ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
CAREGIVING
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Green Areas Lower Health Inequities Between Rich, Poor
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
EYE CARE, VISION
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
FITNESS
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
The Yearly Flu Shot Debate
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Health Gains From Lowered Smoking Rates in Jeopardy
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Add your Article

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