So on July 8th I went back to my dermatologist, whom I hadn't seen in three years. I told her how I've tried really everything I could think of (I've practically become a dermatologist myself by now) and nothing's worked. She just gave me a little smile and the very first thing she asked me was if I wanted to go back on Accutane. Now, I was a little shocked. I had only been on one or two prescribed medications for my acne since my first round of Accutane and I had been certain she would suggest that I go on Retin-A or Differin or something less extreme. For any of you who've been clueless up to this point and don't know what Accutane is, it's pretty much the last hope for people with acne. It is generally proven to work on everyone, even people with stubborn acne like myself.
I really like my dermatologist and she even has a daughter exactly my age who's going through a similar situation to mine, so I decided to start the process of going on Accutane. Now, for most drugs the doctor will just give you a slip and you phone it in to your local pharmacy. It's not so easy with Accutane.
Accutane causes severe birth defects and it has always been stressed (as with the deformed baby pictures) that you should not try to get pregnant while on it, at all, ever. Now, because (I assume) one woman a year fails to take this advice and then sues the manufacturer, the FDA has gone rather psychotic on the company. Taking Accutane was a difficult process the first time I took it but with what they're doing now it's become almost ridiculous.
First, because no women are exempted (including girls who haven't even started their period), I was given a pregnancy test to take home and instructed to call them with the results as soon as possible. Now, I'm 17 years old and have never had a boyfriend, so it came as a weird shock to me that my first pregnancy test would come before my first kiss.
With my pregnancy test, I was given a large booklet (safety-yellow complete with black caution stripes). The booklet is basically an instruction manual on why and how you shouldn't get pregnant and what happens if you do (the apocalypse, obviously). It's administered by a program called iPledge, which, as far as I can tell, was created by the FDA in some form to thoroughly hammer it into our heads that deformed babies are not good.