Isotretinoin is a prescription drug sold as “Accutane” in the United States. Accutane is used to treat severe recalcitrant nodular acne (a certain type of severe acne) that has not been helped by other treatments, such as antibiotics and can also be used as a treatment for some cancers. Accutane is in a class of medications called retinoids. It works by slowing the production of certain natural substances that can cause pimples to form.

Accutane may be linked to several serious side effects, such as Crohn’s disease and diseases of the digestive tract and bowels including ileitis, procritis, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD. Accutane may also be linked to depression and birth defects. If you or a loved one is taking Accutane, please read on for facts about the drug and the litigation surrounding it.

Facts about Accutane:

  • The following adverse effects have been reported to persist in some patients for whom they occurred even after discontinuing therapy: alopecia (hair loss), arthralgias (joint pain), decreased night vision, inflammatory bowel disease, degenerative disc disease, keloids, osteopenia, hyperlipidemia, erectile dysfunction, psychiatric disturbances, dry eyes, and “dry skin”.
  • Since the 1980s, scientific research has suggested a relationship between Accutane administration and the onset of psychological symptoms including depression, suicidal ideation, and psychosis.
  • Several scientific studies have linked isotretinoin as a possible cause of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in some individuals.
  • Accutane is a teratogen and is highly likely to cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy.
  • The FDA’s medication guide for Accutane states the drug “may stop long bone growth in teenagers who are still growing.”

Litigation News:

  • Acne drug maker Roche has been ordered by a Florida jury to pay $7 million to a patient who now suffers from inflammatory bowel disease after taking Accutane.
  • In 2008, an Atlantic City jury found that Accutane manufacturer Hoffman-La Roche failed to adequately warn the public of the possibility of developing serious side effects in a case involving three teenagers who developed severe forms of inflammatory bowel disease shortly after they began taking Accutane. The jury awarded $12.89 million to be divided between the three individuals.
  • A New Jersey jury has ordered the Accutane maker Roche to pay $10,578,500 in damages to a woman for injuries she suffered while taking the acne medication.

If you have taken Accutane and have had been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease or other serious digestive issue disease, find out how Johnson//Becker PLLC can help you. Fill out our case review form here on our website and submit it for a free consultation.