My Journey with Accutane
I’ve debated on writing a story for over 3 months now, but decided to and here we go!
Since no one has really shared a detailed experience with this drug and the experience is quite interesting, I’m going to share my experience with it, hopefully this can help some decide to take it or not, as well as help those going through similar issues that I had. Feel free to reach out on Twitter if you have any follow-up questions.
For reference, I am 16 years old, 5'9", and went from 130lbs-160 during this process. I took this medication while in a calorie surplus for weightlifting.
I started June 30th, 2021 on 20mg daily. I tried 2 other antibiotics for over two years and nothing was working, so I finally caved in and gave Accutane a shot. I was worried of joint pain and the inability to workout, but more on that later. The first two weeks were rough, my back pain was bad and it made my Summer beach trip hard to enjoy. After those two weeks I could barley notice I was on it and the results were almost immediate, not much else to say about this.
Bumped up to 40mg daily, I was handling it very well. I had very little join/back pain and the results continued to show. Nothing interesting here.
Bumped up to 60mg daily (my choice and was recommended by dermatologist). I was handling this very well too. I started school this month and my confidence was at its highest ever. Starting to see results from the gym and see my face continue to clear up for the first time in years was a major confidence boost. Lower back pain always existed (probably due to working out ~5 days/week).
Bumped up to 80mg daily. I knew this was going to be my second to last month which was terrible, because it made everything go by so much slower. This month I started to feel different mentally. I’m not quite sure how to explain it but I felt more distant from friends and took everything negative said more personally than I ever have before. I was still able to enjoy the things I love and make progress in the gym but there was always a weird vibe within my friend group. It felt like Nick vs the world. I was able to workout and make progress in the gym, no lower back pain or side effects beside dry lips/hands.
This is really hard to explain and some might be wondering why I didn’t stop here and prioritize my mental health over a acne drug :). To be honest, knowing I was so close to being done and determined to finished I decided to just push through.
Month 5 (final month!):
Stayed on 80mg for the last 4 weeks of this journey, and I can say with full certainty 3 months later, it was worth it.
The last month was the hardest. A close friend of mine passed away in a car accident which really messed my whole world up. That mixed with various other friend issues and finals at school really wrecked my mental health. I debated every night on quitting but with only a few days left after all these bad things happened, I finished. I really wanted to finish. I don’t believe the Accutane caused mental issues, but was a factor in why I felt so distant from my friends and the world.
I believe that the last month would not have been as bad as it was if those major events didn’t happen. 80mg is relatively high but my body handled it so well, I was able to workout almost daily and gain significant progress week to week. Personally I would recommend taking Accutane if nothing else is working. My face 3 months later is looking clearer than it ever has before and I would do it again even knowing the side effects.
I really wanted to share my experiences hoping this can help others make a decision for themselves to either start, quit, or finish it to the end. If you have any follow-up questions feel free to reach out via twitter, which is linked to the top of this post. Thanks for reading if you made it this far, I’ve been wanting to share what it was like for a while.