Acne Medication Associated With Abnormal Blood Test Results
Acne Medication Isoretinoin
Elevated cholesterol levels and liver enzyme levels appear to be more common than previously thought among patients taking the acne medication isoretinoin, including those who had normal blood test results before beginning therapy, according to a report in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Isoretinoin, commonly marketed as Accutane, is the most effective acne treatment currently available, according to background information in the article. As many as 89 percent of patients taking the medication achieve long-term remission from acne. Side effects include elevations in the levels of triglycerides, blood fats that can have an adverse effect on cardiovascular health; liver enzymes, the presence of which indicates liver disease or inflammation; and total blood cholesterol. According to the article, the Accutane package insert notes that 25 percent of patients develop elevated triglycerides and 15 percent elevated liver enzymes. Other studies have found elevated triglycerides in 5 to 18 percent and elevated total cholesterol in 6 to 32 percent of individuals taking the drug.