Accutane Depression Link

Is there an Accutane depression link?

Accutane is the trade name for isotretinoin and is popularly used to treat extreme nodular and cystic acne which do not respond to other regular forms of treatment. While Accutane can help clear and treat the most severe form of acne, it runs the side effect of depression and suicidal tendencies in people who use this medication.

Several cases of depression, suicides, and attempted suicides connected to Accutane were reported by the FDA between the year 1982 and 2000. Some of the suicide cases were reported within three weeks of people discontinuing taking Accutane. Apparently, Accutane happens to be the only non-psychotropic drug that is associated with depression and suicide.

People with a family history of depression or other forms of mental disorders, or people who abuse drugs, could be at higher risk of experiencing depression and / or suicidal tendencies after taking Accutane, as compared to the rest of the population. Also, people who have experienced a lot of stress, trauma both emotional and physical, etc, too, might be at an increased risk of suffering from the Accutane depression and suicidal tendency effects after taking this drug.

A few people have, however, noticed that depression symptoms disappeared on discontinuing Accutane and appeared when they started back on Accutane, clearly associating Accutane and depression symptoms. A popular theory propagated after research is that Accutane could actually be affecting serotonin levels, which impact behavior patterns and cause depression.

The most popular controversy surrounding Accutane, however, is that most patients suffering from severe acne are bordering on depression, and when Accutane helps clear the stubborn acne, symptoms of depression gradually decrease and disappear, since the cause of depression in these people, which is acne, is treated and cured successfully. Could this theory be true?

Listed below are the commonly described signs and symptoms of depression:

  • Changes in behavior patterns and moods.
  • Difficulty focusing and completing tasks.
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations.
  • Suicidal thoughts, tendencies, and attempted suicides.

If any of the above Accutane depression symptoms are noticed or experienced while using this medicine, one must approach the practicing physician or psychiatrist at the earliest and discuss the discontinuation of Accutane.

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