Effects of isotretinoin on serum vitamin E levels in patients with acne

Int J Dermatol. 2013 Mar;52(3):363-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2012.05676.x.


Anecdotal reports suggest that using retinoids with vitamin E leads to improvements of some side effects due to isotretinoin. However, vitamin E blood levels have not been reported previously in patients with acne treated with isotretinoin. We aimed to investigate the serum vitamin E levels before and after isotretinoin therapy in patients with acne. A total of 70 patients treated with isotretinoin for acne in our dermatology department were included in this study. The serum vitamin E levels were measured as baseline before isotretinoin treatment. All patients received 0.6-0.8 mg/kg/d isotretinoin. The treatment was finished within 5-7 months while ensuring that the cumulative dose was 120 mg/kg. Serum vitamin E levels were measured again in the last month of treatment. The mean serum vitamin E levels before and after treatment were compared. Forty-six patients completed the study. It was detected that the mean serum vitamin E level was 20.22 mg/dl before isotretinoin treatment. In the last month of treatment, the mean serum vitamin E level was 16.24 mg/dl. Serum vitamin E levels decreased in all patients except three. The mean serum vitamin E level after treatment was statistically decreased in comparison with the mean serum vitamin E level before treatment. Our results showed that vitamin E levels decreased during isotretinoin treatment. We considered that some of the side effects due to isotretinoin treatment might be related to this, and supplementation vitamin E may be useful during isotretinoin treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / blood
  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin / administration & dosage
  • Isotretinoin / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Vitamin E / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Vitamin E
  • Isotretinoin