The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2019 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Dermatology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in dermatology. Check back for the latest news from AAD 2019.

Exposure to isotretinoin does not appear to be associated with depression among adults with acne, according to research presented at the 2019 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, held March 1-5 in Washington, D.C.

The study included individuals whose medical data was gathered from the Northwestern Medicine Enterprise Data Warehouse. The participants were between 18 and 65 years old and had a diagnosis of acne during the study window (2001 to 2017). Collected data included isotretinoin exposure, age at diagnosis of depression, age at incidence of acne, race, and sex. A diagnosis of depression (ICD-9 and ICD-10) at least 1 month after incidence of acne constituted the primary outcome. Logistic regression analysis was used to calculate 95% confidence intervals and odds ratios adjusted for age and sex.

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Among the study population with isotretinoin exposure (n=1087), 3.77% (n=41) received a diagnosis of depression compared with 4.81% (n=1775) of patients treated for acne with no exposure to isotretinoin (n=36,929). Isotretinoin exposure lasted a median of 5 months (IQR, 3 to 6 months). Depression was not significantly associated with isotretinoin exposure vs no isotretinoin exposure for individuals with acne.

The study researchers concluded that the findings “from this large dermatology patient population serve to further inform approaches to the management of patients and risks for depression in patients who have acne and receive isotretinoin.”

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Schlosser B, et al. Frequency of depression in dermatologist-managed patients who have acne, isotretinoin-exposure vs no isotretinoin exposure: pharmacovigilance analysis of a large Midwestern U.S. population from the RADAR (Research on Adverse Drug events And Reports) Program. Presented at: 2019 American Academy of Dermatology  Annual Meeting. March 1-5, 2019; Washington, D.C. Abstract 8292.