bipolar disorder, Dr. Paul Markovitz  Q. I will be starting on lithium soon for bipolar disorder. I have a tendency to have acne at my age of 35. If lithium does cause my acne to flare can accutane be used in conjunction with lithium? Also, on the weight gain what is the average amt. the normal person will gain over a year's time on lithium ( I will Be on a low dosage)

  A. I see no reason why Accutane cannot be used. Usually the acne arising from lithium is a form of neurodermatitis, so I am not sure the Accutane will help, but it is worth a try. Consult with your prescribing doctor (of the Accutane) just to be sure.

As far as weight gain, the average is around 4 kilos or so (9 pounds). Some gain more, some less. If weight gain and acne are a problem, you may want to discuss using Topamax with your doctor. No weight gain, and no reports I have seen that it causes acne.