Buh-Bye, Accutane

You either love it or loathe it. For me, many, many years ago, Accutane was a life (or should I say face?) saver. A new college graduate, I was supposed to be past the age of weekly (and daily) breakouts, but somehow, my body didn’t know that. Go figure. So, after trying everything else in my derm’s arsenal, I finally succumbed and let the doc put me on Accutane, with its monthly blood tests, three gajillion forms of required birth control backups and insane drying effects. (Let’s just say I should have bought stock in Aquaphor. I’m still, closer to a decade later than not, trying to finish off the tubs of it I bought for my constantly chapped lips.) But at the end of it all, I ended up with some pretty decent skin. But not everyone had the low-resistance path I did—side-effects included depression, mood swings, extreme dryness…one guy even tried to use the drug as a defense in a murder case. So, when I heard the makers of Accutane were taking it off the market, I was a little surprised (despite the side-effect claims). Not to worry, though—it’s a financial move, not anything related to the drugs effects (long-term or otherwise). Apparently, the combo of losing a bunch of personal-injury lawsuits and its patent expiring in 2002 (meaning no more exclusive rights to producing the formula, other drug companies could produce it under a generic name) cut into profits way too much. Popping it is still safe (when you’re doing the right doctor-instructed things) and you’ll still be able to get it—just not by the name we all know it as. [Allure]

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