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Study: Accutane Not Linked to Depression

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Helena, MOLawsuits have been filed alleging that Accutane acne medication has caused serious adverse side effects, including depression and inflammatory bowel disease. One recent study, however, suggests that Accutane medication may not be linked to depression.


The study suggests that acne itself is linked to suicidal thoughts and depression, making it less likely that Accutane is the cause of patients' depression. According to Norwegian researchers, young people with severe acne had two to three times the level of depression and suicidal thoughts compared with people with little or no acne.

According to researchers, whose study was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and reported by Reuters on 9/16/10, patients who are put on medications such as Accutane likely already have severe acne and are therefore more prone to depression and suicidal thoughts.

An earlier study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (2008) suggested that patients who took isotretinoin might have two times the risk of developing depression.

Accutane has also been linked to an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and an increased risk of birth defects. Lawsuits filed against the maker of Accutane allege that patients were not adequately warned about the risk of IBD before they were given the medication.

Some lawsuits have resulted in multi-million dollar awards for the plaintiffs. One plaintiff was awarded more than $25 million in a lawsuit that alleged his use of Accutane caused his IBD.

Patients who have developed inflammatory bowel disease say the condition is embarrassing and greatly affects their day-to-day life, making it difficult to continue with jobs and forcing them to spend some days in their homes, unable to leave. Some patients require surgery to remove part or all of their colon after developing IBD.

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