Accutane- Warning!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dallaacowboy, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Dallaacowboy

    Dallaacowboy New Friend

    Mar 14, 2011
    For all you trumpet players out there, beware of the acne drug Accutane! I just got off of five months on it and wish I at least knew what I was in for. When I had figured out that this drug was affecting me, I was really disappointed at how little information there was out there on it's affects on trumpet /Brass players in general; so I figured I'd tell you what it does.

    *There is a pretty good chance that while you're on it you will lose a LOT of your range and stamina.*

    After about a month you might start noticing it's effects slightly, then after that it starts becoming very noticeable. Lucky for me I only needed a 60 mg dose per day for four of the five months, meaning my range and stamina didn't get even worse as the dosage went up, which could happen to those who need higher doses. Because of the accutane I lost a huge solo to another trumpet player, which caused me a lot of embarrassment. Had I or my band director known at the time it was because of the accutane, things would have probably been a lot easier.

    I Will say that there is good news in all of this. First off, It does an amazing job and now my face is completely clear. Second, After you stop taking it, in about a week you'll notice a huge improvement in stamina and range that will only get better from there. Third, Accutane might not effect every brass/trumpet player that takes it. One of my friends in the trumpet section was taking it at the same time as me and said he didn't notice anything as far as it affecting his playing. But I've heard of many others that are affected.

    So what exactly do I want you to get out of this article?

    1. If you're taking accutane and experiencing unknown playing problems, don't stress. It's because of the medicine, not you, and will go away very quickly after you're done with it.

    2. If you're a music teacher or instructor and have a student that is struggling for no apparent reason, see if they're on accutane, if so then that's why. Also tell all your students about accutane, it's just as bad if not worse than getting braces.

    3.My final and most important reason is for all of those who aren't on accutane currently. KNOW THAT IT CAN AFFECT YOUR TRUMPET PLAYING. No one ever told me, and you wont be able to find hardly anything about it online, and there will be no warning on any side effect label. I wish someone could have told me about it in the beginning.

    Thanks for listening, I hope that this post has helped or at least warned you about accutane.
  2. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    According to Yahoo Health there are lots of potential side effects:

    allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
    breathing problems
    changes in menstrual cycle
    changes in vision, like blurred or double vision or decreased night vision
    chest pain
    hearing loss or ringing in the ears
    hives, skin rash
    increased irritability, anger, aggression or thoughts of violence
    increased urination and/or thirst or dark urine
    irregular heartbeat
    loss of interest in usual activities
    muscle or joint pain
    muscle weakness with or without pain
    nausea and vomiting
    severe diarrhea
    severe headache
    severe stomach pain
    slurred speech or trouble swallowing
    start to have thoughts about hurting yourself
    swelling of face or mouth
    unusual bruising or bleeding
    yellowing of the eyes or skin
    chapped lips
    dry mouth, nose or skin
    hair loss, increased fragility of hair
    headache (mild)
  3. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.
    If I want side effects like that I'll stick to my Manhattan cocktails....
    turtlejimmy likes this.
  4. unkleschilke

    unkleschilke New Friend

    Jul 14, 2009
    Yeah, band girls aren't picky... Stay off the drugs...
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Why are some of these drugs so dangerous, while the "symptom" (whatever it is) that they are supposed to cure is minor by comparison to the side affects???

    I mean, are people hard of reading or WHAT? Example: Drug X (for foot fungus). Potential side effects: Extreme depression, loss of interest in life, stroke, hair loss, double vision, death.:dontknow:

  6. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.
    Really. Whatever happened to the FDA that's supposed to regulate big Pharma and protect us poor citizens?
  7. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    I took it for 7 months. I had a college audition about 3 months in. I did fine, got into the school. The biggest problem for me on the medicine was the dry lips. Jesus, that was a bummer. But I used aquaphor every day and practiced ever day and I didn't lose anything. In fact, I just kept gaining all the time. And the cool part is now that I am off it, my lips are like beautiful little cherry blossoms. Soft and perfectly plump. It'll take a little bit before I start taking it for granted again! hahaha. From my personal stand point, this drug didn't effect my chops or embouchure in the least. They had to list the side effects for the pill there, My parents and I took very careful consideration before starting the medication, and the dermatologist said she had done countless prescriptions of accutane and they had all gone through perfectly. It is not a bad drug. It cleared my acne up very well. I could not be more pleased. In all honesty, I don't hold much merit in the side effects bar, generally speaking, I can trust the shear amount of positive cases as a testimony to a drugs success. The thing is that some humans are born with a better genetic make up, and in a world where we can have insurance pay for us to become a stronger human being? I don't think it's all that crazy to turn to medications to level the playing field. That's my soapbox! hahaha
    Oh, and I am not saying that the OP is a liar by any means, I really believe it, and I would be interested in hearing other peoples experiences with it as well! Sorry your experience was so rough man. That's a bum kick.
  8. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    Oh, and accutane is not prescribed for a couple minor blemishes. It's for cystic acne, and let me tell ya, my uncle has that. He's in his 40's, he's battled it all his life. We live in an aesthetic world, and as a performer, I think it is doubly important to have a clear face! It's just the way it is. I don't like it. When my dermatologist recommended it, I was totally against it. But man, so many people are just so damn shallow.
  9. craigph

    craigph Piano User

    Mar 12, 2010
    I was on Accutane for two cycles of treatment when I was a teen (early 80's). There are a couple serious potential side effects - it can cause birth defects in pregnant women and it can cause liver damage. For that reason (at the time I was on it anyway) I had to see my doctor and have my blood tested once a month. (I'm male so the other hazard is irrelevant.) The less serious effect is that it gives you seriously dry skin. If trumpet is a big part of your life and you are going to go on ANY drug that is (1) that expensive (2) potentially harmful enough that you need regular blood work done and (3) is supposed to do something to your skin, you probably should have through to ask your dermatologist about how it might impact your life as a musician. We use our lips to make music. It stands to reason that a powerful drug that does something may cause some changes to your lips. I don't think the 'warning' is necessary. Its just common sense.

    In my case I had problems from dry skin / chapped lips and ended up drinking water constantly throughout the day, moisturizing liberally and using lots of special lip balm (not the crap in the tube most people buy in the winter). I don't remember it having that much of an impact on my range and endurance, but when I started it (16 or 17 I think) I had been playing for a decade and had enough range and endurance to spare for the performing I did. Maybe I just didn't have very high part. I don't really remember.

    As ltg mentioned the drug is for cystic acne. I am glad I took it. My older brother also had cystic acne and this wasn't around when he was my age (or maybe he never went to a dermatologist). He has severely scarred skin on his face, chest and back. On the other hand, today noone would know that I suffered the same skin issues when I was a teen. We're not talking little pimples here, and I don't think someone is shallow to consider treatment of such a condition. Its like getting braces for severely crooked teeth. So it might have an effect on your playing for a year (or two or three etc for braces). A couple decades latter I bet you'll appreciate it.
  10. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    It may sounds just as plain marketing hoax, but Aloe Vera is known to relieve all kind of allergic woes. So why don't you try, all you acuttane "victims" to take some aloe vera both topically and internally while taking Accutane? I can't guarantee that it will relieve all the symptoms described above, but undoubtedly it won't harm you. Yes, I will probably cash in some sales by recommending this kind of action, but this is not just about making few more bucks - I believe that it will help, though I have never tried it myself (I have never had to take Accetane and hope that will never have to).

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