A 2017 Accutane and depression update

Accutane and depression link

Accutane has an amazing benefit in that it can treat severe acne — the acne that, for many people, seems completely untreatable. To many acne patients who’ve used Accutane and watched their skin clear up from even the most severe of acne breakouts, Accutane is a magic drug! There are many myths surrounding the use of Accutane and how it affects a person’s well-being.

A new study published in June 2017 gives us new insights about how, or if, Accutane has any link to depression. Read on for more information!

Studies have been evaluating Accutane’s (Isotretinoin’s) possible association with depression since way back in 1983. Although one study found a statistically significant association between Accutane treatment and depression, dermatologists with experience in acne treatment have often doubted the link.

It’s important to also note that severe acne by itself, whether or not someone is taking anti-acne medication or using topical treatments, can be a reason for depression. Acne can significantly affect a person's confidence. 

A recent analysis of 31 studies published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology examined the link between a person's Accutane treatment for acne and if they suffer from depression. Combining the data of 1411 patients with acne, the researchers of this analysis found NO significant association between Accutane acne treatment and depression.

In reality, they found that the treatment of acne was clearly associated with improved symptoms of depression. Prevalence of depression was significantly lower after Accutane treatment. The authors concluded that patients with acne are more prone to depression. Treatment of acne, including treatment with Accutane, can improve a person’s skin and subsequently reduce the depression and stress that is so often associated with untreated acne.

Here’s our source for this information and this new study about the link (Or lack thereof) between Accutane and depression: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Jun;76[6]:1068-76.

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