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accutane and depression

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im done my 2nd month right now..and i just got done 40mg..and my breakouts were alot worse this month than last(20mg). and im postin this just for people that are on the verge of usin it to know, that for me personally i dont think its the pill per say that makes you depressed, i would lean more to the breakouts it brings you. everyone handles it differently, and some people may not be as strong minded as others. but i just dont see it bein the pill, i just see it bein the accutane patients mind bein strong or not(no knock to anyone), but its how i feel. if you feel im wrong, by all means give me your story as well, im always open to findin out dif. perspectives. but as for me, i just think its people bein impatient and not strong minded which leads to the depressing thoughts

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Depression has been documented as a possible side effect of isotretinoin. That doesn't mean everyone will get it, but it has happened. Check the listed possible side effects on any site that offers clinical drug information (for example: http://www.rxlist.com/accutane-drug.html ).

It has nothing to do with being strong or weak minded. Medications can affect both the mind and body, regardless of how "strong minded" a person may be.

People taking or considering taking isotretinoin (or any medication) need to be aware of all possible side effects, because medications affect everyone differently. While isotretinoin may not cause depression for you, it may cause depression for others.

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I'm inclined to agree with the OP. When I was going through the IB I was very down, but once my skin started clearing up I couldn't wait to get out of the house and meet my friends and do whatever I wanted, whereas when my acne was very bad I just wanted to stay inside all day.

Does anyone know what actually causes the depression? I know that certain side effects are caused by vitamin a toxicity, but what causes the depression?

It seems to me that a certain number of accutane patients reported having depression while using the drug, so it needed to be listed as a side effect, even though accutane may not necessarily have caused depression.

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well, i have NO idea what causes depression, at least a scientific reasoning. but go figure that when someone is on accutane they are most down when they are in a bad breakout(perfectly normal)..if your on a 5 month course, and you have bad breakouts for about 3months (90 days), thats a long time to take no imrovement..so of course the depressin and doubt factor will kick in. and the dermatologist explains that clearly that depression may be a side affect. but its the bad breakouts is what is leadin to the depressin thoughts. the iPLEDGE booklet clearly explains that you will get worse before you are better. so that being said it is all mental from there on out. people need to be mentally evaulated before goin on accutane, i strongly believe if you go on accutane with a messed up mindset, it will not help at all

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Depression has been documented as a possible side effect of isotretinoin. That doesn't mean everyone will get it, but it has happened. Check the listed possible side effects on any site that offers clinical drug information (for example: http://www.rxlist.com/accutane-drug.html ).

It has nothing to do with being strong or weak minded. Medications can affect both the mind and body, regardless of how "strong minded" a person may be.

People taking or considering taking isotretinoin (or any medication) need to be aware of all possible side effects, because medications affect everyone differently. While isotretinoin may not cause depression for you, it may cause depression for others.

Yeah....and the depression is caused by a breakout. Do you honestly believe the victims that committed suicide on accutane were the ones who had absolutely flawless skin? Or do you tend to believe the ones who did suicide were probably the ones who had a horrific breakout? Think about it. Accutane is blamed for almost every serious side effect. But I totally agree with the OP here, it comes down to will power and strenght. Some have alot of strength and feel comfortable knowing a pill is correcting their problem.....some people get so depressed because they have never seen their face look like it did during the IB. It doesn't take rocket science.....there is no pill that can be made from chemicals to force someone to commit suicide.

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Depression has been documented as a possible side effect of isotretinoin. That doesn't mean everyone will get it, but it has happened. Check the listed possible side effects on any site that offers clinical drug information (for example: http://www.rxlist.com/accutane-drug.html ).

It has nothing to do with being strong or weak minded. Medications can affect both the mind and body, regardless of how "strong minded" a person may be.

People taking or considering taking isotretinoin (or any medication) need to be aware of all possible side effects, because medications affect everyone differently. While isotretinoin may not cause depression for you, it may cause depression for others.

Yeah....and the depression is caused by a breakout. Do you honestly believe the victims that committed suicide on accutane were the ones who had absolutely flawless skin? Or do you tend to believe the ones who did suicide were probably the ones who had a horrific breakout? Think about it. Accutane is blamed for almost every serious side effect. But I totally agree with the OP here, it comes down to will power and strenght. Some have alot of strength and feel comfortable knowing a pill is correcting their problem.....some people get so depressed because they have never seen their face look like it did during the IB. It doesn't take rocket science.....there is no pill that can be made from chemicals to force someone to commit suicide.

I didn't blame isotretinoin for anything. I said that it's important for people to be aware of the possible side effects of any medication they take. Depression is listed as a possible side effect of isotretinoin.

I happen to think it's unfair to say that the only reason people on isotretinoin get depressed is because of their acne. I've known people that have acne that aren't depressed, and I've known people with clear skin that have been depressed and/or killed themselves.

Also, please note that I never said anything about suicide in my post, although, since you brought it up, do you not realize that, while you're so against "blaming" isotretinoin for suicide, you're totally willing to insinuate that breakouts might be the cause of suicides?

I think it's ridiculous to say that whether or not a person experiences depression comes down to "will power and strength". For a lot of people, depression is brought on by chemical imbalances. Will power and strength have nothing to do with it. And, as medications have the potential to alter the levels of chemicals in a person's body, I think it's totally feasible that some medications may bring on depression.

I'm sure that some people are depressed about their acne, but I disagree with the idea that there's no possible correlation between medications and depression.

That said, I don't have feelings one way or another about isotretinoin. I'm sure some people have experienced all sorts of side effects during or after their courses, and I'm sure other people have had wonderful experiences. The point of my post was that it's important to be aware of the possible side effects of any medication you might take, isotretinoin included.

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Hey everyone! I noticed that some of you are curious about the causes of depression from a scientific point of view. I am not a doctor, but a Pharmacology student so I am studying a lot about mental illness, such as depression and its treatment. Although it is extremely difficult to explain the pathology of depression, I will try to do it using simple terms so people who have never done any science in their lives could at least have a general idea.

I will start with some background info to refresh your memory:

I am sure that you are familiar with neurons (or nerve cells) that send impulses to conduct information. There are millions of neurons in the brain that transfer information by releasing chemicals from one neuron to another. You could think of it as the “domino effectâ€, each domino piece representing a neuron and collapsing dominoes would be the signal. Also, our brain has a special area called the mood centre, where all the signals sent determine whether we feel happy, sad, scared, etc. The chemicals that are released, called neurotransmitters, include dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. SEROTONIN is the principal neurotransmitter that determines mood. High levels of serotonin result in elevated mood (happiness, energy, motivation, etc.)….briefly, SEROTONIN=HAPPY and vice versa….NO SEROTONIN=SAD. As an example, people who take ecstasy are happy and loving everything, this being due to the fact that the pill acts directly on the serotonin neurons, making them release more and more serotonin------HAPPINESS!

O.K., so now that I explained the basics, the rest will be much easier to explain (I hope). There are many theories of depression but the most common one is the “Monoamine Theoryâ€â€¦I know the name might sound scary but in principle it is a fairly straightforward theory. It states that low levels of “mood transmitters†like SEROTONIN, are responsible for depression and high levels of them make us feel happy. Patients with depression are found to have much lower levels of serotonin in mood brain area compared to healthy individuals.

So, how can serotonin levels be LOW and cause DEPRESSION? Well, there could be quite a few possibilities:

1. Neurons that are responsible for producing and releasing serotonin are damaged/do not function

2. Neurons are healthy but no serotonin is produced because some precursors (substances needed to make it) or enzymes are missing/low (“making†of serotonin is a few step process that needs other substances as well)

3. Serotonin is produced but it is metabolized or “recycled†back to the neuron too quickly so it has no time to act

4. Serotonin is produced and released by the first neuron but it cannot activate 2nd neuron (if we look at the domino analogy, you could think of the 2 dominoes placed too far apart).

5. …….others…….

Saying that, people who have genetic predisposition to depression have a very high chance of being affected by one of the 4 points mentioned above without any significant stimulus, for example some of the serotonin neurons might not function already.

However, people could become depressed due to external stimuli, such as stress. STRESS, for example, could be responsible for damaging serotonin neurons or depleting essential substances needed for making serotonin. Certain drugs, not only the abused ones, such as marijuana, but also clinical ones could affect serotonin transmission in the mood centre in the brain. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is THOUGHT, but NOT YET PROVED to decrease the levels of serotonin, which could result in depression. That is one of the proposed theories for Accutane-induced depression but there might be many other factors much more relevant. It still remains a mystery.

I hope I did not write too much and that the text helped you at least a bit in understanding the complex science behind depression. As I said, other theories might be possible as well but the depletion of serotonin theory is most widely used and accepted. I tried to make it much more simple so the text does not contain too much detail or scientific words (just saying it for the Science people out there :))

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Hey everyone! I noticed that some of you are curious about the causes of depression from a scientific point of view. I am not a doctor, but a Pharmacology student so I am studying a lot about mental illness, such as depression and its treatment. Although it is extremely difficult to explain the pathology of depression, I will try to do it using simple terms so people who have never done any science in their lives could at least have a general idea.

I will start with some background info to refresh your memory:

I am sure that you are familiar with neurons (or nerve cells) that send impulses to conduct information. There are millions of neurons in the brain that transfer information by releasing chemicals from one neuron to another. You could think of it as the “domino effect”, each domino piece representing a neuron and collapsing dominoes would be the signal. Also, our brain has a special area called the mood centre, where all the signals sent determine whether we feel happy, sad, scared, etc. The chemicals that are released, called neurotransmitters, include dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. SEROTONIN is the principal neurotransmitter that determines mood. High levels of serotonin result in elevated mood (happiness, energy, motivation, etc.)….briefly, SEROTONIN=HAPPY and vice versa….NO SEROTONIN=SAD. As an example, people who take ecstasy are happy and loving everything, this being due to the fact that the pill acts directly on the serotonin neurons, making them release more and more serotonin------HAPPINESS!

O.K., so now that I explained the basics, the rest will be much easier to explain (I hope). There are many theories of depression but the most common one is the “Monoamine Theory”…I know the name might sound scary but in principle it is a fairly straightforward theory. It states that low levels of “mood transmitters” like SEROTONIN, are responsible for depression and high levels of them make us feel happy. Patients with depression are found to have much lower levels of serotonin in mood brain area compared to healthy individuals.

So, how can serotonin levels be LOW and cause DEPRESSION? Well, there could be quite a few possibilities:

1. Neurons that are responsible for producing and releasing serotonin are damaged/do not function

2. Neurons are healthy but no serotonin is produced because some precursors (substances needed to make it) or enzymes are missing/low (“making” of serotonin is a few step process that needs other substances as well)

3. Serotonin is produced but it is metabolized or “recycled” back to the neuron too quickly so it has no time to act

4. Serotonin is produced and released by the first neuron but it cannot activate 2nd neuron (if we look at the domino analogy, you could think of the 2 dominoes placed too far apart).

5. …….others…….

Saying that, people who have genetic predisposition to depression have a very high chance of being affected by one of the 4 points mentioned above without any significant stimulus, for example some of the serotonin neurons might not function already.

However, people could become depressed due to external stimuli, such as stress. STRESS, for example, could be responsible for damaging serotonin neurons or depleting essential substances needed for making serotonin. Certain drugs, not only the abused ones, such as marijuana, but also clinical ones could affect serotonin transmission in the mood centre in the brain. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is THOUGHT, but NOT YET PROVED to decrease the levels of serotonin, which could result in depression. That is one of the proposed theories for Accutane-induced depression but there might be many other factors much more relevant. It still remains a mystery.

I hope I did not write too much and that the text helped you at least a bit in understanding the complex science behind depression. As I said, other theories might be possible as well but the depletion of serotonin theory is most widely used and accepted. I tried to make it much more simple so the text does not contain too much detail or scientific words (just saying it for the Science people out there :))

Very nice explanation. Thank you. : )

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I read through the explanation, and it sounds like the IB could cause enough stress that a person became depressed.

When my acne first started flaring in February I got so down that I had to see a psychologist. I have never had a mental health issue in 25 years, but when my acne got really bad I was very suicidal. So it is not unreasonable to say that bad breakouts could make a person depressed.

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you can view it anyway you want to, but people get depressed over obesity..so should food labels warn you about depression. i know its a far fetched comparason(sp), but you got to draw the line with it. i think that derms put too much time into expressin the situation with depression and the pill. when i first started i told all of my friends if they saw me goin down to let me know. i just thought too much about the depression thing that i thought itd happen, then when i started takin it, i just never really thought much of it after.

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just speaking from experience i know how it feels to be depressed about life but i also know how it feels to be depressed about acne and this medicine is making me very depressed about my appearance and the way my face looks so im sticking with the medicine because i know the depression will go away once my face starts looking better

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just speaking from experience i know how it feels to be depressed about life but i also know how it feels to be depressed about acne and this medicine is making me very depressed about my appearance and the way my face looks so im sticking with the medicine because i know the depression will go away once my face starts looking better

Just know that you are taking medication to correct the problem. I haven't met one person who goes out in public with a crater face and can honestly sit here and say.....nah I don't care it doesn't bother me. If I get one pimple....I SNAP. My skin is clear, but I have to do a 2nd course cause oil came back. Believe me, when your face clears, you will be the happiest kid ever.

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Reading this leads me to wonder people are so opposed to believe that accutane can cause depression and suicide, But if it was another drug and not for acne tx would one believe that it could cause theese symptoms?

There have been reports of not just teens with reactions to Accutane and suicide,depression etc. Reports have gone all the way back to when it first came out in 1982

Keffco-Nice explanation....Though Roche did not do any studies, There have been many independent studies.

One being the most intersting was by Douglas Bremner, M.D. Emory Univ...You can read the article at this webiste http://ajp.physchiatryonline.org Amj physchiatry 162:5, May 2005

(humans were given accutane and the other half was given antibotics. Scans of the brain were done before accutane and antibotics and after. Result Patients given accutane at the standard dose for 4 months had a decrease brain metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex -21% change vs 2% for antibiotic)

2006-07 Another study was done in Texas, www. neurophyschopharmacology.org

Chronic Administration of 13-cis-Retinoic Acid Increases Depression-Related Behavior in Mice

Done by the Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology, The Univ of Texas in Austin. 1919-1927, doi:10.1038/sj.npp.1300998; published online 4 jan 2006

Nikkia-you are right when you mention Vit A....It has been know to caus Severe Physc problems even way back in the 1900's when Artic Explors ate polar Bear liver.

You can find info on Vit A toxicity ( Alot are the same listed in Accutane Side effects,Which accutane is a derived from)

Acute toxicity effects -include headache, photophobia, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness, irritability, seizures, and desquamation after 24 hours.

Chronic toxicity affects -the skin, the mucous membranes, and the musculoskeletal and neurologic systems.

Skin and mucous membrane effects include erythema, eczema, pruritus, dry and cracked skin, angular cheilitis, conjunctivitis, palmar and plantar peeling, and alopecia.

Musculoskeletal effects include pain and tenderness, particularly in the long bones of the upper and lower extremities, which may be exacerbated by exercise; epiphyseal capping and premature epiphyseal closure may occur in children.

Neurologic effects include blurred vision and frontal headache, which is often the first sign of toxicity.

Findings also include idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), hepatomegaly, ascites, erythematous dermatitis, migratory arthritis, craniotabes in children, or bulging fontanelle in infants.

Recent studies suggest that elevated levels of vitamin A may cause increased bone resorption and promote development of osteoporosis.4,5

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/819426-overview

There is more information and studies out there, but I think this explains enough. I say to all Don't be so closed minded about theese things. It may not happen to you, but that doesn't mean accutane isn't dangerous.

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