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
Take Advantage Of Natural Acne Treatments
Let's face it. Nobody is really immune to having acne from time to time. Don't blame your French fries. Don't blame your Hershey's bar. Don't blame yourself for not being able to wash your face enough. Don't blame being overworked. Acne does not happen because of those. Acne is caused by some imbalances in our body and internal impurities. This is the main reason to the imperative knowledge that the way to really get rid of acne is through internal cleansing.Using topical medications and oral antibiotics as acne treatment does not guarantee the disappearance of these menacing and painful spots that invade the face. What artificial medications do is only target one or just a few of the causes of acne and a few mo...(related: Acne)
How Enzymes, Lecithin, And Chlorophyll Reduce Acne
Systemic EnzymesIf you have scars or pockmarks that have recently occurred from acne, you may be able to clear them by using a product called Vitalz...(related: Acne)
Accutane Without The Ouch
Since 1982 Accutane has been a reliable, if not controversial, drug for treating severe acne. Now with FDA representative David J. Graham's s...(related: Acne)
Acne Prevention Tips ? Maintaining The Skin You Deserve
Acne is an embarrassing and upsetting condition, and long-terms sufferers of the skin condition look forward to the day they find their own acne solution, perhaps courtesy of a few well placed acne prevention tips . There are a multitude of products available to help in clearing up the condition, but information on keeping it at bay can...(related: Acne)
Acne Solutions ? Do You Need One?
Acne solutions occupy the minds of our teenagers. With acne being the most common skin complaint in the world, and teenagers being the most body conscious pe...(related: Acne)
5 Acne Treatment Tips You Can Use Today
Dealing with acne can be embarassing at any age. Luckily, there area number of things you can do everyday to make sure your skin is lessprone to flare ups. Here are five tips for taking control of youracne starting today.1. Exercise - Keeping in shape can help fight acne by fighting offnegative stress levels that can come from negative self-esteem anddepression. However, some safeguards need to be in place to ward offacne that can result from your w...(related: Acne)
What Is Acne?
What is acne? Acne is a term attributed to plugged pores, commonly known as blackheads and whiteheads, pimples, and even cysts or nodules, occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Follicles, often called pores, often get blocked with sebum (oil), which normally drains to the surface, and a bacteria propionibacterium acnes, begins to grow. Both whiteheads and ...(related: Acne)
Acne Treatment Tips
Acne is a broad term which includes blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads. Acne can strike at any age. Effective acne treatments are sometimes difficult to find, and understanding acne and prevention can be frustrating. Here are some acne treatment tips that have worked for many.Although acne isn't life threatening it can be uncomfortable and hard on your ego. There has always been a debate...(related: Acne)
Silver Bullet For Acne? - I Dont Think So!
I read a report recently discussing the success of the project to sequence the genome of the bacteria that is said to cause acne, Propionibacterium acnes, and how this may lead to new ways to treat Acne.It made me think how easily we can jump to conclusions, that may not be supported by the evidence, or by common sense. Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly support the research that the scientific community is doing in the field of Acne, and I am hopeful that it will lead to better treatments, or better understanding of what acne treatments are likely to work.The article started by saying "European scientists have seque...(related: Acne)
Help! I Need Acne Skin Care Products!
If you suffer from acne, you may need acne skin care products. There are lots of acne skin care prod...(related: Acne)
Different Types Of Acne, Different Treatments ? Cystic Acne Treatment
Acne can range in severity from a relatively small number of whiteheads, to a proliferation of cysts and nodules, which can be as physically painful as they are psychologically upsetting. Severe cystic acne needing cystic acne treatment can be resistant to most treatments, and in fact cystic acne treatment can produce side effects that are as upsetting as the condition itself. For the many sufferers of this kind of acne however, refusing treatment is not an option, so here are some things to be aware of before undergoing your cystic acne treatment.The causes of cystic acne are, like other types of the condition, associated with the over production of oil by glands in the skin. There remains no definitive cure for any of the acne types, and the ways in which available treatments work is not full...(related: Acne)
How To Alleviate Your Acne Problem
Acne brings huge problems to teenagers. Teenagers who have acne feel isolated, ugly, and insecure. Who wouldn't when everywhere you look, only clear skinned people are put on the pedestal.You tried every acne product out in the market but nothing seems to work. At this point, you feel that your social life is doomed but fret not because acne won't stay forever if you take the proper actions early.First step to take is to understand what acne really is and from there you can take the necessary actions in curing or at least reducing your acne problem.Acne is the term for plugg...(related: Acne)