Isotretinoin effects on bone

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Nov;45(5):S176-82. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2001.113721.


Isotretinoin has demonstrated efficacy in a wide range of disorders. The beneficial effects of the drug, however, are limited by its adverse effects on the bone. Children exposed to high doses are at risk for premature epiphyseal closure, while adults on long-term therapy have an increased tendency to develop hyperstosis and other changes of the bone. The knowledge of these effects, in conjunction with continued surveillance, are necessary for expert management and can ensure many years of efficacious treatment with minimal toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bone Development / drug effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Growth Plate / drug effects
  • Growth Plate / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Hyperostosis / chemically induced*
  • Hyperostosis, Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal / chemically induced*
  • Isotretinoin / adverse effects*
  • Isotretinoin / therapeutic use


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Isotretinoin