Acne’s Wonder Drug Is a Mental-Health Puzzle

accutane slide

In 2002, a family filed a lawsuit alleging that an acne drug made their teenage son suicidal. Accutane, a since-discontinued brand name for the drug isotretinoin, works wonders for cysts and pimples that don’t respond to other treatments. But since the FDA approved isotretinoin in 1982, it had been plagued by controversy over whether it could alter brain chemistry and cause depression. 

[In] a study published [July 3] in JAMA Dermatology contends that, for all the focus on these most dramatic side effects, dermatologists and psychiatrists might have overlooked other potential mental-health risks for patients taking the drug.

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