Year: 2010 Source: BMJ, v.341, (November 2010), p.1-8 SIEC No: 20101145

The risk of attempted suicide before, during, & after treatment with isotretinoin for severe acne was analyzed in a retrospective cohort study of 5,756 Swedish patients, aged 15-49 years. Standardised incident ratios were calculated up to 3 years before, during, & up to 15 years after the end of treatment. 128 patients were admitted to hospital for attempted suicide. An increased risk of attempts was apparent up to 6 months after the end of treatment. However, the risk of attempts was also found to be increasing before treatment, so an additional risk due to the isotretinoin treatments cannot be established. As patients with a history of suicide attempts before treatment made new attempts to a lesser extent than did patients who started such behaviour in connection with treatment, patients with severe acne should not automatically have this treatment withheld because of a suicide attempt history. (32 refs.) JA