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Letter: Bitter pill

Anyone considering taking Roaccutane for severe acne ("Skin diseases drive sufferers to suicide", 21 September) should fully understand what its side-effects are first.

I took Accutane (as it was called) 13 years ago in America. It did make my acne disappear almost completely, though not permanently. While taking the drug for the prescribed five-month course, I had dry, peeling lips, conjunctivitis, and dry, frizzy hair. These are standard side- effects, as the drug dries up one's oil glands. My joints ached at times, my cholesterol and triglyceride levels rose significantly, and I either had to prove to my dermatologist that I was using birth control or have regular pregnancy tests, because of the damage Accutane could do to a foetus.

I would prefer to see more effort and money put into researching the cause of acne and counselling sufferers before making Roaccutane easier to get.

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