No isotretinoin during pregnancy | Stiftung Warentest

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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The prescription rate for acne medications containing isotretinoin increased by almost two-thirds between 2004 and 2019: This worrying increase was announced by Bremen’s Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology. The problem is that the active ingredient isotretinoin can cause fetal malformations in pregnant women.

Prescription rate among young people aged 16 to 20 doubled

The Bremen experts had figures from a research database and invoicing data from four legal health insurance companies includes, intensely evaluated and a scientific work Published. Thus, the increase in prescriptions was particularly notable among 16- to 20-year-olds: the number of acne medication prescriptions doubled over the study period. Although statistically 2.07 per 1,000 women received isotretinoin in 2004, 15 years later the number increased to 4.2 per 1,000 women.

Possible physical and mental dispositions

Possible malformations caused by ingestion of the active ingredient are known as retinoid syndrome. These include, among other things, incorrect positioning of the ears, other disorders in the formation of the face and palate, but also cardiovascular defects or neurological damage. Being an invisible birth defect, intelligence can also be impaired.

Despite the information, pregnancies occurred

The active ingredient is intended for the treatment of severe acne, but its effectiveness has been proven. For mild to moderate acne There are other medications, including over-the-counter ones. There is a special safety program for women who may become pregnant while taking isotretinoin. That includes Pregnancy tests before and during treatment and careful information about necessary safety measures prevention and possible dangers.

Even so, pregnancies occurred during the observation period, according to the Bremen Institute. Many of them were aborted and some babies were born with malformations.

Wait another month after stopping

Important to know: Women who can become pregnant and are taking isotretinoin should not only use contraceptive methods before and during treatment, but also for a month after stopping the preparation. There is a special pregnancy prevention program for all products containing isotretinoin. These programs also exist for medications such as epilepsy medication Valproic acid or the cancer drug thalidomide, which also affects the development of fetuses.

Tip: Anyone taking isotretinoin is not allowed to donate blood – this applies regardless of gender. If a pregnant woman is treated with isotretinoin patient blood preparations, future life may also be impaired in this way.

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