A new study just out in the journal BMJ showed a close to two-fold (1.93) increase in first suicide attempt in 5746 individuals treated with the acne medication, Accutane (generic isotretinoin) within six months of their treatment course. After treatment the risk dropped to expected levels. The authors used something called a standardised incidence ratiom which is an assessment of observed versus expected suicide attempts. This is significant, since it is difficult to show increased risk of something that is fairly rare, like suicide. It is also a similar risk to that of antidepressants.
I have written about the effects of Accutane on depression (see “Accutane and Depression: A Depressing Tale“) and have gotten a lot of heat about it in the past. Nevertheless, the evidence continues to accumulate, and as they say in the end you can’t stop the truth from coming out.