Accutane Cures Acne (with Side Effects)

Episode #46 / Jul 15, 2009
Accutane is to many people a miracle drug; it cures their acne. But there are side effects to consider. Dr. Schultz will walk you through the pros and cons of Accutane.
Adam Goldstein on December 3, 2009 at 3:55am

Dr Schultz,

As you already know, i took accutane for mild but persistant acne. My skin was very oily and usually pretty clear of acne. Topicals and antibiotics did help my skin stay clear but they did not offer a permanent remission.

I decided to ask my dermatologist in Manhattan for accutane. I was not really aware of the side effects at the time but took it anyway. I weighed 74kgs at the time (3 years ago). I took 40mg/day for the first 2 months and 80mg/day for the following 4 months. My skin was completely clear on the second week of accutane.

Questions: Since my skin cleared up right away, (as i knew it would because my acne was sooo mild) do you think it was wrong for my doctor to give me such a high dosage for such a long duration when my skin was absolutely perfect after one week?

Second question: My hair became extremely dry on accutane as did my skin. My hair started to recede at the temples while on accutane and has progressively thinned out since taking the drug 3 years later. To this day, my hair is about half the volume as it was pre-accutane, and my skin still makes no oil. What do you make of this? Can accutane permanantly shut down oil glands, and can it cause permanent hair loss or male pattern baldness? And can the hair loss still be occuring from accutane a couple years after taking it?
Sorry for the questions, i just feel like i was mistreated on accutane because i had very mild acne i was given way too high of dosage than i needed.

I think i am going to come into your office to have you access the problems. I hear so many of your patients boasting about how great you are and how much you really care about helping them. I only wish i had come to you 3 years ago. I really believe you might have not allowed me to take accutane given my very mild acne that would come and go. And if you did, i really think it would be a low-dose accutane treatment. The hair loss and dry skin has been a real confidence killer. The dry skin has also caused me to form many fine lines.

Thank you so much,