For most of you acne sufferers out there, I’m sure you’ve heard of Accutane. It’s a long, sometimes painful process that seems to be a 50/50 shot in the end when it comes to seeing results. So is it really worth the 6 months of intense medication?
First, let me mention just a few of the 43 side effects of this so-called acne curer. For the common, yet not necessarily “serious reactions,” the list includes pain and swelling of the lips, alopecia (hair thinning, baldness), vision problems, peeling skin, nosebleeds, joint pain, muscle pain, back pain, and depression.
If that wasn’t enough to scare you, let me give you a few of the actually serious reactions (please remember some are for males or females only). How does erectile dysfunction, violent/aggressive behavior, seizures, strokes, cataracts, birth defects, swelling pressure in the brain, liver damage, a rapid and deadly allergic reaction, osteoporosis, and suicidal attempts?
Because of the chance of birth defects, females on this medication have to prove once a month for 7 months (an extra month, one before the start of the doses) by having blood drawn. In addition, they must take an online test every month to show they remember that there are dangers with pregnancy and Accutane.
The entire purpose of Accutane is to reduce the amount of oil being released. It sounds like a great idea until you hear or experience the list of side effects. I was on Accutane my freshman year of high school and experienced extreme dry skin and lips, hair loss, vision loss (that has still been affected me), peeling skin, nosebleeds, back pain, aggressive behavior, stomach pain, and loss of the ability to concentrate. I had to take aspirin to make it through track practice and dropped my grades because I couldn’t pay attention in class. Some of the side effects are similar to those of alcohol- aggressive behavior, liver damage, headaches, stomachaches, depression, and suicidal attempts. So with all this happening to so many Accutane users, should doctors be prescribing it? Even further, should this drug even be legal?