Comparison of Quality of Life, Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, Social Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms Between Adolescents with Acne Receiving Isotretinoin and Antibiotics: A Prospective, Non-randomised, Open-Label Study

Erdogan Y., ERTURAN İ., AKTEPE E., Akyildiz A.

PEDIATRIC DRUGS, vol.21, no.3, pp.195-202, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s40272-019-00340-y
  • Journal Name: PEDIATRIC DRUGS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.195-202


BackgroundThe effects of isotretinoin on suicide, social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in adolescents with acne have not been sufficiently investigated.ObjectiveThis study aimed to evaluate the quality of life, depression, anxiety, suicide, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms of adolescents receiving systemic isotretinoin and antibiotic treatments at baseline and at 3months.MethodsThe study included a total of 102 adolescents using isotretinoin (n=60) and antibiotics (n=42). The Acne Quality of Life Scale (AQLS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Suicide Probability Scale (SPS), Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), and Maudsley Obsessive-Compulsive Question List (MOCQL) were administered to both groups at baseline and at 3months. In order to exclude patients with comorbid psychiatric disorders, the patients were evaluated at the beginning of the study with the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL).ResultsThere were no significant differences in the mean age, gender distribution, educational level, and family history of mental illness between the two groups. There were significant decreases in the Global Acne Grading System scores, visual analogue scale scores, AQLS scores, total and subscale scores of LSAS, and total and subscale scores of MOCQL at 3months compared with baseline in both groups. However, there were no significant changes in the total and subscale scores of HADS and total and subscale scores of SPS at 3months compared with baseline in both groups.ConclusionWe found that neither isotretinoin nor antibiotic treatment affected the levels of depression, anxiety, and suicide in acne patients. Moreover, both isotretinoin and antibiotic treatment were shown to improve the quality of life, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in acne patients. However, clinicians should be careful about psychiatric side effects in patients using isotretinoin. Further studies with a larger number of cases and with a longer follow-up period are needed to investigate the complex effects of isotretinoin on the central nervous system.