Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Isotretinoin is a widely used drug for the treatment of severe cases of acne vulgaris. Its use is common in Lebanon and can even be purchased without prescription although it is associated with severe adverse events. Only few studies in Lebanon have shown inadequate knowledge of community pharmacists about acne and its treatment, however none has assessed patients’ knowledge on acne medications specifically isotretinoin. This study was done to assess patients’ knowledge in Lebanon on the use and safety of oral isotretinoin in community pharmacy setting.
Methods: This is a six month, multi-center, cross-sectional community- based research on drug utilization. The study was conducted in twenty two different community pharmacies in South Lebanon. Patients, 16 years or older, that have already received isotretinoin therapy or are currently using it were included in the study. A data collection sheet was used to assess various factors about knowledge and practice of isotretinoin from February to May 2019. It included three main parts: patient demographics, knowledge on isotretinoin and practice. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 21. Means, standard deviations and percentages were used.
Results: A total of one hundred and seven patients with mean age of 24.06 ± 5.62 were enrolled. 55.1% knew that isotretinoin should be used in severe cases of acne. Most patients identified skin dryness (95.3%), lip dryness (94.3%), increase in liver function tests (76.3%) and sunburn (69.9%) as possible side effects. However, only few of them knew about the increase in glucose levels (35.6%), visual disturbances (45.1%), depression (45.2%) and increase in triglyceride levels (55%). 84.8% of the total patients were aware of the teratogenicity of isotretinoin, 92.3% of the female patients knew that pregnancy test was required, but 29.2% of them didn’t know there’s a need for contraception. 91.6% of the patients received isotretinoin prescriptions by a dermatologist. Blood tests were regularly done by patients (84.9%), however 32.3% of the female patients didn’t perform pregnancy test before using isotretinoin.
Conclusion: Findings of the study revealed that knowledge on isotretinoin use and safety should be increased to guide patients toward the appropriate use of the drug. Proper counseling should be implemented by physicians and pharmacists to enhance the safe use of isotretinoin, especially in female patients.