• Sweden edition
Acne linked to suicide risk: Swedish study

Acne linked to suicide risk: Swedish study

Published: 12 Nov 2010 07:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Nov 2010 07:52 GMT+01:00

While acne is a common affliction, it can still result in psychosocial problems and reduced self confidence for those who suffer from even mild cases.

One of the primary drugs used to treat acne is isotretinoin, which is commonly sold as Roaccutane (previously known as Accutane).

Last year, 7,450 patients in Sweden were prescribed the drug. Side effects include dry eyes, hair loss, as well as effects on the liver, muscles, lipoproteins, and bones.

In addition, a number of studies going back to the 1980s have suggested a relationship between isotretinoin and the onset of psychological effects, including depression and increased suicide risk.

In a new study, published in British Medical Journal, Swedish researchers looked at data from about 5,700 Swedes who were prescribed Roaccutane in the 1980s. The scientists then linked the data with information from Swedish institutional care and cause of death records.

Between 1980 and 2001, a total of 128 subjects reviewed in the study tried to take their own lives, with 24 actually committing suicide.

The results aren’t statistically airtight, but the researchers found that the risk of attempted suicide was higher for the group of Roaccutane users than for the population in general, but that the risk increase often occurred before people started taking the drug.

“At the level of the population, our results indicate that treatment with isotretinoin may attenuate suicidal behaviour. For certain vulnerable patients, however, isotretinoin may trigger such behaviour,” the researchers wrote.

The challenge for future studies, the authors added, is developing ways to identify who may be vulnerable to the drug.

“The trend is rather clear. Severe acne in itself must be a very important part of the causal connection to suicide,” said Anders Sundström, a pharmacoepidemiologist at Karolinska Institutet and lead author of the study, told the TT news agency.

But the study doesn’t reveal whether it is the pimples themselves or some other underlying cause, such as genes, which lie behind the increased suicide risk.

“All patients with severe acne should have their mental health monitored closely,” said Sundström.

Related links:

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:29 November 12, 2010 by Shanie
I had to take Roaccutane when I was 17 - 18, I think if I didn't take I would have been fairly suicidal. It worked great and no side effect.
10:32 November 12, 2010 by riose
Correlation != causality.

In the developed countries, the amount of TVs per house is higher, and the child mortality is smaller.

The Local headline: "Number of TVs in the house linked to child mortality"

And even worse if:

"The results aren't statistically airtight, but the researchers found that the risk of attempted suicide was higher for the group of Roaccutane users than for the population in general, but that the risk increase often occurred before people started taking the drug."

So Roaccutane increases the risk of suicide even before starting to take the drug.

Love this "news".
15:18 November 12, 2010 by Icarusty
I actually took this when younger, it made me LESS suicidal because the acne was clearing up :)
09:05 November 13, 2010 by Dom har glömt
No need to kill yourself because of some acne. Just dip yourself in a pool or

find a hot tub with chlorine in it as long as your not alergic to chlorine. It will

dry out the acne and it will heal. It worked for me sometimes when I was

a kid, and by the way, not just a regular pool, but a pool with chlorine in it.
17:04 November 22, 2010 by Allina
Instead of telling more about this nasty stuff as Roaccutane so for more people to start using it, you'd better tell about other ways how to treat acne! I use a method from the book called "The Acne Cure: The Revolutionary Non-prescription Treatment. Plan That Can Cure Even the Most Severe Acne and Shows Dramatic Results in as Little as 24 Hours" By T. J. Dubrow. It perfectly works!!! Make all dermatologist read it! And also tell them that not every pimple on a face is acne. I feel like I know more than an average dermatologist while I do not have a medical degree.
14:48 November 25, 2010 by SueVela
Not everyone taking Accutane will experience its side effects, but why to take the risk where there are other alternative safe procedures to get rid of acne.

A couple of years ago, I had a severe outburst of acne on my face. I researched the internet and read all about Accutane and other treatments. To cut it short, after trying a few over-the counter medications, I decided to see a cosmetic dermatologist. I was in Los Angeles at the time. After a combination treatment, which included microdermabrasion, IPL therapy, and laser resurfacing with a Nd:YAG laser, my acne cleared completely within 4 months. I had 6 or 7 treatment sessions in all.

You can read more about the treatment details by clicking on acne laser treatment. The site has many 'before and after pictures' of acne patients.
Today's headlines
Two to hospital after Stockholm fire

Two to hospital after Stockholm fire

Two people were taken to hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning after a fire began in their central Stockholm apartment. READ  

Salmonella prompts Coop hamburger recall
Photo: Jim Cole/TT

Salmonella prompts Coop hamburger recall

Swedish supermarket chain Coop has recalled its in-store brand of fresh hamburger meat after a routine check revealed traces of salmonella in the meat. READ  

What's On in Sweden
Photo: Roger Vikström/TT

What's On in Sweden

It's Pride Week in Stockholm. Find out more about the celebrations (including the biggest Pride Parade in Scandinavia) as well as plenty of other activities in Sweden's three biggest cities. READ  

Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'
Hillevi Engström and protesters against Uganda's anti-gay laws. Photos: Maja Suslin/Ben Curtis/TT

Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'

Sweden has resumed sending development aid funds to Uganda, after suspending payouts back in March due to "anti-gay legislation". READ  

The Local List
Top ten coffee spots in central Stockholm
Fanny feels at home at the Blå Lotus. Photo: Isabela Vrba

Top ten coffee spots in central Stockholm

If you're wondering where to grab your next cappucino, then wonder no more. The Local talked to the locals in Stockholm and found out the best spots in town for the ultimate fika experience. READ  

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine
The Azov task force. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/TT

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine

Four Swedes are fighting with the Ukrainian task force Azov - a squad which flies a flag with Nazi symbols and, according to one Swedish soldier, fights for "a white Ukraine". READ  

Swedish elk get one-way ticket to Denmark
The elk in this picture are not the ones that will be sent to Denmark. Photo: The Uppsala Koala

Swedish elk get one-way ticket to Denmark

Up to a dozen elk will be transported from Sweden to Denmark in an effort to help maintain local marshlands. READ  

Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden

Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs

UPDATED: Swedish citizens are the most likely to be employed in the EU, but Sweden is among the very worst when it comes to getting non-EU citizens into work. READ  

Man arrested for burning partner's face
Photo: Linn Malmén/TT

Man arrested for burning partner's face

Police suspect that a man in western Sweden is responsible for the extreme burns on his partner's face. The man has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault - and potentially attempted murder. READ  

In Pictures: Conchita Wurst in Stockholm
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

In Pictures: Conchita Wurst in Stockholm

Eurovision winner and LGBTQ idol Conchita Wurst is in Stockholm this week for Stockholm Pride - and joined Swedes at Skansen for a colourful summer sing-along. READ  

Stockholm Pride kicks off
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »


24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Top ten Swedish taboos
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
What's On in Sweden
People-watching July 23
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: