Study by Cairns doctor to explore link between acne drug Roaccutane and depression

A Cairns dermatologist is conducting a study to determine if there is a link between depression and Roaccutane – a common drug used to treat acne.

Dr Simon Tucker from Cairns Skin Centre will be conducting the study over the coming months in conjunction with James Cook University, and says it could have a significant impact on the treatment of thousands of patients – particularly teenagers.

“Roaccutane (Isotretinoin) is an incredibly effective treatment for severe acne with an almost 100 per cent response rate, but has controversially been linked with serious depression as a side effect,” said Dr Tucker.

“There is still much debate in the medical arena, online and in the broader global community, over whether this is an actual side effect of Roaccutane, or merely a coincidence.”

Dr Tucker says this is possibly the first study of its kind.

“Unlike previous studies that have only looked back at old results, this study makes predictions that are tested in real time. This makes it a much more important and valuable piece of research,” he said.

“We’ll be working with around 30 patients, giving them either Roaccutane or an alternative acne tablet for two weeks and assessing their mood levels before and after.

“Although not a conclusive piece of research, it will hopefully shed light on this most difficult subject. By the end of our study, we hope to have a better idea of whether or not Roaccutane actually does have a negative impact on a patient’s mood. Any information we can gather to help us better understand this subject can only be a good thing.”

The results of the study will be submitted for publication in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology next year and presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian College of Dermatologists to be held in Perth, May 2016.

Study by Cairns doctor to explore  link between acne drug Roaccutane and depression

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