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August 2007

Atrial Tachycardia Associated With Isotretinoin Use

Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(8):1073-1087. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.8.1084

Isotretinoin is a synthetic derivative of retinol (vitamin A) that has been approved to treat severe recalcitrant nodular acne. To my knowledge, there has been 1 reported case of atrial tachycardia linked to isotretinoin use1; herein, I report a second case of this linkage.

A 22-year-old man with nodular acne presented to our emergency department (ED) with symptomatic heart palpitations of 1 week's duration. He had undergone 2 complete courses of isotretinoin treatment without sequelae and was 3 weeks into his third course. Findings of a review of his systems were negative except for his feeling of his heart racing. His other medications included metronidazole, vitamin B complex (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin), vitamin E (alfa-tocopherol), and fish oil, and he had no known drug allergies. His medical history was notable for depression that was in remission.

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