Isotretinoin, Acne and Depression: A Prospective Controlled Study

Keywords: Acne Vulgaris/drug therapy, Depression/chemically induced, Isotretinoin/adverse effects


Introduction: Acne and isotretinoin, one of its treatment, have been linked to the occurrence of depression. Our aim was to study if isotretinoin is associated with depression in a sample of acne patients followed for 6 months comparing them with acne patients under other treatment modalities and control patients without acne.

Methods: One hundred individuals were included: 50 controls and 50 with acne (24 using and 26 not using isotretinoin). Patients and controls answered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the 12 Item-Short Form Health Survey for quality of life (SF-12). Acne patients repeated this evaluation in 90 and 180 days.

Results: No differences were found between controls and acne patients regarding BDI results but controls performed worse in the SF-12 mental domain (p=0.004). No differences were found within the acne group between those treated and not treated with isotretinoin in the comparison of the BDI and SF-12 (mental and physical domains) in days 0. 90 and 180 (all with p>0.05).

Conclusion: In this small sample isotretinoin treatment showed to be safe regarding the occurrence of depression.


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How to Cite
V. Langer, L., Prim, L., Skare, T., Wrublevski, V., & Nisihara, R. (2021). Isotretinoin, Acne and Depression: A Prospective Controlled Study. Journal of the Portuguese Society of Dermatology and Venereology, 79(3), 241-245.
Original Articles