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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-15

Women's experiences regarding isotretinoin risk reduction counseling in Riyadh

1 Department of Dermatology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Dermatology, Riyadh Military Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Dermatology, Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ru'aa Alharithy
Security Forces Hospital, P. O. Box 3643, Riyadh 11481
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdds.jdds_50_18

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Context: Isotretinoin is an effective acne treatment and a known teratogen. Contraception counseling may reduce isotretinoin-exposed pregnancies. Aims: The aim of the study is to assess the efficacy of contraception counseling in married females of childbearing age who are on isotretinoin or have used isotretinoin in the past 6 months. Settings and Design: This cross-sectional study in dermatology clinics at multiple centers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between June and November, 2017. Subjects and Methods: Cross sectional study using surveys filled out by married women of child bearing age who were taking isotretenoin during the past 6 months. The questionnaires were distributed in paper as well as electronic version. Statistical Methods Used: Descriptive analysis was primarily done. Results: Most of the patients who received isotretinoin belong to the age group of 33–40 years, married females. Doctors discussed teratogenicity risks in 81% of the patients, but only 44% of patients received written information about risks and 52% signed the consent form. Contraception methods were discussed in 58% of patients. Only 49% of patients were advised to start contraception 1 month before starting isotretinoin. About 79% did not do pregnancy tests while on isotretinoin. Conclusions: This study has identified a gap in risk reduction counseling in married females who are on isotretinoin. Measures such as providing written materials explaining teratogenicity risks associated with isotretinoin, referring patients to specialist for starting contraception before prescribing isotretinoin, and ensuring strict adherence to monthly pregnancy test starting 1 month before, during, and 1 month after the treatment may help minimize the teratogenicity risk.

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