Accutane (by prescription)

 Accutane (by prescription)


159 reviews

80% 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)

Start your review

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I’m 3 months into my accutane treatment and I’m completely clear. I started with mild-moderate but PERSISTENT acne and after trying many many topicals and antibiotics, my derm finally recommended accutane and I’m so glad. It’s expensive, but I haven’t had too many negative side effects. The dry skin isn’t as bad as it was on some of the topicals I’ve tried, the only difference now is chapped lips. If you’re considering it, and you’ve tried everything else, I strongly recommend taking the plunge. Feeling confident without makeup is worth every penny and side effect!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 9/13/2017 11:40:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Dark, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

On the first month and it has halted my breakouts a bit. Skin less oily.have a LOT of blackheads though and my lips are super dry. I'm only on 20mg but I also do a lot travel via flying so maybe that's why! Can't wait for my skin to clear

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Blue

I cannot rave enough about this medication! As many others have said, I wish I did this years ago. After 15 years of persistent mild to moderate acne, a dermatologist finally put me onto isotretinoin (also known as accutane/roaccutane). I started on just 10 mg a day for 3 months, then was on 20 mg a day for 12 months. I stopped a month ago and haven't had a pimple for the last 4 months at least, my pores are so much smaller and I no longer look like an oil slick by midday. I did have very dry lips, but it really didn't bother me, I just made sure to always have chapstick. I would say to anyone, if acne gets you down and affects your confidence, try isotretinoin for sure! I no longer spend half an hour piling foundation on my face, I am finally comfortable wearing no makeup in public which is a miracle for me. I would say, if you are nervous about the side effects, just ask for a low dose over a longer period of time, I'm definitely glad I did it!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

on 6/15/2017 11:46:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Accutane has been a life saver for me. I've had persistent acne since I hit puberty (I'm now 25). I did a round of accutane when 18 and stayed clear for about 2 years. Then I did another round at 23 and cleared while on it, but did not stay clear after stopping. My acne is hormonal and really I should be using something like spiro instead, but I can't used that due to side effects. The birth control pill (zovia) helps, but does not work completely. I've literally tried everything for my acne (bcp, spiro, retinoids, bp, sulfur, BHA, AHA, TCA, mandelic acid, antibiotics, etc.), and after my last course my derm suggested a long term low dose of accutane to keep my acne controlled. I now take 1 to 2 40 mg pills a week and I'm happy with my skin. I get labs done monthly to monitor my liver and cholesterol and so far I've been fine. I don't think what I'm doing is for everyone, but for me it makes a huge difference. I was depressed and anxious over my skin and getting indented scars from my acne and I had enough. I don't get any side effects from the low dose of accutane. However, I know it is not the healthiest thing for my body and so I try to be as healthy as possible. I eat cleanly, workout 6 times a week, and do not drink any alcohol.

During my many courses of accutane I have tried several different generics including zenatane, amnesteem, and claravis. I know they are all supposed to be the same, but in my experience they are not. My favorite generic was amnesteem, but it has been discontinued. When I took amnesteem at a high does my only side effect was dryness. Claravis gave me the dreaded hair loss. Zenatane gives me joint pain at very high doses, but it is ok for me at low doses and it is what I currently take. If you're having side effects on one generic, ask to try another.

In high doses accutane will make you dry. Aquaphor was my best friend when I was taking high doses. It's also important to drink plenty of water.

Even though accutane has been a life saver for me, it is just a part of my current anti-acne routine. Just because I take a low dose of accutane does not mean I can abandon my skin routine. I still have to take bcp to keep my hormones in check. I have to avoid foods that trigger acne and oily skin for me (foods high in Omega 3&6). I also need to avoid products that trigger my acne. Even while on a high dose of accutane it was still possible for me to break out from certain products. Overall, though, I would never want to go without it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 6/15/2017 9:08:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I currently just finished my first month of my course and will update as time goes.
Me - moderate, persistent acne, very oily skin. I had really bad breakouts earlier this year that left my cheeks purple and was taking forever to heal. This is what put me over the edge. I tried doxy which worked but after I stopped, everything came back and I didn't want to be on antibiotics indefinitely.

I started month 1 on 20mg per day. Side effects are slightly dry lips (but still barely noticeable), drier skin and hair. I'm loving the drier skin and hair - I don't have to blot my face, my makeup lasts all day, and my hair doesn't get oily within days. I didn't have a huge initial breakout, just one or 2 new ones which cleared up fairly quickly and didn't seem to scar.
So far I've already seen alot of results. People have asked me if I'm using different makeup because my skin looks matte and flawless (albeit I do wear makeup, but it's the same stuff I used before I started the course.)

Finished month 2 at 30mg. Not much difference from month one. A tiny bit drier. Maybe 1 new cyst that healed. Dryish lips but nothing unbearable. I can still wear lipstick everyday, but I moisturize throughout the day.I already feel more confident going makeup free as I don't have much active acne now. I'll be upped to 40mg next month and I'll update after.

Finished month 3 at 40mg. The first couple days at a higher dose is always the roughest but I feel my body gets used to it. i do feel very thirsty on accutane so I'm definitely keeping well hydrated.

My doc wanted to up me to 50mg but I prefer taking a lower dose for a longer time to mitigate side effects. I will be on 20 mg for the remaining months and update after

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

on 2/16/2017 4:35:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

I am almost lost for words in describing how amazing this is and the overwhelmingly positive impact this has had on my life.
I have battled acne since teenage-hood. And tried countless number of useless, -even harmful- and less effective products. This includes other prescription meds- such as spirolactone, retin-a topical cream and antibiotics. When I saw my derm, he suggested such products, just for me to say, "tried it", "on it" etc etc. He conceded it was necessary, warned me of the side effects and gave me a six month course- 20mg BD (twice daily). He gave me a script for antibiotics as well in case I got the initial flare up in acne I had read so much about. Thankfully, I was spared that.
The course went quite smoothly, I must say.
Yes, I got the terrible dry lips (beginning around week 2-3) (nuxe lip balm saved my life with that- HG product, as well as cortisone lip balm which was amazingly ineffective and actually seemed to make it worse) and dry skin ('Every Day Shea' lotion- cheap and effective- saved me, and La Roche Posay ciceplast). I had to amp up my facial moisturizer to products I never could have used before.
Within 2 weeks, I could feel the blackheads coming out of my pores. It was the weirdest thing- my nose became really rough as the sebum in my pores hardened and was squeezed out of my pores. This lasted until about week 4.
After 6 weeks, I was breakout free. Skin was very dry. Sadly, my skin seemed to lose it's 'plumpness'. Honestly, I did not give a shit because no breakouts! My makeup was suddenly lasting the entire day, no blotting- zero oil to turn my makeup into a greasy mess 2 hrs after application.
I also noticed that my hair was way less oily, too. I could last a whole week without washing. As a result of less washing, my hair grew longer.
I finished the course with no complications. I'm now on a maintenance dose- 20mg twice a week. It's kept the oiliness away and my hair can still go 4-5 days without needing to be washed.
And, since finishing- no breakouts. I think I got one tiny blemish which was gone in two days - I think I got it from using Josie Maran argan oil. Also, my pores seemed to have shrunk. Not dramatically, but definitely no longer orange peel skin like before.
I can wear tinted moisturiser, illuminating powders and serums and achieve that gorgeous, dewy complexion I always dreamed of. Makeup lasts all day! I can use thick, heavy sleeping pack masks and facial oils.
My entire skincare regime has changed completely and my makeup regime has likewise made some changes.
I still need to use lip balm quite a bit more often.
Honestly, accutane has changed my life. I wish I had have used it years ago instead of suffering with acne and getting my skin all scarred.
I'm actually quite annoyed that my doc and my derm didnt suggest it when I was in my early 20s and complaining of acne. Instead, they gave me other less effective products and I wasted probably thousands of dollars on useless anti-acne products.
Since finishing, I've been using derma-roller to get rid of scarring- slowly but surely, they're fading.
I now love my skin. I feel happy every day to not have acne.
Acne is a curse, it really is- I felt so depressed waking up to breakouts, feeling ashamed of my gross skin.Thankfully those days are gone.
For all those people out there battling acne- GET THIS STUFF! Nothing, NOTHING else really gets rid of acne. Your acne is curable! You will not be sorry. Just remember, get yourself a good lip-balm (Nuxe!) and moisturizer/facial oil and sleeping pack.
Getting on accutane was the best decision I've ever made. It has changed my life.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I am in the middle of taking accutane. I've decided to devote my notepad to my journey, rather than write one long review here. Please check out my notepad for more deets!

on 7/26/2016 6:52:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

What an amazing medication! I've been dealing with acne for years and tried everything under the sun from expensive Sephora products to drug store to every topical treatment you can think of. I was very hesitant to try this because of the negative reputation that this medication holds but it cleared up my skin like nothing else. It worked for me within a couple weeks, and completely stopped my excessive oil production so I don't get oily anymore which is fantastic. The only downside is to how incredibly and painfully dry my lips have gotten but it's so worth it, I'd do it all over again. If you're debating whether this medication is worth it, I highly highly recommend it a lot.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 2/24/2016 10:26:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Black

I feel like I have to include this medication review in a beauty and makeup site because for me, I was not able to fully experience the joy in beauty until my acne was cured. Yes, you read correctly, CURED.

My skin for as long as I can remember, was extremely oily skin with gigantic pores. I started experiencing acne in late Elementary school(4th- 5th grade) and it was terrible in middle school. I had acne not only on my face, but also on my chest, neck, on my back and even on my arms, legs, and buttocks. I had mostly blackheads, some whiteheads, but worse of all I had cystic acne, giant painful, deep acne. When I was younger my mother did so much for me by taking me to doctors, and especially emotional reassurance with the times I have been in tears, crying because of my skin. I have tried diets, I have tried every single topical treatment with every single type of ingredient, I have tried antibiotics, no makeup, mineral makeup, holistic treatments, natural/bio products, EVERYTHING! I will say that some of these treatments did HELP, some more than others like topical retinol, salicylic acid(BHA), antibiotics(best against whiteheads and cystic acne after it's infected) but nothing completely alleviated the problem. I still had reoccurring cystic acne and overly oily skin. Getting older has changed some, but the problem is still there. When one giant cyst is gone, another reappears. There were a few times when I have perfect skin but then this ugly cyst somewhere. Overall, I understand the frustration.

In my country in Europe, Accutane has the name Tretinac, it is the same medication as Accutane. I am an American living in Europe the past 4 years now, going to the dermatologist here has changed my skin permanently for the better. My dermatologist here in Europe prescribed me the Accutane right away and within the next few days, my skin dramatically changed! It was as if the oil suddenly dried up and the acne went away. with more time my pores started to become smaller due to less oil production, and my skin can finally heal. All that was left were scars but with moisturizing, exfoliation, they faded away. I stayed on the medication for a year. I started in the beginning with a higher dosage and with time I reduced to a smaller dosage.

My doctor told me the reason I was never on Accutane in the US is because most doctors are scared to give such an aggressive medication. It causes birth defects(when taking it while pregnant) major dryness and sun sensitivity. I was also prescribed birth control before my doctor gave me the medication. My doctor told me in the US, the doctors do not prescribe the medication for over a few months but in order to be FULLY effective, it needs to be over the course of at least a year. The doctors in the US are scared of lawsuits and the European doctors have more freedom to fully practice medicine and help. No offense to anyone and I am NOT saying the doctors in the US are inadequate. I still love my home country!

I have been off for over two years now and my skin is normal and sometimes combination(mostly Summer) but thankfully it's nowhere near the oil production as before. I have not had a single cyst. I do occasionally get teeny tiny whiteheads but due to laziness at times like forgetting to wash my face. Very minor acne compared to what I had before.

The major side effects to this medication are dryness and peeling and I would take that ANY DAY over acne! Dryness I can fix. I find it almost amusing to treat my dry skin when I had extremely oily skin my whole life. There are so many products and ways to treat dryness but not many to treat my acne. The extreme dryness eventually subsides and my skin balanced out. One could be sun sensitive with Accutane, but I never experienced it.

I can wear whatever makeup I want, I can eat what I want, I can use many types of skincare products while before I was scared to even put moisturizer on! Makeup is now fun rather than only focusing on concealing and hiding. Call me shallow or whatever you want. I am more confident than I have ever been. I can wear whatever I want, I now wear sleeveless shirts, backless tops, wearing my hair up, when before I covered up because I was embarrassed of my skin(acne was not just on my face). People now compliment me on my skin and they cannot believe that I ever had acne. EVERYDAY IS A GOOD SKIN DAY. I am so thankful for my doctor and this medication.

I know I sound like one of those people who give cheesy testimonials on television for anti acne brands; I used to watch them over and over again wishing that could happen to me and I could one day say the same thing. I'm absolutely no way sponsored by any brand or company(does Accutane even have sponsors?), I'm just a woman who wants to share my experience because this is the biggest and best thing I ever did for my skin and I would even call this life changing.

I highly recommend to those who need this. This is an aggressive medication that you need to keep/stick with it and most of all, take precaution with any sort of medicine. Whatever medication or path you choose to take for your skin, problematic or not, Accutane/Tretinac or not) DON'T GIVE UP.

14 of 16 people found this helpful.

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.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.

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