Accutane®, also known as the generic form isotretinoin, is a popular drug prescribed to treat moderate to severe nodular acne. It was introduced into the marketplace in 1982, and has been linked to a number of side effects ranging from mild to persistent and even lifelong health consequences. Accutane® has been connected to depression and suicide among teenage patients, birth defects for mothers taking the medication and more recently a series of bowel disorders called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
If you or a family member has taken Accutane® and suffered and adverse reaction, you may have a claim for compensation from the drug’s manufacturer, Hoffman-La Roche. An Accutane® injury attorney can help you file a defective drug claim.
Accutane® has been shown to cause severe birth defects when women take this medication during pregnancy. Studies reveal that approximately one-fourth of children who have been exposed to isotretinoin in the womb have some type of congenital deformity. These birth defects often include hearing and visual impairment, missing or malformed earlobes and facial dysmorphism. Children born without congenital deformities may develop learning disabilities, and 40 percent of Accutane® babies do not even survive pregnancy.
Depression and Suicide
A number of studies link this acne medication to depression, suicidal tendencies and psychosis. More than 400 cases of Accutane®-related suicide, attempted suicide, and serious suicidal thoughts were reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Another complication related to Accutane® is the occurrence of IBD, a group of disorders that cause the intestines to become red and swollen. This inflammation is generally long-lasting (even permanent), and tends to reoccur. The two types of Accutane®-related IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease is characterized by ulcers, or open sores, along the inside of your small and large intestines. Ulcerative colitis causes ulcers in the lower part of the large intestine. Both forms can cause pain, vomiting, blood in the stool, yellowing of the skin or eyes and diarrhea. There have been several large verdicts against the manufacturer for failure to warn of the risk of IBD.
Other Side Effects
Other reported side effects of Accutane® include:
- Problems with vision, headaches and nausea, caused by an increase in pressure in your skull
- Skin problems such as a rash and peeling in your feet and hands
- Increased susceptibility to sunburn and infections
- Urinary discomfort
- Thinning hair
If you believe you have suffered side effects from Accutane®, please contact an experienced Accutane® injury lawyer in your area to schedule a consultation.