Accutane: the good, the bad, the ugly

package that contains Accutane pills (via mckesson medical-surgical)

package that contains Accutane pills (via mckesson medical-surgical)

If many of you do not know, Accutane is a drug that helps get rid of acne basically forever. It is a pill that you take for around nine months. It is usually only used on teens with bad acne. Like every drug it has its side effects, but the ones that come with Accutane are much worse.

The drug itself is called Isotretinoin and it works phenomenal, but the side effects are just awful. These side effects can include the following: dry skin, dry lips, dry mouth, nosebleeds, cracks in the corner of the mouths, lack of appetite and even depression.

If you do decide to take this drug, you will need a lot of Aquaphor to counteract the dryness. For the nosebleeds you will need some saline solution, so your nose does not dry out. Another thing to be weary of is if your corner of the mouth and below the lip get yellow. If this happens you will need some ointments prescribed by your dermatologist. You will also need to get blood drawn every month that includes fasting twelve hours before each. Those blood draws have really helped me get over my fear of needles. You will finally need to not get pregnant while on Accutane because it can cause birth defects. I do not think this will be an issue though since most of the people that go on it are teenagers anyways.

Packaging showing not to be pregnant while on Accutane(via Reddit)

I have been taking Accutane for the past nine months and I can confirm I have had all these side effects at one time or another. I would take it again though because the results are that good. As I enter my last month on the drug, my acne is virtually clear except for a pimple here and there. I began my nine-month journey with terrible acne on my back and chest with a decent amount on my face. Now if you saw me, you would not even think I had it. I now feel like I can take off my shirt without someone judging me based off my acne. People always tell someone not to take it because of the side effects but if you are strong willed then you should be just fine.

I went around Elder and asked fellow students who have taken it what they think about it. Among those is Brent Stahl, a junior here at Elder. He told me, “It is definitely worth it, although it dries out your skin it is worth it at the end.” Brent’s answer was very similar to the rest of the students I asked who have taken Accutane.

Thus, if you have terrible acne, I will strongly recommend Accutane but just be cautious of the side effects.