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Accutane Linked to Depression, Lower Serotonin Levels

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 9th, 2009

Accutane is a drug used to treat severe acne and has been linked to depression among users.

According to researchers Accutane is also linked to decreaded serotonin levels in the brain, which can cause depression and aggressiveness. It has been linked to psychiatric issues including over 250 suicides in the US.

Accutane was first looked at because of the risk of birth defects. Then it was associated to kidney, digestive tract, central nervous system, pancreas, cardiovascular, liver, and auto-immune system problems among others.

A study on mice showed Accutane causes behavior similar to that of a human suffering from depression. This study led to another that focused on the biological and cellular effects of Accutane. The study focused on the production of cells to produce serotonin. In the study the relays between neurons in the brain (which are produced from serotonin) were disrupted.

Serotonin is a hormone found in the brain and other areas of the body and acts as a messenger, transmitting signals between nerve cells. Decrease in the serotonin levels in the brain have been linked to depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders.