Isotretinoin's Effect on Fasting Lipid Profile in Acne Patients

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2024 May;34(5):518-521. doi: 10.29271/jcpsp.2024.05.518.


Objective: To determine the isotretinoin's effect on fasting lipid profile in patients with acne.

Study design: Observational study. Place and Duration of the Study: Outpatient Department of Dermatology, Dow International Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, from 22nd June to 21st December 2022.

Methodology: Patients of clinically moderate and severe acne were selected and prescribed a dose of 0.5mg /kg cap isotretinoin for 6 months. They were advised to get a fasting lipid profile at the baseline and then after two months of isotretinoin therapy. National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v5.0 grading system and Adult Treatment Panel III were used for the grading of abnormalities. McNemar Bowker test was used to assess the difference in variables [serum triglycerides (TGs), cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDL), and low-density lipoproteins (LDL)] at the baseline and after 2 months follow-up.

Results: A total of 214 patients were evaluated. After 2 months of isotretinoin therapy, TGs and cholesterol levels were elevated to higher grade in 2% of the patients. Likewise in 1% of patients, LDL levels rised to higher grade. Moreover, HDL levels declined to lower grade in 2% of the patients taking isotretinoin.

Conclusion: Insignificant alterations in the various serum lipid parameters were observed in acne patients during isotretinoin therapy. It is advisable to obtain a baseline fasting lipid profile in all acne patients on isotretinoin and repeated in those with baseline abnormal levels and in patients with a clinical sign of metabolic syndrome and a family history of dyslipidemias.

Key words: Acne, Hyperlipidemias, Isotretinoin, Laboratory monitoring.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / blood
  • Acne Vulgaris* / drug therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Dermatologic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Fasting* / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin* / adverse effects
  • Isotretinoin* / therapeutic use
  • Lipids* / blood
  • Male
  • Pakistan
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Isotretinoin
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol