depends on the dosage. Here are current monthly prices (on June 2007) at a licensed pharmacy in the US:
- 10 mg; $439.99
- 20 mg; $515.99
- 40 mg; $566.99
The generic equivalents (Claravis, Sotret, and Amnesteem) are usually quite a bit cheaper.
So the standard four months treatment could set you back as much as 2300 dollars. And that doesn’t include the monthly visits to derm and the compulsory tests.
Is Accutane dangerous?
There is lot of controversy around this issue. First, the list of side effects is as long as California. The worst ones are suicide, severe depression and severe birth defects.
Because of possibility of severe side effects the FDA has tightened the reins on Accutane. To get it you have to jump through a series of hoops and sign a form pretty much accepting the responsibility if something happens to you. You also have to get tested every month for liver damage and blood sugar problems.
Before taking it I recommend that you take a look at Accutane side effects and dangers.
On the other hand, only a small minority gets severe side effects. For most people it’s just dries your skin, chaps your lips and possibly irritates your eyes a bit.
Like most people with severe acne I had my little adventure with Accutane. To it’s credit I have to say that it got me clear.
Well, temporarily clear. After about a year from finishing the treatment my acne came back. At the end the only thing it did was to transfer acne from my back into my scalp.
I didn’t experience any horrible side effects. My skin dried up badly and started flaking off. Other side effects included dry and chapped lips, dry eyes and occasional nose bleeding. Nothing fatal, but it can get quite annoying.
Not to mention I had to pay a bomb for it.
Most people take Accutane out of desperation. All the other drugs have failed them and they turn to Accutane as the last resort.
If there were no other alternatives the benefits of Accutane would probably outweight the risks. But that’s not the case.
Let me tell you a secret.
The only reason you have struggled with acne is because you have been given wrong information.
Acne is actually reasonably simple to cure.
All the drugs, medicines and other acne treatment products on the market approach the problem from the wrong end. That’s why they have such a miserable track record.
Once you understand the real problem with acne getting rid of it becomes obvious. The best thing is that you don’t need Accutane, drugs or any other acne treatment products to get clear.