Bodybuilder’s Accutane and Acne Prevention Guide

The following article was written by Steven Smi


Isotretinoin (Accutane) is primarily used to treat bad cases of cystic acne, and to help the skin more rapidly renew itself. In addition, it is used in rare cases for certain skin cancers and skin diseases. It is a type of retinoid, which is naturally found in the body in small amounts. In the USA, it’s a prescription drug, but it is sold over the counter without a prescription in many countries.

Bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids have utilized accutane to counteract the negative effects of steroids on their skin; especially, the acne related side effects.


What Is Acne and What Causes It?

Acne is a chronic skin condition, which can manifest itself in black/whiteheads, greasy skin and pimples. Teenagers going through hormonal changes may experience reduced self esteem and anxiety due to these effects. Acne is most common during teenage years, as androgens and testosterone levels are increasing.

80% of the cases are genetic; however, there is some evidence that diet and lifestyle choices (especially smoking) will increase the severity of the condition.

Acne is most common on parts of the skin that have a lot of oil glands, such as the face, chest and back.

When natural treatments fail, accutane becomes the last resort to help combat acne issues.


Isotretinoin was developed by Hoffmann-La Roche in 1982, building on the discovery that vitamin A can inhibit sebum production at toxic dosages. Dr. Gary Peck received the inventor’s award from the US Department of Commerce for his discovery of its use for treatment of cystic acne.

In Feb of 2002, Roche’s patents expired and now there are other brand names for isotretinoin. Since there have been numerous medical lawsuits, in 2009 Roche decided to drop their Accutane brand in the USA. It is now sold under roaccutane outside of the US, and, within the US, there are different generic names through different companies.

How it Works

Accutane works as an isomer of Vitamin A, which reduces the amount of oil released by the oil glands in the skin; this will make it difficult for acne to form and reduce it significantly. Nearly all patients achieve clearing of acne during a course, with 90% reporting ‘excellent’ results with higher dosages. Those that choose to dose low will have results with diminished side effects, but run the risk of recurrence.


Since chances of acne are increased with anabolic steroid use, and bodybuilding requires looking good (especially physique competitors), many athletes who have failed to conquer their acne with natural remedies will turn to accutane.

It is the androgenic increases associated with steroids that will trigger increased acne. This is especially true for those genetically prone to the condition. Also, the hormonal changes can trigger acne as well, such as increased testosterone levels.

Side Effects

High doses of accutane will result in vitamin A toxicity, which will result in both permanent and temporary side effects.

Permanent and temporary side effects such as :

  • Stunted growth: The FDA, in 2010, stated the drug may stop bone growth in teenagers still growing
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Some studies have linked this drug to causing Crohn’s disease
  • Eye changes: Decreased night vision and dry eyes have been reported
  • Other issues like skin problems, hyperostosis, and birth defects (in pregnant women) have been reported
  • Psychological effects, particularly depression, seems to be a common, but that has yet to be proven in studies


Among bodybuilders, the dosage should be conservative. Once a day dose of 10-20mgs for 6-8 weeks maximum should work fine. Among the general public fighting acne, a dosage of 50-150mg per day may be prescribed by their physician. It is a good idea to take the drug with a large meal. In addition, it may be necessary to use multiple courses of treatment.

Buying Accutane

I use – they stock pharmaceutical grade Accutane. Shipping to the UK usually takes 1-2 days and they do ship internationally too. Just send them an email explaining that you got their email address from this website and ask for a price list and they will send over a full list of products and prices.


I’ve done a lot of pharma accutane. 40 mg/day is what they started me on way back in the day. Thats a very effective dose for the majority of people when taken for 5-6 months. If you go that route, you’ll notice dryness around the 2-3 week point. Also, it might get worse before it gets better.

The 2 best recommendations I can make to you are: morning lotion after shower (I prefer Cetaphil), and always have Chapstick on you. Start using those 2 things when the dryness shows up.

Accutane will affect your liver and lipids at higher doses. If you go above 40/day I’d recommend getting bloodwork and/or TUDCA. The lipids and liver will come back to normal when you come off.

Am 180 lbs taking 20mg ED as prescribed by my derma, on my 3rd month now and very great results. No more oily skin, random breakouts but heals very quickly.

I take 80mg a day in two 40mg doses taken with a fatty meal. The entire course is just shy of 15 grams for me @ 95kg. 120-150mg/kg cumulative dose is the guideline.

I’ve been on for roughly 2 months so far and my skin has improved dramatically. No sides other than dry lips and slightly dry skin.

I was actually prescribed it by my derm, but it’s not covered by my insurance. Thank god for peptide sites. The entire course will run me about $150, as opposed to $250-1500 PER MONTH I was quoted from different pharmacies. I don’t have to deal with the insultingly stupid iPledge system either, which is nice.

20mg a day is a high dose and you will definitely notice some unwanted sides. I had unbelievably nasty disfiguring /suicidewatch level acne all over my back. I went to one of the foremost doctors in nyc, who is a pioneer in lowdose. After being on 60mg/week for 3 months, 40mg a week for 2 months, and 10 20mg a week for 3 more months, in addition to benozyl peroxide every day, all my acne was gone. Not only that, but nearly all my red marks are gone too, it as as if it was never even there.

Here’s the kicker: 0 side effects. Blood results flawless, joints perfect. Why risk it? Long term consistency is better than short term intensity.

I have taken Accutane in the past, and was at one point taking 80mg a day. Dryness was horrible, but outside of that, I had no issues.

This was prescribed by a Dermatologist and my liver values etc always came back normal even on that dosage.

I wasn’t cycling then, nor am I know, but I have 20mg on hand as well because I plan to start soon. I started taking 20mg a day a month ago because the lower dose also are pretty effective with minimal sides. If you are taking the low dose to knock out acne, then obviously 20mg would need to be taken for over a year to build up a sufficient dose that the derm would otherwise prescribe over the course of 6 months.

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