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Br J Gen Pract. 2005 Feb;55(511):134-8.

Isotretinoin, depression and suicide: a review of the evidence.

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  • 1University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.


There is currently considerable controversy regarding a proposed causal relationship between the use of isotretinoin and depression and suicide. A search was made of the MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsychINFO databases using the search terms 'isotretinoin', 'depression' and 'suicide'. Despite numerous case reports linking isotretinoin to depression, suicidal ideation and suicide, there is, as yet, no clear proof of an association. While isotretinoin, used to treat acne vulgaris, has not been demonstrated to be associated with depression or suicide, the possibility of a relatively rare idiosyncratic adverse effect remains. GPs have a role in the clinical application of these findings.

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