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Accutane and Depression: Is There a Link?
Severe Acne, Low Self-Esteem, and Poor Self Image
- Social withdrawal
- Decreased self-esteem
- Reduced self-confidence
- Poor body image
- Feelings of depression
- Higher rate of unemployment
Depression in Adolescents
- Persistent sad or irritable mood
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- General loss of energy
- A change in eating habits and sleeping patterns
- Loss of confidence
- Poor concentration
Is There a Link Between Depression and Accutane?
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org
The American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Chia CY, Lane W, Chibnall J, Allen A, Siegfried E. Isotretinoin therapy and mood changes in adolescents with moderate to severe acne: a cohort study. Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(5):557-560.
Depression. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 6, 2014. Accessed May 15, 2014.
Ferahbas A, Turan MT, Esel E, Utas S, Kutlugun C, Kilic CG. A pilot study evaluating anxiety and depressive scores in acne patients treated with isotretinoin. J Dermatolog Treat. 2004;15(3):153-157.
Hull PR, Demkiw-Bartel C. Isotretinoin use in acne: prospective evaluation of adverse events. J Cutan Med Surg. 2000;4(2):66-70.
Isotretinoin. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 18, 2013. Accessed May 15, 2014.
Isotretinoin (marketed as Accutane) capsule information. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/postmarketdrugsafetyinformationforpatientsandproviders/ucm094305.htm. Updated October 22, 2010. Accessed May 15, 2014.
Jacobs DG, Deutsch NL, Brewer M. Suicide, depression, and isotretinoin: is there a causal link? J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001;45:S168-175.
Jick SS, Kremers HM, Vasilakis-Scaramozza C. Isotretinoin use and risk of depression, psychotic symptoms, suicide, and attempted suicide. Archiv Dermatol. 2000;136:1231-1236.
Kontaxakis VP, Skourides D, Ferentinos P, Havaki-Kontaxaki BJ, Papadimitriou GN. Isotretinoin and psychopathology: a review. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Jan 20;8:2.
Magin P, Pond D, Smith W. Isotretinoin, depression and suicide: a review of the evidence. Br J Gen Pract. 2005;55:134-138.
Ng CH, Tam MM, Celi E, Tate B, Schweitzer I. Prospective study of depressive symptoms and quality of life in acne vulgaris patients treated with isotretinoin compared to antibiotic and topical therapy. Australas J Dermatol. 2002 Nov;43(4):262-268.
Position statement on isotretinoin. The American Academy of Dermatology Association website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/forms/policies/uploads/ps/ps-isotretinoin.pdf. Published November 22, 2010. Accessed July 13, 2012.
Strahan JE, Raimer S. Isotretinoin and the controversy of psychiatric adverse effects. Int J Dermatol. 2006;45:789-799.
Sundström A, Alfredsson L, Sjölin-Forsberg G, Gerdén B, Bergman U, Jokinen J. Association of suicide attempts with acne and treatment with isotretinoin: retrospective Swedish cohort study. BMJ. 2010 Nov 11;341:c5812.
Wysowski DK, Pitts M, Beits J. An analysis of reports of depression and suicide in patients treated with isotretinoin. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001;45(4):515-519.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014
- Update Date: 05/15/2014