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Accutane (Isotretinoin) and depression
The issue of isotretinoin and depression has been a hot topic for some time. There have been several intances that have been reported that isotretinoin can lead to depression and mood swings. It was originally felt that those people with a history of depression were more likely to experience these changes when taking isotretinoin. Due to individual cases, a consent is required to be signed by both male and female patients prior to starting therapy with isotretinoin. Due to the individual reports, several studies have been conducted that have looked at the relationship between isotretinoin and depression. These studies indicate that the use of isotretinoin does not cause or worsen depression, but rather the opposite, showing that those who have used isotretinoin tend to show less signs of depression. For a look at the abstract of this most recent article from the Archives of Dermatology, click here.

Antibiotics and birth control pills
In the past, it has been suggested the use of oral antibiotics can decrease the effects of birth control pills, making them less effective and increasing the risk of pregnancy. There were some poory designed studies that showed this may be the case with certain antibiotics. Recent teaching however indicates that there does not seem to be an impact on the effectiveness of birth control pills while taking almost all antibiotics. The only known exception is a medication known as Rifampin. This is a rarely used antibiotic, used mostly to treat tuberculosis. Thus, the antibiotics classically used for acne appear to not alter the effects of oral contraceptive pills.


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