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(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o When prescribing Accutane, caution patients that it has been linked in inconclusive case reports to a range of depressive symptoms.

o Advise that this study suggests that the active ingredient in the medication can cause depressive effects, at least in mice.

AUSTIN, Tex., Sept. 22 -- The widely used acne drug Accutane (isotretinoin) appears to cause depression in mice, according to researchers here and in England.

The finding -- even though it is an animal study -- is likely to revive debate over the drug, which has been linked to adolescent depression, suicidal ideation, and psychosis in case reports since the mid-1980s. Its teratogenic effects are well known.

But more rigorous examinations of the psychiatric effects of the drug in humans have had mixed results, with some studies showing a link to depression and others not, according to Michelle Lane, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Austin.

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