ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
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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