T Nation

Accutane's Side Effects

Hey everyone,

Not sure where I should post this, so I guess since its something you consume, I’d put it here.

I was on Accutane a while back for my acne which worked great. I didn’t notice too many side effects, mainly just dry lips and dry skin.

I’ve been off of it for a couple months now and recently hurt my elbow. (I was punching a punching bag, I missed on a particular hit and hit a wooden chair pretty hard). I went to the doctors and got x rays and everything seems fine. She classified it as a sprain and prescribed some NSAIDS.

It’s been about 5 1/2 weeks and although its better, it still hurts.

I’m wondering if accutane has permanently screwed up my joints and ability to heal. I’ve read many mixed things about these side effects being permanent on a couple of different forums but thought I get my best answers here.

Thanks for your help.

I was on Accutane for a period of time and, being the klutz that I am, hurt myself on a pretty regular basis. I haven’t really notice anything taking a prolonged amount of time to heal.

I do recall hurting my elbow a few years ago. I never went to the doctor for it, but it took months before it quit hurting/feeling sore. Sprains can take a long time to heal, even in ideal conditions.

Definitely not unfeasible that Accutane is the reason your joints aren’t healing, I just never experienced this personally.

I was on accutane for almost a year which was about over 10 years ago. The only problems i ever had with it were dry skin, that was it.

Hey Crimson lily,

Thanks for sharing you’re experiences.

I’m to hear tane worked out for you.

I’ve read that accutane can prolong healing and even cause permanent muscle/tendon damage. I’m afraid this thing will never heal, giving me a hard time in the gym.

As I mentioned, its been about 5 1/2 weeks. How much time should I give it before seeking further help?



I’m like you. While on it the only thing I noticed was dry skin. No joint pain or anything

I’m worried now that it could be coming back and biting me in the ass. I would think accutane would be out of my system by now. I guess its possible that tane may have jacked up my joints and/or ability to heal from injuries properly.

Then again, I’ve read sprains take a long time to heal. I’ve been taking Flameout, doing light/moderate exercise, but it seems like its not getting any better.

I was on Accutane & haven’t had any joint issues, either. Maybe you should stop exercising that arm altogether & ice the hell out of it. I had to go through physical therapy recently for a banged up shoulder & just had to completely stop working my upper body (aside from PT) until it healed. It sucked, but it worked. Good luck!

Miss Parker,

Thanks for sharing!

The day after I injured it, I jumped into the gym, but found any pulling movement to be impossible. I worked out for the rest of the week but after that, thought It’d be smart and take it easy. I took about 1 complete week of and after that, did very light bearable movements till now. Hopefully it will get back to 100%.

If you don’t mind me asking, what happened to your shoulder and how long did it take for it to get back to normal?

I hurt it being an idiot. I was warming up in krav class doing handstand pushups & this cute guy, one of my training partners, came up to me & was all, “Damn, Parker, that’s cool! My girlfriend can’t do that! Do it again!”

So I go to show off for cutie-pie & when I bent my arms for the first pushup they collapsed under me. I tore the muscle in my right shoulder. I’d felt a pop in that shoulder a couple of weeks before doing the same exercise, but it didn’t hurt so I ignored it. As someone said in the combat sports forum, a fool and his shoulder are soon separated!

Because it ended up compressing the nerve, it took 2 months of physical therapy & laying off upper body training to heal.

I wonder if maybe you could google some videos of rehab exercises for your elbow?

Is the pain still just in your elbow, or does it go down your arm?

Glad to hear its better now!

The pain is mainly only in the elbow. During certain movements though, I feel a dull ache along the side of the forearm, so its kind of hard for me to actually pin point the location.

When I extend my arm and pronate my hand, I get this sore/tight feeling in my forearms. I’m thinking this might be because I’ve done some ligament damage and the muscles are compensating for stability by tightening up. It also hurts when I resist my elbow from being pushed away from my body.

So you tore a muscle and didn’t need surgery? I would think they would need to reconnect it or something right?

No, it was a teensy rip. The muscle healed right up, it was the compression on the nerve that gave me most of the problems. I was wondering if you had the same thing, which was why I was asking where it hurt. I’m no doctor, though, so I’m afraid I’m pretty useless to you. I sure hope you feel better soon, though.

Used it, dry skin, lips, mega annoying flaky skin but much better than the alternative.No joint issues.
I used to be a teacher and coach. I had a player who was a good athlete, good looking kid, bad cystic acne. To make matters worse, he had shaved his head, and he had acne all over his head. One night coming home from a game he confided in me that he had this acne problem since junior high, kids teased him about it all the time, he had never had a girl friend, he had tried everything and it never worked.

Against my better judgement I talked to him about accutane. He didn’t know anythng about it. I asked him to talk to his mom about it (single mom) and even offered to help him out with some money if he needed it.

Long story short, after seeing several doctors who would not give him the drug, he found one that would. Within three months he was completely cleared up. But beyond the obvious cosmetic change, this awesome, confident kid emerged. From a recluse to a kid that lit up a room with his smile and personality. It was a bit of a miracle, how this drug could litteraly change a persons life so dramatically.

That was over 15 years ago. He has thanked me so many times. Not so much for the accutane advice, but for just caring enough that he could talk to me.

We all want to make a difference in peoples lives. Sometimes my self esteem gets down a bit, some times I wonder how good of a person I really am. But every Christmas I get a card from this man that reads “I thank God for you everyday”.
So I have that going for me, which is nice.

Wow, 40&Big, what an awesome story! You deserve to be proud, you made a huge impact on this kid’s life.

I was also refused accutane by several doctors, its ridiculous. That stuff works miracles.

Thanks for sharing your story, 40&Big.

Miss Parker, I agree, it’s a miracle drug. With childrens self esteems being so fragile, it is odd to me that more doctors are so hesitant to prescribe it, especially to males. I’ll be talking with you sometime Miss Parker from Texas.

Thanks for sharing you guys.

I’m glad to hear that you guys got such good results from Accutane. I’m off it now and break out a little here and there, but nothing like how it was pre-tane. I agree thats a miracle drug and works wonders for acne. I thought it was interesting though, that it was first developed for cancer patients. My Accutane knowledge is a bit rusty, but isn’t it just a form of synthetic form of Vitamin A?

I’m wondering, since its designed to shrink up your sebaceous glands and dry you up, it would have the same effect on your joints and/or muscles.