ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Study Examines How Rheumatoid Arthritis Destroys Bone
CANCER
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Fruit Even Healthier Than Thought: Study Shows
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
EYE CARE, VISION
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
FITNESS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk

More evidence has come in on the dangerous side effects of Accutane, the powerful acne drug, that is also known as Roaccutane in Europe. A Canadian study confirms that Accutane increases depression risk. The study found that Accutane more than doubles the risk of depression.

The study is the first controlled investigation to find a statistically substantiated link between isotretinoin (the active ingredient in Accutane) and depression, Dr. Anick Berard, from CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre in Montreal, and colleagues stated in a report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

The researchers studied 30,496 people from Quebec who had at least one prescription of Accutane between 1984 and 2003. Among these people, 126 had a reported depression case. The researchers looked for Accutane use five months before the reported depression case (risk period) and compared it to a five-month control period. After adjusting for potential risk factors for depression, the study found that exposure to Accutane increases the risk of depression by 2.6 times.

The research report finishes by recommending that "current guidelines should possibly be modified to include psychiatric assessments of patients prior to and during isotretinoin therapy."

There are two known pathways Accutane can lead to depression: lower availability of serotonin and decreased brain activity in the areas that mediate depression.

Earlier research has shown that Accutane reduces the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the "feel good" hormone. Low levels of serotonin have been linked consistently to many psychiatric symptoms, such as aggression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation. Naturalnews reported about the study here: Suicide Link to Acne Drug Officially Established.

Among other side effects, Accutane increases sensitivity to sunlight. And dermatologists advice patients to avoid sunlight while on Accutane treatment. Sunlight is known to increase serotonin levels, and avoiding sunlight may further increase the problem with serotonin levels.

Another study, published at the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2005, found that Accutane was associated with decreased brain metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex. Orbiofrontal cortex is the brain area known to counter symptoms of depression. Once you understand the history of Accutane, these side effects shouldn't come as a surprise.
Chemotherapy drug for acne

Accutane is a cancer drug. Bet you didn't know that. Isotretinoin, the active ingredient in Accutane, was originally developed as a chemotherapy drug. During the chemotherapy trials doctors noticed patients' acne clearing.

What do we know of chemotherapy drugs? They are among the most dangerous poisons. Chemotherapy treatment often does serious damage to the body. And, if the patient is lucky, may have a little effect on cancer. In this context it's no wonder the list of Accutane's side effects looks truly frightening. Ranging from chapped lips to heart attacks, serious organ damage and suicides. Click here for a complete list of Accutane's side effects.
Do the benefits of Accutane warrant such risks?

The fact remains that only a small percentage of the patients treated with Accutane develop severe side effects. Still, just because you don't develop acute symptoms from Accutane doesn't mean Accutane is safe for you. It causes damage to everybody who takes it. But in many cases the body can handle it in a way that doesn't produce immediate symptoms.

Accutane is often dubbed as the "Miracle Drug" because it works where no other (allopathic) acne treatment does. It is said to work up to 85% of the cases. As dermatologists often argue, in the balance sheet of tragedy, Accutane has the least awful bottom line -- it saves more lives than it costs. This might be true, if Accutane had no effective alternatives and would permanently cure acne. If this were the case, many acne victims would agree to face the risk. Because acne, though not fatal, can have serious psychological effects and devastate a person's self-esteem and social life.

But there are alternatives. Acne, like being overweight, is a lifestyle problem. And it responds quickly to dietary and lifestyle changes. Dietary and lifestyle changes are the holy grail of acne treatments. They can give you the permanent freedom you are looking for. And in the process profoundly increase the quality of your life. Something that Accutane or other prescription drugs can never do.

And many acne victims find their new found, Accutane-given freedom much too temporary. Often acne returns as quickly as six months after the treatment.

In the end you are left with one question. How much are you willing to risk for temporary freedom?

-Seppo Puusa