Hi. I was on Accutane for 5 months during grad school back in 1995. I had cystic Acne and was planning to get married so I really really really wanted clear skin--at least for the wedding. During the time I was on it, my skin was very very dry. I also developed a bad case of chronic iritis, although my father also had this at my age so there is a definite genetic factor. I also developed severe pain in my joints. I had to wake up at 4am so I could take 3 Ibuprofen 800s with a banana and a large glass of water. If I didn't do this, then I would have to CRAWL to the bathroom for a hot shower when it was time to get up. I was always better once I got moving, but my joints were so stiff and painful it was miserable. This all was happening during a stressful last semester of grad school, wedding preparations, etc, so there was also the stress element. I was also very depressed during this time, although this might also have been caused by stress.
Looking back at my symptoms, I realize that the Accutane was probably the cause. Duh, now, right? Accutane shuts off your oil production, which would explain the eye problems and painful stiff joints. There are so many things you need oil for in the body. It just doesn't function well without oil. Not even the brain works well without it. Eight years later I developed Crohn's disease, despite eating a whole foods diet. I believe the Accutane was at least a variable if not a direct cause of turning off my body's oil production. In fact, I take fish oil now to stay in remission after reading a medical journal article stating that fish oil helps people who have had active Crohn's in the past, stay in remission. I believe fish oil is also being touted to relieve depression, among other things, although a highly purified pharmaceutical grade fish oil must be used, not something you find at the store. It must also be refrigerated. Again, Dr. Perricone recommends fish oil for cystic Acne as well. I have had some success with it but not complete resolution.
In closing, Accutane is not safe. Think about it. It is GUARANTEED to cause severe birth defects in babies born to mothers who have taken it while pregnant. This has been such a problem that you have to jump through hoops to get it, at least as a woman. The last time I was at the dermo, we discussed it. I would have to go on birth control (even if I'm not sexually active), sign something saying that I'm also using a second form of birth control (even if I'm not sexually active) and go in for monthly pregnancy tests. Are you getting a sense of how dangerous this drug is? Another danger is that Accutane can cause SEVERE depression. Apologies if this is sounding like a package insert, but anyone who is thinking about going on Accutane needs to know the facts. Yes, I had some success with it. My cysts went away for about 8 years, but then they came back with a vengence and brought other dis-ease friends along for the party. It is not something that I WOULD EVER DO AGAIN. To wrap up, cystic Acne is not caused by a shortage of Accutane in the body. Now think about the elements of the various cleanses and flushes: olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, all natural simple things. I am just so happy that I found this forum and am more dedicated than ever to doing things the right way, even if it's slower.
One last note: I'm also trying the Healing Codes. This is more of a spiritual healing method and was expensive. I got them for overall healing, not just for skin. If interested, you can google them for more information.