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I don’t know where everyone’s getting these stats from saying 80-90% of people are cured after taking Accutane for life. Probably just an internet myth that flies around and people latch onto it.

Accutane can give acne remission for up to 10 years which is a miracle in itself, unless you also suffer from long term side effects, in which case they will also tag along for that time or even longer.
However the drug has only been out for some 18 years so I don’t know how people can claim that it cures it for life, as there is so little research done of patients 10 years + post Accutane. So let’s try and get realistic, until someone shows me studies of acne remission 10-20 years post Accutane we should go easy on the ‘Accutane cures for life’ posts.

Anyway the largest study of its kind on relapse rates of acne after taking Accutane/Roaccutane is shown below. Overall it seems to be 50% of people have relapses of acne with the drug according to the study. This should give people an idea of what to expect rather than false hopes of ‘Accutane curing Acne for life’. I will naturally get flamed for this post but I am being realistic.

Predictive factors for failure of isotretinoin treatment in acne patients: results from a cohort of 237 patients.

Lehucher-Ceyrac D, de La Salmoniere P, Chastang C, Morel P.
Dermatology. 1999;198(3):278-83.
Service de Dermatologie, Hopital Saint-Louis, Paris, France.

BACKGROUND: The efficacy of oral isotretinoin in acne has been established, though the role of the mean daily dose (MDD) is still unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the predictive factors of resistance to oral isotretinoin and the role of the MDD of isotretinoin on relapse of acne while taking into account patient characteristics and the total cumulative dose (TCD).

METHODS: Two hundred and thirty-seven patients treated with oral isotretinoin for the first time were enrolled by a single dermatologist. Patients with closed comedonal acne and with hyperandrogenism received adequate therapy prior to isotretinoin.

RESULTS: Closed comedonal acne was the only predictive factor of resistance to isotretinoin with an adjusted OR = 2.7 (95% CI: 1.0-7.3). The estimated rates of relapse at 1, 3 and 5 years were 14, 40 and 48%, respectively. Age and grade of facial acne were the only predictive factors for relapse with adjusted relative risks of 0.6 (95% CI: 0.4-0.8 ) for age >/= 20 and 1.5 (95% CI: 1.0-2.2) for grade > 3.

CONCLUSION: MDD, TCD, closed comedonal acne and hyperandrogenism that have been adequately treated prior to isotretinoin treatment had no prognostic value for relapse.

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