Severe acne may increase suicidal behavior, study says

November 13th, 2010 - 12:51 am ICT by BNO News  

LONDON (BNO NEWS) — People dealing with severe acne could suffer from increased suicide attempts, according to a recent study released Friday.

Previous studies had suggested that medical treatments for acne such as Isotretinoin, which is also found as Roaccutane, Accutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Clarus or Decutan, led to depression and increased suicidal behavior.

However, researchers are saying that after ending the medical treatment - which is used when antibiotics are not effective - the high suicide behavior is likely to be triggered by unimproved social life, and not the medical treatment itself.

“Severe acne is not a trivial condition; in the absence of treatment with isotretinoin, it is associated with an increased risk of attempted suicide,” said investigators involved in the study.

“The association between acne, psychiatric morbidity, and suicide attempts has been described, and some authors have observed that isotretinoin actually lead to an improvement in anxiety and depression because of the clearing of disfiguring acne,” the researchers said.

The Karloinska Institute, Sweden carried out the study between 1980 and 2001, reviewing the cases of 5,756 people, aged 15 to 49. The study - recently published in the British Medical Journal - was led by pharmacoepidemiologist Anders Sundstrom. Isotretinoin has been used to treat acne since the 1980s.

According to the study, 128 patients were admitted to hospital for attempted suicide.

During the year before treatment, the standardized incidence ratio for attempted suicide was raised: 1.57 (95 percent confidence interval 0.86 to 2.63) for all attempts, including repeat ones, and 1.36 (0.65 to 2.50) counting only first attempts.

The investigators report that 3 years after treatment stopped, the observed number of attempts was close to the expected number and remained so during 15 years of follow-up, with a standardized incidence ratio of 1.04 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.74 - 1.43) for all attempts and 0.97 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.64 - 1.40) for first attempts.

“Our results indicate that treatment with isotretinoin may attenuate suicidal behavior. For certain vulnerable patients, however, isotretinoin may trigger such behavior,” the study said, underlining that future studies are challenged in identifying people who may be vulnerable to isotretinoin.

In addition, the study says “close monitoring of the mental status of patients receiving isotretinoin, as well as those with severe acne, should be a part of the treatment process and should continue for at least a year after the end of treatment.”

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health Science |