Accutane (by prescription)


151 reviews

78% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$


WARNING: Certain types of doses of Accutane contain PEANUT OIL and/or SOYBEAN OIL. Consult your doctor about which dose you are taking (You can also take the generic brand)

on 7/14/2015 4:22:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Most people only have to do one course of Accutane (taking it daily for several months under a doctor's supervision) to permanently shrink oil glands. Sometimes people with severe, scarring cystic acne might do it more than once, but I think that's unusual.

It works miraculously well.

I did one course of Accutane about 15 years ago. It made a huge difference in my skin and improved it more than any other drug ever has. It is an insanely high dose of vitamin A.

The results are long-lasting. I had years of benefits. It was a tremendous improvement in reducing the amount of acne and the severity of it. Fifteen years later, when I get a zit or two, they are usually related to hormonal activity in the menstrual cycle, or in humid weather when I have to wear sunscreen and foundation and sweat. It's rare to have more than two or three small zits at a time (no mountain ranges). I still hate getting them. Ideally I'd never have any. But I used to get lots of blotches and eruptions and I don't now.

When you're taking Accutane, your pores shrink to be so small that they almost disappear entirely. When you stop taking it, your pores eventually return to their normal size, however; your oil glands are SMALLER and will stay smaller than they were before. So you produce less oil than you used to.

For some people, this cures acne. If it doesn't cure yours completely, you will still see a dramatic improvement.

For some people with rosacea, they see a dramatic improvement. Reduced swelling, reduced redness, smoother skin, a reduction in flare-ups.

There are side effects - the main one is it dries your skin like crazy. It will be flaky and dry during treatment. You'll have to use moisturizers you never dreamed you'd need.

Another is you'll be more likely to get a sunburn than you would normally be. Get used to wearing sunscreen. Your skin might temporarily become sensitive while taking the drug.

Read all the scary brochures about other possible side effects and make an informed decision about whether you want to do it. You will only take Accutane for a few months. During the time you're taking Accutane, you have to constantly check in with your dermatologist and don't get pregnant because it can cause birth defects in a developing fetus. Accutane is meant to be taken short-term (a few months) and then you STOP TAKING IT ENTIRELY.

As I said, I haven't taken it in years. Now I use topicals for my skin, but not all the time. Sometimes I go a few months without using any prescriptions.

My favorite topical medications are: Cleocin T gel (antibiotic), or Finacea gel (azelaic acid). In the past I've also had success with Retin-A Micro. You can't take this while you're on Accutane, by the way, but you can AFTER you complete your course. Retin-A Micro does a great job of causing cellular turnover, so your skin exfoliates more. This does mean it peels, like when you get a sunburn. So I don't use Retin-A Micro every day. I still have a half-used tube that hasn't expired and I use it as needed. I used it recently and only used for a few days, and let it peel, and then my skin looked great for a few weeks. I had to go into a general practitioner's office recently for an unrelated issue and I mentioned that I'd had lots of skin problems over the years and he was surprised. He thought my skin looked great.

Most people think I have nice skin even though I complain about it a lot. I have always had sensitive skin and it's fair so I have to use SPF, and can't use avobenzone so I have to use mineral sunscreens, which can contribute to breakouts, etc. etc. Every time I experience irritation from a cosmetic product, I hate it, and report to Makeup Alley and blow off steam. Grrr! Sensitive skin seems to be genetic. I have a cousin who can't use fragranced laundry detergent. So there's just something wacky about our genes.

Accutane won't cure allergies. Again, it shrinks oil glands and does that amazingly well. So the results in acne vulgaris are very dramatic and last for years if you can survive a few months on it. It is the best treatment for acne that we have. It is also very helpful in reducing severe cases of rosacea and making them mild cases.

I still have to be careful what I put on my skin and take good care of it, and avoid irritating products, and drink water, and try not to eat junk, but I shudder to think of how awful my skin was before I took Accutane. It really made a difference, and it improved my confidence in all areas of life. I loved the results I got. My skin isn't perfect but fifteen years later, I have fewer breakouts than I did before I took Accutane.

I usually describe my skin type and sensitive and combination. It's not super oily anymore, but it used to be. Nowadays I get some oil in the T-zone but I don't have nearly as much oil as I did in my teens. I almost never get breakouts on my forehead. If I do get a zit, it's usually within an inch of my nose, or I might get one on my chin. If I go to a cold climate in the winter, my skin will get drier, but in a warm climate, I see subtle changes from season to season and sometimes I switch foundations. I still like foundations that are designed for oily skin, but I don't have to wear foundation that is completely matte. Occasionally I reach for Kate Somerville's Anti-Bac to spot treat a blemish (it contains benzoyl peroxide).

I rated Accutane 4 out of 5. I considered rating it a 5 out of 5 because it's so effective, but held one back due to side effects and cost. Performance is 5 for 5.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Neutral

Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Black

I've had acne for 18 years so I know how deep acne-related depression can go. However, the side effects from Accutane were just too terrifying for me to continue. Within a month, I had clearer skin, but also severe joint aches, wild mood swings and depression, exhaustion, and I knew the side effects were just beginning. I got off it because I don't fancy having some awful diseases in the future instead of acne - I'd rather slap on the war paint and know that my gastric system and internal organs are generally doing ok. Trust me, I know how desperate you can get when there's cystic acne all over your face and back, and life occasionally doesn't even seem worth living. But I took the decision to try to manage that rather than deal with post-Accutane collateral damage.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 6/23/2015 11:38:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Grey

Well... I was so excited to take this medication. I was so ready to finally have clear skin after 21 years... But I am 42 days into treatment and have to stop/switch brands. Basically the accutane that I am on (absorica) could possibly be causing bladder problems for me. I believe that the accutane may have (to some degree) dried out the protective mucous membrane layer that lines my bladder and is causing it irritation, but no doctor/pharmacist/dermatologist wants to say that the accutane is causing my bladder problems... But they want to switch brands on me? It doesn't make sense. So, basically my accutane experience is already turning into a hot mess. I'm posting a review now because I may not continue the medication after all. I might just stop all together and tell my derm to forget it. Not trying to scare anyone. It has obviously helped a lot of people. It just might not be the best treatment for me.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 5/25/2015 10:56:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I went on Accutane 5 years ago. When I started I had cystic acne around my mouth, on my chin, and all along my cheeks. Pustules, papules, whiteheads, was awful. I had been prescribed Retin-A a few months prior, so my skin was also extremely inflamed and irritated.

Acne had such an enormous and negative impact on my life. I was taking off a few days every week from my job, depressed, crying every day and night. My GP prescribed Xanax because I was having anxiety attacks. Finally my dermatologist prescribed Accutane. I was on 60 mg daily (I weighed 150 lbs. at the time) for 6 months. I used generic Claravis. The first month my acne became very flat and less inflamed, and every month after that the acne diminished. When I went off Accutane my face was clear. For about a year, every time I got one pimple I would become devastated and fear that the acne was coming back. Now it has been 5 years and my acne has NEVER returned. At most I get 1 or 2 small pimples a month. The excess oil production I suffered before taking Accutane NEVER returned. The discoloration from my acne completely faded; I no longer have the red marks. Unfortunately I do have some "icepick" scarring around my mouth. Otherwise, people are shocked when I tell them I had serious cystic acne. They can't tell because my skin looks great!

Now I can go anywhere I want without makeup. Before Accutane I literally would not go grocery shopping or even to the corner to pick up my mail without makeup on. Overnight trips were out of the question because I had too many acne products to bring and I was fearful that my friends and family would see what my face looked like without makeup. Now I wash with Purpose and moisturize with Cerave. That's it! Accutane worked a miracle on my face and I'm so grateful I decided to use it.

Why didn't I use it sooner? Because I got scared by stories I read on the internet. People said it made their hair fall out, it gave them unbearable joint paint, or it made them depressed. I don't want to minimize those peoples' experiences, but I cannot emphasize enough, that was NOT my experience. My hair is thick and goes down to my waist, I run, lift weights, and practice yoga with zero joint pain, and Accutane helped cure my depression because I am no longer consumed with thoughts of my acne.

If acne is seriously negatively affecting your life, I urge you to give this medication a try. It transformed my life for the better :)

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 4/14/2015 3:01:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Ok, so I started Accutane 33 days ago and I'm so happy I did! I am 29 years old suffering from moderate acne and oily skin since I was 11 years old. I tried everything possible.. creams, medication, laser treatments, oil cleansing, spironolactone.. name it, I've tried it!
For those of you who are thinking of trying Accutane but are not sure, I think you need to give it a try! (I'm on 40 mg a day) The first week I immediately saw an improvement with my skin oil and by the second week I broke out! Even though I broke out with cystic pimples all around my chin, the pimples cleared up faster than usual. By the third week my skin was healing.. and hasn't stop healing since plus I do not have oily skin anymore!! Let's hope it continues in this direction!!

on 3/21/2015 1:52:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

I had persistent acne that was barely under control until my 21 years and then I got accutane prescribed by my dermatologist. That was 6 years ago. It helped a lot but still get occasional breakouts and use foundation when leaving home. It might be the miracle to end all miracles in some case but certainly not for everyone and you can never know where you fall before trying. And it's no cakewalk.

My acne was worse during the two of the six months treatment and had to do monthly blood analysis to check if everything is alright. Had to use special soothing skincare and an ultra hydrating serum saved my face which was otherwise drier than Sahara. No foundation would look decent over it. My hands were also cracked and in constant need of hand cream. A couple of months after finishing the treatment I had to continue taking a small dose of Accutane for another three months.

Then again I think it was worth it; it's true that my skin has never been perfect and probably never will but after the treatment I've never had intense flare ups for long.

on 3/21/2015 1:20:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I was on Accutane 5 years ago (when I was 14) and had cystic acne on my face and back. It didn't take long for it to clear up pretty much everything.
The side effects were pretty tough. My hands, arms, and face were really dry and I had to constantly put on a strong moisturizer. The inside of my nose even started to bleed because it was so dry. BUT, despite all the dryness, this really works. I was on it for 6 months, and the side effects were much more manageable compared to how my acne was.
My face was so smooth people thought I was wearing makeup when I wasn't, which was awesome to finally hear.
However, 5 years later, I have mild acne. After going to a dermatologist, I was told that people who use this in their early teens will likely see it come back because puberty is only beginning then. But it's definitely no where near as bad as it was, and I mainly get little pimples now that are much easier to maintain with other products and makeup.
So, if you have cystic acne, definitely use this because it'll help prevent the scars that come with cystic acne, and it's a quick solution. Don't be scared of the side effects because they're really not that bad. The only reason I wouldn't buy it again is because I don't need it anymore. My skin would be much worse off if it wasn't for this!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 2/4/2015 11:39:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I have been on accutane 3 different times. It does not work. I mean, I know it works for some people, but for me it always came back. I think it is too much of a risk to put your body through accutane, when there is a big possibility of it not even working. It took me 3 times to learn this. Accutane is supposed to be a cure-all, end-all acne solution. A lifetime one, at that !!! My acne always came back within one year each time, almost worse than before. It's a huge risk, and for it to not even work ? Ridiculous. I am now vegan and my acne has completely healed. I get the odd little whitehead every now and again, but no cysts, no more deep, painful, embarrassing spots. It's a miracle what my skin has become, it really is amazing. Going vegan was probably the best thing I've ever done, especially for my skin. I think its all the hormones in dairy and meat. I mean, almost all acne is hormonal. If you look into it, it really all comes down to hormones. Pumping artificial hormones through your body throws your hormones out of whack. Also, what you put into your body is what you see externally. They say it doesn't matter what you eat, it doesn't affect your skin. HUGE lie. It took me years of embarrassing acne and hating my skin, having to hide behind layers of concealer and foundation, thinking I was hideous to finally realize: what you put in, is what you get out. Accutane is not a solution to WHY you are having acne. It's almost like what chemotherapy is to cancer; throwing very harsh, intense drugs at the problem, trying to destroy it. You need to treat your body well, starting with the inside. Acne is always a bigger problem than just "bad skin" or "bad genetics". Please listen to me and give it a chance. I would have loved for someone to tell me this years ago when I was young and foolish, considering accutane. Learn from my mistakes, people !!! Oil cleansing is great, too. Drink lots of water. No cheese or milk especially, even if you can't give up meat.

on 1/21/2015 11:11:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

For those suffering with acne -- I know what it's like. I've suffered with mild acne that has cleared on its own, then has gotten progressively worse since I was in the sixth grade.

In high school I remember my parents taking me to see a dermatologist. The derm I saw recommended accutane, which I did take for a few days until I experienced a horrible reaction --I broke out in hives all over my arms and was told to stop taking it immediately.

I'm 25 now. It wasn't until last year I had it with the break outs. I got my family doctor to refer me to a dermatologist. I diligently booked the time off work as needed to see my derm to do follow-up appointments /blood tests as required, and get my prescription.

I started taking it in December 2013 and finished the course in early June 2014. The beginning was a nightmare --dry, tight skin. Esp with winters it was tough, but I stuck it out. Make sure you have a good moisturizer on hand and chapstick/vaseline if you do decide to take it.

The results = clear skin (with hyperpigmentation from all the post-acne; which is easy to conceal). I haven't had a pimple since!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 1/16/2015 11:26:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

MIRACLE IN A PILL. People who say Accutane does not work may have no been consistent with their medication, didn't take it long enough, didn't get a high enough dosage, couldn't deal with the side effects, or any number of things. There are there those RARE cases where this drug does work, but that is how all medications work. Not all people are the same/respond the same. However, for the percentage of people this drug does work for it's pretty much a miracle to say the least. From age 10-20 I has terrible acne and was always told it would just go away with age in addition to being prescribed countless pills and topical creams. I recall the other pills doing nothing and the topical creams made my skin raw and burn. The only thing you have to deal with when taking accutane is dry.. Well everything. Mostly dry lips. But most of us that have bad acne also have over active sebaceous glands making our skin, hair, etc extra oily. So actually the drying out part didn't bother me at all, it was actually nice! And ever since I stopped taking it my skin and hair is not anywhere close to as oily as it was before. I haven't taken it in a long time and my skin is still great without any special attention required!

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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