Review Does Not Support Monthly Lab Testing for Oral Isotretinoin Use for Acne

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, December 7, 2015

A review of medical literature does not support monthly laboratory testing for all patients who are using standard doses of the acne medication isotretinoin, according to an article published online by JAMA Dermatology. Isotretinoin has been associated with several adverse effects, including teratogenicity (causing birth defects) and hyperlipidemia. Prior studies have looked at the usefulness of laboratory monitoring during isotretinoin therapy. Joslyn S. Kirby, MD, MEd, MS, of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, and coauthors reviewed medical literature to estimate changes in laboratory tests during isotretinoin therapy. The authors included 26 studies (1,574 patients) in their meta-analysis, which evaluated laboratory test results for lipid levels, hepatic (liver) function and complete blood cell counts. Results suggest that while isotretinoin was associated with a change in the average value of some laboratory tests (white blood cell count and hepatic and lipid panels), the average change across a patient group did not meet the criteria for high-risk and the proportion of patients with laboratory abnormalities was low, the authors report. Read more at DermWire.