Accutane Long Term Side Effects

scott Says:

I have a son that took accutane 60 mg a day for six months in a row three years ago. Now after many trips to doctors over strange medical problems, it seems accuatne is the culprit medication that has caused servere joint and muscle pain, severe dry lips, redness in face, eye infections of own immune system attacking itself, systems of osteoarthritis in both shoulders, both wrist and right hand, blood in stool, possible hair loss, abnormal liver function test results in AST and ALT. My son went from being a high school football and track athlete while taking this medication three years ago to someone that is in constant pain just washing a car. After I have researched this drug extensively, I can't believe that the FDA allows this drug originally made for cancer patients to be marketed for teenagers with acne. All one has to do is look online what vitamin A overdose does to someone and then you have the results of what this medication has done to my son. This drug needs to be taken off them market ASAP and the drug companies that make it need to compensate all teenagers that they have possible ruined their future. Shame on them! What is going on here?

1931 Replies (97 Pages)

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lynn Says:

I sympathize with you on the accutane. Even my neurology doctor has told me how the fda works and quite frankly it is pretty scary. If his stories are true than the fda is hand in hand with the drug companies and not the poor consumer. But back to the accutane. It has really changed my son's life but not the way it has affected yours. My son has had other accutane problems. I am not the type of person to sue and am a registered nurse but i want this to stop before too many more children are hurt. Here is our story. My son was on accutane for one year and it stopped his growth and fused his bones. I know this for a fact and could prove it. My son had wrist xrays to tell his bone age about 3 months before starting on accutane. The xrays showed that he had 3-5 years of more growing based on the bones not being fused. He went on accutane and after about a year or so i realized that he was not growing. we went back to the doctor and they did more xrays on his wrists. I was shocked to find that his bones had fused over the year he was on accutane and he would not grow anymore. I remembered signing a release on the accutane related to bone problems but it never said that it outright stunt your childs growth permamently. I would never had allowed my son to be on it if i knew it would do this to him. My son is now 19 years old and is 5 ft 3 inches. My husband is 5 10 and i am 5 5. His siblings are much taller than him. When he was a baby his growth chart showed him at 5 ft 8 inches. It breaks my heart to see what it has done to him. I am sorry if I offend any one who is short but my son would not be soo short if it had not been for the medication. I am sorry about all of the kids on accutane that have suffered in one way or another.

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Dennis Says:

I took Accutane when i was 15 yrs old...I had my first back surgery when I was second when I was 23..niether of these surgeries was caused by a specific accident I just woke up one day and got out of bed and my back gave out....I also have very bad stomach problems I take 40mg of nexium and 300mg of zantac daily or my indigestion gets so bad I can't stand it...I have been scooped from both ends and lots of blood tests and the doctors cannot explain stomach at all...I'm not sure if this is a side effect or not...Is anyone else out there having stomach problems due to accutane? I'm in constant pain in all my joints especially my back, shoulders and wrists. I am now 33 and take about 1600mg of motrin just to get thru the pain of everyday life.

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scott Says:

I am sorry to hear about your health situation. Have you mentioned to your Gastroenterologist that you were prescribed accutane at 15 years old ? Accutane has been proven in a court of law to cause Irritable Bowel Disease. If you would like, email me at Scottp623[at]aol[dot]com and I would be glad to send you some information I have collected. My son seems to have some of the constant pain in his joints, also in his shoulders, both wrist and right hand that you have. Have you had a bone scan done ? Please email me. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I was amazed once I started researching this medication on how many others are out there with similar health problems after taking accutane. I will be looking for your email. Best Wishes !

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Verwon Says:

The problem with any medical issue and blaming it on a drug is, of course, actually proving that the drug caused it. This will not be an easy nor cheap process.

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Mandie Says:

Im supposed to start taking accutance in 2 weeks..i know 5 people who have been on it and are fine..but it hasnt been years im starting to think if im making the biggest mistake of my life..

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scott Says:

Please remember that I am not a doctor and I am only giving you my own personal advise. Even though you know 5 people that have taken accutane doesn't mean that the next person that takes it will not be one of many who have long term side effects from this medication. My son has seen over 5 doctors and each doctor has a different answer to what he has. As of yesterday, a specialist told him he may have spondyloarthritis and has scheduled him for two different MRI's and a colonoscopy. Please continue to read more about this drug before you decide to take it. There are now many other options for acne than this medication. Maybe by trying some other over the counter meds might help you. Google the top ten acne products and try one first, maybe it will help.Good Luck !

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Paige Says:

My brother, his 2 twin friends, a friend of mine, and myself all took Accutane once for 6 months, and all of us are doing great. My brother and his 2 friends took it about 4 years ago, and my friend and I were on it 10 years ago. None of us have suffered from any side effects or conditions.

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Rasha Says:

I had urticaria(dermographism) at the mid of the third month while taking accutane and still have after 3 months from stopping it, i feel itchy every night and have horrible hives and welts when ever i scratch my skin even smoothly

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Eric Says:

I was put on Accutane when I was 25 and had my final dose in 2008. A year later and I'm experiencing problems and symptoms I never have before. Like Dennis, I have severe stomach problems including cramping, bloating, pain, etc, and earlier this year I was diagnosed with IBS by a gastroenterologist.

I don't have joint pains fortunately, but I suffer from insomnia and drastic mood swings. I constantly lack energy and my concentration has completely gone off the boil.

The acne cleared up, but I have permanent red marks all over my arms and back that were never there before. I was told oh, those are fine, they'll clear up eventually, but one year later they are as prominent as they were before. I have rashes along my forearms. Additionally, my face is always dry, I become very flushed and sunburnt easily, and I developed scarring toward the end of treatment when the acne was supposed to be clearing up.

The worst thing is I told my dermatologist all of this, but was informed that those aren't his area of expertise and I should see another specialist about those problems. He knew the drug was causing these illnesses but he shunted me off onto other practitioners once he got his fee. Essentially, he didn't give a s***.

I would caution anybody about to go onto accutane or any of its variants to research and assess this drug beforehand. Weigh up the severity of your acne and your self-esteem against the intended benefits, but be certain that you're willing to pay another price in the long-run. The choice is ultimately yours, but if you are being prescribed accutane and there is no other option than living with low self-image, it's important to realize that you've been let down - by your medical practitioner, your support network and/or by life.

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KC Says:

I was going to start accutane next week. After reading these posts, I have decided against it. My thanks (and sympathy) go out to all who have shared their stories!!

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nick Says:

i took accutane when i was in high school. up until now i feel like accutane worked great for me. i am now 25 years old. at the time of taking the medication i had all of the dryness, chapped lips, very pale and easily burnt skin. i also had to constantly get blood work done. at this time i am currently losing hair. hair loss is not in my family. i was wondering if there were long term side effects of this drug that causes that. or could it be the side effects finally catching up to me now. and could i do anything to help my case.

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Lynn M. Says:

Considering starting accutane for my daughter, age 14. Very concerned about the effects, especially since she is a very young girl whose body is not fully developed. We are currently trying a run of Yaz for 5 months now, and monthly dose of a Z pac. Also tried a herbal remedy. Seems like she has gone from stage 4 to stage 2 or less... Not sure but I have had a 2 different Diagnosis from 2 different Md's this week< The derm said cystic 2, the plastic surgeon (seen for scar removal) said chronic acne. After reading all of your posts, I am not sure to start her on accutane or not, esp since the 2 diagnosis were so different in one week.
I am a Registered Nurse and I understand the complications of todays medicine and their side effects. It is unfortunate that her acne has taken her from a year round great swimmer to sitting home inside all summer and not going to any pool.
However, I am going to consider delaying the accutane initiation.
My prayers and thoughts are with all of you who are dealing with the life changes from acne and the treatment courses out there.

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Marie Says:

My sister-in-law passed away last year of stomach and liver cancer. She was on accutane for a long term. I believe her immune system was compromised by accutance and eventually caused her cancer. Are any attorneys handling cases of this such.

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Carolyn Says:

I suffered from acne in my 30's and took the antibiotic Minocin for years. It worked fairly well. My doctor asked me if I wanted to try Accutane to clear up my acne for good. I used the drug for the medically prescribed time in 1997. It cleared up my acne and it never returned. Ten years later, I am suffering from chronic pain syndrome - arthritis type symtoms in my back and neck. I also have inflammation in my S.I. joints that can't be explained. I now take an anti-inflammatory drug called Mobic and use a muscle relaxant called Skelaxin. Every day is a struggle with pain. I've always wondered if taking Accutane is the cause of my illness. I am 48 years old now and barely able to work full-time. I would not risk taking this powerful drug and recommend alternative treatments.

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Scott Says:

Dear Lynn M.,
I read your post about considering getting accutane prescribed for your daughter. I only speak from the horrific side effects this drug has done to my now 19 year old. My son was a star track and football player and took accutane while he was doing both sports when he was 15. Since then, he has been unable to even swim in school and we have to get him an excuse every year because the chlorine in the water cased his face to turn cherry red and become extremely dried out from the medication. Your daughter may get her complexion better, but may suffer the consequences of never being able to swim in chlorinated water again. Unfortunately, my son also never again participated in any High School sports since taking accutane do to major joint pain and now has arthritis in both shoulders, both wrist and right hand. Thats only a few health concerns we have today from a decision a doctor made. Who in their right mind would prescribe a cancer killing drug to their child to clear up acne, if they only were told that up front. It's a decision I let happen 3 years ago that haunts me everyday.

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Patti Lodes Says:

Hell is where I have been living since taking Accutane years ago. I was perfectly fine for a year after taking it with just some slightly dry lips and skin and then my health went straight down. I mostly live the life of a vegetable now, unable to participate in most activities because of chronic pain, lung problems, gastric problems, chronic fatigue. Accutane will reduce your capacity to enjoy life and creates a depression that is unlike any other.

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Oli Girl/Jen C Says:

Accutane is poison...Don't take it....It almost killed me, I couldn't walk for 4 months. I have severe osteopenia high fx risk, I shrunk a 1 1/2, I have thyroid problems now, major tendon,ligament,joint damage, it burnt my eyelids which are now constantly dry and swollen, along with dry eyes,mouth and body,I now have ear infections (30yrs and never had one), Accutane gives a whole new meaning to anorexia, I lost all muscle and fat on my body and massive amt of weight...It took months to regain just some of this and to top it off I am swollen behind my right side of the head...mri and mra shows nothing....No Doctor Cared about any of this stuff just shrugged thier shoulders as well theese things happen.....
I think really hard before you put this chemo drug in your body...I wish someone would of warned me, told me what this poison was...
Don't Do It there are safer alternatives.........

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Matt MCGovern Says:

I have had reoccurring stomach problems for years now. Looking back I believe it to be the accutanethat did this. I took accutane my sophmore year in high school into my jr year, then starting at the end of my senior year i started getting stomach problems, a weird cold pain/discompfort. For a while it was bearable so i ignored it but soon i found myself in the hospital with an innersuccepted bowel. Wich means my intestines basically kinked in on itself. they cut my open to repair my intestine but it was fine when they went in so i basically had a major stomach surgery for no reason. I have had over a year of testing and doctors and no none can explain what happened or what is wrong. I lost 30 lbs from the surgery and it took me over a year to gain it back. i have been having a problem gaining weight, and also a big problem sleeping at night. i find myself tired all the time, even after i slept for over 12 hours(which most of the time is during the day when i shouldnt be asleep). After researching on the internet i believe accutane is to blame for my problems. I basically live with this pain every day now because after years of no answers people are tired of looking for answers and hearing me complain. Some one needs to do something about the distribution of accutane to teens before more people end up like me!

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Miranda Moore Says:

WOW! all you people who took accutane and have all these side effects in the future...guess what they tell you that before you start taking it!! I took accutane knowing about the long term side effects and yeah there were side effects that the doctor told me would happen and its not like you can't read up about the stuff on the internet if you cared about your children you should have researched the effects of accutane BEFORE you let your kid take it thats what my mom did and she left the decision up to me. You should look up every medication you take that has any kind of side effects.

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worried mom in Colorado Says:

15 yr old son on Claravis(isotretinoin) for 12 days. Paranoid behavior started at day 10 and contuned to worsen. Now on Day 7 off the Claravis and we continue to wait for this drug to clear his system. He is experiencing extreme delusions, paranoid behavior, anorexia. Behavior was a perfectly adjusted 15 year old before starting this medication. I cant find much help locally of anyone ever expirencing this behavior. I have heard anywhere from 3 to 20 days to clear brain receptors.

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