Accutane Side Effects: Should Depression Be A Concern?

Medical professionals and acne-pestered adolescents have no doubts about the effectiveness of the severe acne drug isotretinoin. It's the looming possibility of side effects such as depression and fetal damage that makes people uneasy when considering using this medication.

Accutane (isotretinoin) is one of Hoffman-LaRoche's most popular and controversial pharmaceuticals. This week, a study published in the Archives of Dermatology vindicated isotretinoin from causing depression. In this report, Christina Y. Chia, MD, from Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, St. Louis, and colleagues examined whether patients with moderate to severe acne treated with isotretinoin experienced an increase in depressive symptoms compared with patients treated with a topical antibiotic, topical retinoid, and an oral antibiotic.

Dr. Chia found that "The use of isotretinoin in the treatment of moderate-severe acne in adolescents did not increase depressive symptoms. On the contrary, our study shows that treatment of acne improves depressive symptoms".

Five years earlier, in 2000, the isotretinoin-depression link still appeared misleading. That time, the Archives of Dermatology posted study, headed by Dr. Susan S. Jick, from the Boston University School of Medicine, which found no evidence that isotretinoin increases the risk for depression, suicide, or other psychiatric disorders.

Even though isotretinoin finds ample support among dermatologists and psychiatrists, a host of parents, politicians and medical professionals hail isotretinoin as a medical misfortune. For instance, Dr. David J. Graham, the Associate Director for Science and Medicine in FDA's Office of Drug Safety, recently warned that Accutane should be taken off the market.

And while there are few studies with any negative observations about isotretinoin, Dr. Douglas Bremner's research at of the Emory University School of Medicine has linked isotretinoin treatment with changes in brain function. At the conclusion of this study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Bremner concurred with Dr. Graham's view that isotretinoin proves too dangerous for human use.

Dr. Bremner explains that to invoke depression, isotretinoin must influence the brain. During the investigation, brain function of the subjects was measured using positron emission tomography (PET) before and after four months of treatment with isotretinoin. Isotretinoin treatment was associated with decreased brain metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex- the area of the brain known to mediate symptoms of depression. Yet, there were no differences in severity of depressive symptoms between the isotretinoin and antibiotic treatment groups before or after treatment.

The pessimistic effects of isotretinoin also caught the attention of Diane K. Wysowski PhD. Dr. Wysowski noted that in June 2000, isotretinoin ranked among the top 10 drugs linked to depression and suicide attempts in the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System database. In 2001, Dr. Wysowski examined isotretinoin's depression inducing potential and posted her findings in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Wysowski concluded that more studies of isotretinoin are needed. She also advised patients and their parents to immediately report mood swings and symptoms that are suggestive of depression such as sadness, crying, loss of appetite, unusual fatigue, withdrawal, and inability to concentrate to their prescribing physician. These protective measures can avoid more serious side effects and permit appropriate treatment, including consideration of drug discontinuation and referral for psychiatric care.

While dissension among researchers still exists about whether or not isotretinoin causes depression, one idea most of them can agree on is that more research on the side effects of isotretinoin are desirable. If you are not in the mood for being an isotretinoin guinea pig, Geoffrey Redmond MD, author of The Good News about Women's Hormones, suggests using hormone therapy and/or using Retin-A if isotretinoin seems too chancy for you.

Health author and Stanford University graduate Naweko San-Joyz lovingly writes from her home in San Diego. Her works include "Acne Messages: Crack the code of your zits and say goodbye to acne" (ISBN: 0974912204) and the upcoming work "Skinny Fat Chicks, Why we're still not getting this dieting thing" (ISBN: 0974912212) for release in June of 2005. For useful acne self-help articles visit http://www.Noixia.com

http://medworm.com/rss/search.php?t=Acne&f=c
In The News:

Acne topical efficacy mixed  Dermatology Times
Changes in Diet Can Improve Acne  Dermatology Advisor
Stay Acne Proof This Monsoon Season  http://www.newsgram.com/
Face masks causing acne issues  Channel3000.com - WISC-TV3
3 Less-Known Reasons For Acne  The Good Men Project
Zodiac Signs and Their Health  The New Indian Express
FACE IT  Mumbai Mirror

The Truth About Acne Skin Care

Let's face it, you are engaged in an ongoing battle... Read More

Adult Acne Treatment ? Simple Solutions

Are you one of the millions of adults who have... Read More

War of the P Acnes

While "War of the Worlds" sets a new sales record... Read More

Are You Addicted To Your Acne Trigger?

An acne trigger is any thought, location, feeling, food, emotion,... Read More

How Can My Baby Have Baby Acne, He?s Not That Old?

Acne is a condition only affecting teenagers, true? False. Acne... Read More

Acne Program - Step 12 Change The Way You Think

Your thoughts have a lot to do with why you... Read More

Stop Squeezing Your Pimples - 7 Safe Ways to Get Rid of Pimples

It's everyone's worst nightmare. Waking up the day before a... Read More

Use Essential Fatty Acid To Help You Prevent or Eliminate Your Acne

To eliminate or clear your face of acne it will... Read More

Acne Treatment Tips

Acne is a broad term which includes blemishes, blackheads, and... Read More

More Ways to Deal With Acne

The "cures" for acne vary dependant on the type and... Read More

Herbal Therapy for Acne Treatment

Because prevention is the best way to protect your skin... Read More

Dairy Products and the Possible Effects Related to Acne

Continuing research into the causes of acne has brought to... Read More

Acne and Adolescents

It's hard enough to be a teenager but if your... Read More

Acne Scar Removal Cream

If you have acne scars you may be interested in... Read More

Acne - What Causes It?

Many individuals suffer from acne, not just adolescents. Acne is... Read More

Acne & Wrinkles at My Age?

Puberty brought bouts of acne. In your 20s, finding Mr.... Read More

8 Simple Steps for Treating Adult Acne

The number people over 30 needing acne treatments has climbed... Read More

Dermatologist: The Most Qualified Physician for Skin Problems.

The skin is the largest and most visible organ of... Read More

How the Kidney, Lungs, and Lymphatic System Keep You Acne Free

The kidneyThe purpose of the two kidneys is to filter... Read More

Oh, No! I Have Backne! The Continuing Mystery Behind Back Acne

"Backne" is street slang for back acne. And while the... Read More

How Mental Attitude and Digestion Affect Acne

Mental attitudeAcne is an expression of toxins in the body... Read More

How the Liver Prevents Acne

The liver is responsible for detoxifying the blood as it... Read More

Acne Blemish Laser Treatment

If you are looking to eliminate acne, cure zits and... Read More

6 Steps to Clear, Acne-Free Skin

6 Steps to Clear, Acne-Free SkinHundreds of medications, treatments, cleansers... Read More

Beware of Acne Cyst! Take the Precautions Necessary

People are exposed in many elements outside and inside their... Read More

http://medworm.com/rss/search.php?t=Acne&f=c