My Accutane Story (22 yr old college male)

Welcome to our community. Please fill in the following template as a way of introducing yourself, and helping others to understand your background and situation.

Where are you from (country)?
United States
How did you find this forum (Google search – if so, what search terms? Via link from a forum or website – if so, what page? Other?)
Googling fixes
What is your current age, height, weight?
22, 6’2, 183lbs
What specific drug did you use (finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto, isotretinoin/Accutane, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, leuprorelin, etc…)?
Accutane
What dose did you take (eg. 1 mg/day, 1 mg every other day etc.)?
Don’t really remember, 20mg keeps coming up in my head though.
What condition was being treated with the drug?
Acne
For how long did you take the drug (weeks/months/years)?
6 months
How old were you, and WHEN (date) did you start the drug?
20
How old were you when you quit, and WHEN (date) did you quit?
Late 2016
How did you quit (cold turkey or taper off)?
Cold turkey
How long into your usage did you notice the onset of side effects?
During and post
What side effects did you experience that have yet to resolve since discontinuation?
Complete loss of Libido, Spontaneous Erections, the instinctual drive to have sex, no morning wood
Check the boxes that apply. You can save your post first, then interactively check/uncheck the boxes by clicking on them. If your symptoms change, please update your list.

Sexual
[x ] Loss of Libido / Sex Drive
[ x] Erectile Dysfunction
Complete Impotence
[ x] Loss of Morning Erections
[ x] Loss of Spontaneous Erections
[ x] Loss of Nocturnal Erections
Watery Ejaculate
Reduced Ejaculate
Inability or Difficulty to Ejaculate / Orgasm
Reduced Sperm Count / Motility

Mental
Emotional Blunting / Emotionally Flat
[x ] Difficulty Focusing / Concentrating
[ x] Confusion
[x ] Memory Loss / Forgetfulness
[ x] Stumbling over Words / Losing Train of Thought
Slurring of Speech
[x ] Lack of Motivation / Feeling Passive / Complacency
[x ] Extreme Anxiety / Panic Attacks
[ x] Severe Depression / Melancholy
Suicidal Thoughts

Physical
[x ] Penile Tissue Changes (narrowing, shrinkage, wrinkled)
Penis curvature / rotation on axis
Testicular Pain
Testicular Shrinkage / Loss of Fullness
Genital numbness / sensitivity decrease
Weight Gain
Gynecomastia (male breasts)
Muscle Wastage
Muscle Weakness
Joint Pain
[ x] Dry / Dark Circles under eyes

Misc
Prostate pain
[x ] Persistent Fatigue / Exhaustion
Stomach Pains / Digestion Problems
Constipation / “Poo Pellets”
Vision - Acuity Decrease / Blurriness
Tinnitus (ringing or high pitched sound in ears)
Hearing loss
Increased hair loss
Frequent urination
Lowered body temperature

Other (please explain)

What (if any) treatments have you undertaken to recover from your side effects since discontinuation of the drug?
I’ve taken heaps of supplements. I am a bodybuilder as I take creatine and a ton of other supplements.
If you have pre or post-drug blood tests, what hormonal changes have you encountered since discontinuing the drug (please post your test results in the “Blood Tests” section and link to them in your post)?
My T levels came out normal along with my prolactin.
Anything not listed in the above questions you’d like to share about your experience?

Tell us your story, in your own words, about your usage and side effects experienced while on/off the drug.

Hey there my name is Eric and I have quite the story to tell so bare with me if it starts to sound a little repetetive midway through, we are all upset about the horrible drug has done for us.

I initially had horrible acne and it was over my back and face. I was my second year into college when I decided to hop on accutane. I had just broken up from a 2 year long relationship and I was ready to go out there and explore the wonderful women my college has to offer ( WSU, go Cougs ). I walked into our student doctors office and noticed that the doctors here are so ready to give any type of prescription. They will literally hand out anything to you for the $. Anyways, I talked to my doctor and he prescribed me Accutane. During the visit he had asked me if I had a predisposition to depression. I told him no because I did not know of anyone in my family who has had it. Come to know it two years later, my dad, brother, sister, and a ton of my extended family have taken anti depressents before. This is where things start to get a little confusing for me. Because I can’t tell if I am depressed from the Accutane causing ED and complete loss of libido, or the fact that I am depressed (from moving from california and being around my parents and friends, to complete isolation in the state of Washington) During the course I found myself not really wanting to go out anymore because I was feeling so down about myself. My roommate would always beg me to go out and party with him and I’d be completely ok with just staying inside playing video games. I then got myself into marijuana and I became even more lazy. There isn’t much to say for when I was on the course of Accutane, besides being lazy and having no desire to approach women. My anxiety had gotten really bad as well, but I think it was from the marijuana because I am off it now and I am doing a lot better in terms of anxiety. During the course I had 3-4 sexual encounters. In every single one of them I had made an excuse not to have sex with them. A beautiful college girl waiting there for me to do something and all i could think of was how I can make her laugh. No sexual tension. These instances over time made me feel worse and worse about myself, even speculating if I was gay. I am not though, because I like women. It was then a year and a half later, where I found myself a beautiful girl who I dated for a month before school had ended. Things were great I slept over every night she made me feel good, almost what love was again. The thing was though about this is that I could get it up with her. They weren’t the strongest erections at times but sometimes they were hard as a rock. IMPORTANT TO NOTE. I do workout, I am a bodybuilder, so maybe that plays a role in my ability to perform. During this time and still to do this day besides the creatine was Maca, creatine, and other minor supplements.

The thing that bugs me the most is that I feel like she could read that I wasn’t always in this animalistic nature that I once was with my girlfriend before I started Accutane. I didn’t want to do anything in the mornings and I was completely ok with just cuddling and starting up a movie. She then dumped me for this other guy recently and it bugs me that he doesn’t have these issues and she enjoys him because of it. IMPORTANT TO NOTE. When i watch porn when I was on my course and post course, I am able to get fully erect and can have a good orgasm. I even use a pocket vagina and lube it up and turn on a video and blam my erect penis is there. ALSO not to mention that my drive is there in that moment of masturbation. Like I am super into it where that animalistic behavior takes over and you want to be rough, etc. But the entire drive with real women when it comes to a real girl in a real life event, I can’t seem to get those triggers going. I figured this was Porn induced erectile dysfunction or maybe sexual anxiety which could very well be considering I have not had passionate sex since 2015-2016,

All in all I just want your guys opinions on my issue. Could it be the timing of my situation that a year after being in college and breaking up with my high school girlfriend sailed me into a depression I didn’t see coming when starting Accutane? From stories I’ve heard on here I read that people can’t even get erect from watching porn ( i’m sorry you’re going through this ) for me I can which gives me some hope I guess. It could be a lasting depression that accutane kickstarted, it could be that i’ve been out of the game for so long that I don’t know what those feelings are anymore, it ALSO could be that I go too hard in the gym and that has effected my adrenal and central nervous system. Or it could be the accutane. I notice my desire for sex post gym is lowered though, I will tell you that. After a 1 1/2 - 2 hr gym session I am tired and the last thing on my mind is sex, until I get myself to turn on a video which then I can get hard and orgasm.

I have taken only a few blood tests in regards to my hormones and they all came out relatively fine (which from reading from this forum isn’t the biggest surprise) I HAVE stopped creatine for the time being, due to people saying it increased 5 AR and to be honest before I read the effects on creatine on 5AR i noticed when i cycle it I tend to have less drive than when i’m off it. I could start taking it again alongside Tribulus of 40% protodioscin 90% saponins as that is said to boost 5AR. I also just started taking Longjack as well as some supplements people tell me to try and rid the body of toxins Accutane may have caused, these are TUDCA, MSM, Calcium d Glucarate, and Bile Acid Factors. I will name off the abundance of supplements I am taking to tackle what could be the problem.

VitC, VitD (trying 5-8IU daily as of recently), Acetyl L Carnatine, B12, B6 (high dose for trial and error), Calcium, ZMA (zinc magnesium), Alpha Lipoic Acid, L-DOPA (trial and error), Fish Oil (1-4g, I’m statting to try a high dose of fish oil at 4g) I’ve supplemented with Ashwagandha but the one I have now contains milk. I don’t do dairy nor processed sugars. ALSO my diet is very bland but clean. I eat brown rice white rice alongside either Ground turkey, chicken, ground beef, or fajita steak. With that I upped my fat intake by a ton to see if that changes anything. I eat healthy greens as well, kind of worried to eat broccoli now though, because it contains vitA.

Also I have been prescribed Sildenafil (20mg) tablets for erections. The doc said it could be performance anxiety so he gave me this in case I wanted to take it before a sexual encounter. I took one with a girl I brought home from the club, and I couldn’t keep my penis down. In that moment as well I was actually very into it. I now have this girl hitting me up along with a couple other women that are basically throwing their bra’s at me saying come do things to me. MY DRIVE TO GO DO THIS ACT IS NOT THERE. I keep telling myself and I think this is true that I am a relationship type of guy where I need to know if the person is invested in me to be able to have any sort of urge to do anything with them. I am young, and I want this problem fixed and I believe I myself and all of us do have the potential to do so. ANOTHER NOTE. On random days I want to say 1 or 2 times out of the week but randomly my Libido will be sky high. I tried to find the foods I ate in regards to what may have caused this but I cannot tell. ALSO as some people in the PFS forums state they get a feeling of well-being and libido the day after heavy drinking, and I myself have this same thing! Sometimes after a nights drinking that morning and later in the afternoon I will have a decent libido for once. Just a side note.

I just want some feedback and love thats all. I love what this community is doing. Our voices are small but we are relentless in what we are trying to achieve, and that is get OUR LIFE BACK!!

2 Likes

Hi Eric.

Most people with this condition have trouble whether with women, or watching porn. It’s just no the same.
Genital numbness (at least loss of pleasurable sensation) plagues nearly all of us. Not saying it wasn’t Accutane if you don’t have this symptom, but it is almost unheard of outside of PFS/PAS.

I too had the day-after-drinking increase in erections and mood, but sadly, that usually came with a mild hangover and the positive effect after drinking only lasted up into my early 30s. Can also relate to the unexplainable sporadic spikes in libido, which have also disappeared recently.

Hopefully you have reported this side effect, as that really goes a long way to support our cause.

Where can I report this issue? I will gladly do so! Also What do you mean most people have the condition? My condition seems to subside when I watch porn. Although, I don’t erect until the video starts playing. I also don’t think I get numbness maybe after a long while of masturbation but not in the beginning.

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Links to many national pharmacovigilance agencies can be found on this page:

Sorry, what I meant was that most people with PFS, PAS, or PSSD have genital numbness. It’s one of the primary sexual side effects of these drugs.

Most of us with this condition have reduced sexual function no matter the scenario We have ED and reduced pleasure and sensation with both porn and partners.

Dubya is correct in his description
Many if not all have decreased sexual function reduced libido regardless if porn or partners
Masterbation is pointless as most of us rely on drugs to achieve an errection adequate for masterbation or intercourse. Who on earth is going to pop a pill just to masturbate.
It’s a demoralizing situation to be left in all for the sake of keeping your hair.

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Despite your understandable concerns, it sounds like a lot of things do work for you, like masturbation. A counsellor who specialises in the sexual aspect of things may be able to help you rule things in or out as to whether there is a psychological component or help you manage concerns. It sounds like accutane has effected your libido and it is easier to mitigate that when by yourself.

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Scotsman thanks for your reply man. appreciate everything this community is offering me because i could not find an outlet anywhere else. with that being said and i know we’re all not experts here. do you think this is accutane induced? i am literally lost in my mind whether it’s depression, porn induced ED, or the accutane. isn’t the perm sides of this in the 1-2% range? i have always been telling myself that “it’s the accutane it’s the accutane!” i’ve been reading around the NoFap movement and people have the same sexual dysfunctions people describe here. depression causes loss of libido and ED as well. one thing i notice when i’m out clubbing (i’m 22 years) i kind of get in my head that if i talk to this girl she’s going to want to take me home, and do more, and i won’t be able to do anything because of my problems. this could be anxiety OR actual physical symptoms i’m worried about. I will talk to someone but it is costly here unfortunately since it is a college town. So i am trying to get as much “counseling” on here and other places before i spend loads of $ on 1 hour sessions. ALSO are other people not likely to get it up at all during masturbation? this could be a sign that maybe it’s not an accutane issue? just coincidence of depression hitting around the same time as accutane/accutane causing depression.

If you have noticed a change in number of spontaneous erections during a given day, frequency of waking up with morning wood, or loss of pleasurable genital sensitivity, then it is probably Accutane.

There have been some guys who mentioned only a loss of libido that correlates with the time they started the drug.

My only reservation in saying it is definitely Accutane in your case, is that you mention problems occur only when dealing with women.

Ultimately, you’ll have to figure it out on your own.

Accutane has the chance to induce Depression at a higher rate than Accutanes similarity of PFS if I’m correct. Being depressed and depressed about my erectile difficulties I cannot tell what is what. I’d ultimately hate to blame PAS if it’s something else that has a higher% of receiving. Like i would HATE to know if I waited for a cure for both PFS and PAS when it was depression in itself. Because if it is depression I can take Wellbutrin or something along those lines, as it is an anti d and supposedly a libido enhancer. Also thank you for your input! I am asking as to why you think it’s most definitely accutane when it comes to issues with women? To clarify, why are you correlating accutane with only women and not masturbation.

Like @Dubya_B, I can’t say that what you’re experiencing is as a result of accutane use. What I can say is that it sounds like you’ve got a pretty smart head on your shoulders and are aware of the various possibilities and permutations thereof. Maybe conversely this awareness makes you feel even more hamstrung as it gives you no absolutes and only possibilities. You do have a much better base to work from than a lot of guys on here. Sadly all our experiences with various medications has had us readjusting our lives decades earlier than we should. Such adjustments are possible though and there are millions out there whose lives are somewhat impacted by a multitude of different factors that most aren’t aware of as it maybe of an intimate nature. I’m sure that your problems will resolve themselves in the longer term and in the shorter term I’m sure that there will be girls out there that will work with you if there are any performance issues. i hope that what I’ve said comes across okay as it’s not meant to mean that you’ve to accept the situation, but that in the shorter term there are ways to manage it and hopefully work through it.

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i personally don’t believe in the fapping bullshit. when i was normal i could fap 4 times a day if i wanted to and never had ED or lowered libido. honestly, it’s probably the accutane

I think the fapping thing is just another old wives tail that people use if they don’t have a clue what else to suggest to people.

I could have sex multiple times a day pre finasteride but once i took finasteride both went straight out of the window I can remember going on nightly bike rides in the dark to avoid sex let alone fapping I’ve never really been one for fapping its over rated.
Post Finasteride nothing has changed i would still sooner ride my bike watch a dvd or just go to sleep yeah i know it sounds boring but after the shock of what the drug did to me who needs reminders especially when you have to pop a pill to accomplish it then suffer the headache and blocked nose for hours afterwards .
I now know why people read in bed lol :grin:

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