Influence of ω-3 Fatty Acids on Triglyceride Levels in Patients Using Isotretinoin | Acne | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
January 2015

Influence of ω-3 Fatty Acids on Triglyceride Levels in Patients Using Isotretinoin

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
  • 2Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(1):101-102. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.2402

The effect of ω-3 fatty acid (ω-3FA) supplementation on triglyceride levels was assessed in a retrospective study of patients taking isotretinoin for acne. Oral isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid) is commonly used in the treatment of severe and recalcitrant acne.1-3 This treatment commonly results in complete clearance of acne with long-term remission; however, treatment is associated with a number of adverse effects, including hypertriglyceridemia.4 At high levels of isotretinoin, hypertriglyceridemia may lead to acute pancreatitis.2,3 As many as 44% of patients with baseline triglyceride levels within the reference range who are treated with isotretinoin develop hypertriglyceridemia.4 Elevations in triglyceride levels during isotretinoin treatment can force dosage reductions or discontinuation of treatment. For less marked elevations, dietary modification or therapy to lower lipid levels may be used.