Is isotretinoin worth is to cure my acne?

I have struggled with acne since I was 12 years old, now being 21 it's really become an emotional issue and a daily issue that I have to face. I have visited the doctor what seems like 100 times, and tried every solution they came up with, with no luck. They recently referred me to a dermatologist, who suggested I start taking isotretinoin tablets.

I've done a whole heap of research into the drug, and am honestly so scared of the side effects that could happen, but I feel like I've tried everything else and this is my last option. I even know someone who was taking the drug and had to stop after three months because she got depressed. It's not as such the depression side-effect that I'm worried about, but rather things like hair loss and dry eyes.

Now I'm even worried that I'm worrying about it too much which will impact the symptoms. It's weird because I'm not really someone who worries about things like this, I'm more of a live for the moment, it is what it is type of person, but this time round I'm very cautious.

If any of you have used the drug or have experience with it, I would truly love to hear from you to get your thoughts or suggestions of what I should do.

14 Replies

  • Hi, I got acne when I was 13, tried everything that was offered too, I looked up success stories on the internet and seen a lot about isotretinion so I asked my doctor. I turned 19 in January. I started isotretinion in November 2015. By my 19th birthday in January this year I did not have one spot on my face, no scars NOTHING. while on the drug I changed my diet, I cut out all carbs and dairy. I went on a Ketogenic diet .. Another positive about this diet is that I lost 2.5 stone and ended up with a jaw line and abbs haha. I know you have probably heard all this diet stuff 100 times already, but I'd try the diet while on isotretinion. Hope it works for you like it did for me bro ✌

  • It's great to hear from you, thank you for replying. What dosage were you on? Do you know if I go on the lower one my side effects are less likely? I think I'm going to go for it because I don't really have any other opinion at this point

  • Ehm I was on a higher dose for about 1 month and my skin made dramatic improvements so my GP lowered my dose. I'm finished the drug since the end of January. I have the boxes here somewhere I'll check the dosage. I definetly think you should try it. Side effects are rare and you might not even need to be on isotretinion for very long. I'll get back to you about the dosage I was on :)

  • Ok I have the prescribes boxes here, at first I was prescribed 60mg for 6 weeks but I was told I'd probably have to stay on this dose for longer. But I went back after 6 weeks and my acne was 60% better so I was put on 35mg for the next 8 weeks ( my face was clear about 5 weeks in but I finished out the dose just in case I had a relapse). Initially I was told that I would could have to take the drug for 50 weeks, but I only end up taking it for 16 !! Everyone is different but I'd just stick with the drug for as long as it takes. I wish you well :)

  • I just wanted to say thanks for replying, too. My son is likely to end up on this and I've been worried because, as Lemon28 says, there are lots of scary stories about it.

  • I too was very anxious about the side effects because my face was really bad and I didn't need other problems along with acne. But I knew that the serious side effects were rare and I seen so many success stories on the internet about it and my doctor wanted me to try it so bad. I'd 100% recommend it. Hope your soon gets relief soon because I know how horrible it can be. But say it to the derm it GP

  • Thanks, it's good to hear the other side of the story.

  • Hi Lemon28 - Sorry to hear you've been struggling with acne. I hope you've been able to speak with people who've had experience taking the medication to help inform your decision.

    I'm wondering whether you might be willing to participate in my research exploring the emotional experiences of having acne as an adult? Participation involves completing an online survey, which takes c.20 minutes, and by doing so you could win up to £50 in vouchers.

    People experience acne in different ways - for some people it can be distressing; others find it less troubling. My aim is for people with a range of different experiences of acne to participate. I'm hoping that this research will inform ways professionals respond when working with people with acne.

    I posted more details about it at:

    Thanks a lot, Susie.

  • Yeah of course I'll participate. I'll click the link

  • Just wondering did you decide to go ahead with it ?

  • Yes I did, started yesterday! I'll let you guys know how it goes

  • Glad you did, have a go at that low carb/low sugar diet too just as an extra weapon. Let me know how you get on, if I dont reply on this then you can email me :)

  • Hi everyone, I'm just about to finish my first month on Isotretinoin. Its gone so quickly!! One month in and everything is going well. My doctor started me off on a low dosage, taking 20mg a day. Starting my second month on Friday I will be going up to 30. No real side effects really apart from pretty dry lips, but its not too bad. I've completely cut dairy out of my diet as well to help with the situation and I drink a tone of water everyday, not that I didn't anyway. 

    My skin has gotten a lot better. First of all it got a hell of a lot worse, which lasted for around 2 and a half weeks, now its still recovering from that but generally my skin is so much smoother and some of my scarring has started to go down. 

    So far everything is going good, lets see what the next month brings. 

  • Hi! We have a new community specifically for Adult Acne - if you wish to take a look, here is the link!

    Kind regards,


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