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SRP. 2021; 12(3): 71-75

Knowledge And Awareness Of Acne Patients About Isotretinoin Use And Safety In Dawadmi Governorate, Riyadh Region, Saudi Arabia

Mohamed S. Imam, Randa M. Abdel-Sattar, Ghaida A. Aldajani, Raghad S. Alsultan and Yara A. Aldajani.


Background: Acne is highly prevalent among the young population in KSA. Oral isotretinoin is the most effective choice in the treatment of severe acne, which has potential adverse effects.
Aim of the study: To assess knowledge and awareness of acne patients in Dawadmi Governorate about isotretinoin use and safety.
Methods: This non-interventional cross-sectional survey was conducted through distribution of questionnaires over two months period (Sep. and Oct. 2019) in acne patients from the Dawadmi Governorate.
Results: A total of 105 acne patients participated in the study, 77.1% were female and 22.9% were male, 88.6% knew about isotretinoin and its use and adverse effects. About (10.5%) of the participants used isotretinoin with mild acne which is contradictory to the recommended guidelines. Nearly 56.2% of the participants did not examine blood glucose before isotretinoin use, 9.5% of the participants did not examine blood glucose, lipid profile and liver enzymes before isotretinoin use. Not all of participants knew that depression (40%), inflammatory bowel disease (79%), osteoporosis (54.3%), and sunburns (22.9%) are isotretinoin associated risks. Most participants (89.5%) appropriately recognized teratogenicity as the greatest hazard concomitant with the use of isotretinoin. Despite that, 29.5% of the women did not know that they must stop administration of the drug at least 1 month before pregnancy. Half of participants (50.5%) did not know that they should not donate blood during use of isotretinoin and (61.9%) did not know they must stop administration of the drug at least 1 month before donation.
Conclusion: This study shows that acne patients are not sufficiently aware of the convenient use of isotretinoin. Therefore, greater attention should be allocated on educating physicians and pharmacists to improve the safe use of isotretinoin. We recommend applying more effective regulations to restrict non-prescribed isotretinoin dispensing in KSA.

Key words: Acne; Isotretinoin; Adverse effects; Teratogenicity; knowledge; awareness.

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