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AADA Updates Position on Isotretinoin

Posted: November 30, 2010

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) recently updated its position statement on the use of isotretinoin. The position continues to state that patient safety is dermatologists’ primary concern and that the AADA is committed to the safe and responsible use of isotretinoin, which is the most effective treatment for severe acne.

“Isotretinoin continues to be considered a critically important drug for treating patients with severe acne who fail other therapies,” said William D. James, MD, FAAD, president of the AADA and its sister organization, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). “Isotretinoin offers our patients with severe acne significant, life-changing benefits. Providing this medicine safely is our top priority.”

The updated position states:

A correlation between isotretinoin use and depression/anxiety symptoms has been suggested but an evidence-based causal relationship has not been established. Other studies give evidence that treatment of acne with isotretinoin was accompanied by improvement of both depressive and anxiety symptoms, as well as improved quality of life of patients with acne.

Current evidence is insufficient to prove either an association or a causal relationship between isotretinoin use and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the general population. While some recent studies have suggested such a relationship, further studies are required to conclusively determine if an association or causal relationship exists and/or whether IBD risk may be linked to the presence of severe acne itself.