Accutane, a popular acne treatment drug, has been linked to a number of serious psychological and physical health problems, most notably severe depression alleged to have resulted in suicide, birth defects and Crohn’s disease. Roche Pharmaceuticals, the creator and distributor of the drug, pulled it from the market on June 29, 2009, citing the high cost of defending Accutane lawsuits as one of the primary reasons. Vitamin A in extremely high doses was recognized as a treatment of acne in the 1930’s; however, the level required was also toxic. Hoffman la Roche developed isotretinoin as a retinoic acid derivative and launched the drug under the brand name Accutane as a non-toxic alternative to those treatments. Accutane was first put on the market in the United States in 1982 and over 13 million people have used the drug since then. Accutane’s inventor was given awards from both the US Department of Commerce and US Public Health Services in 1983. The acne drug Accutane was often prescribed in high doses in the United States, occurring after a 1984 study funded by Roche Pharmaceuticals demonstrated that high doses of Accutane should be used. Independent Accutane studies showed lower doses to also be effective in the treatment of Acne.
Accutane Health Problems
Extremely high doses of Accutane exposed some patients to a number of serious health problems, including cataracts, optic neuritis, menstrual disturbances, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, hepatitis, corneal opacities, papilloedema, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, skeletal hyperostosis, extraosseous calcification, psychosis and depression. A number of health problems persisted even after discontinuing the use of Accutane; these health problems include hair loss, inflammatory bowel disease, degenerative disc disease and bone disease.
Accutane Birth Defects
When taken during pregnancy Accutane was extremely likely and the manufacturer recommended that women taking Accutane use two simultaneous forms of contraception before, during and after taking Accutane. Accutane birth defects typically came in the form of hearing and visual impairment, missing or malformed earlobes, facial dysmorphism and mental retardation. Over 2,000 women taking Accutane in the US became pregnant and most pregnancies ended in abortion or miscarriage. Over 150 babies were born with Accutane birth defects.
Accutane Depression & Suicide
There have been a number of studies linking Accutane to psychological health problems including depression, suicidal ideation and psychosis. Over 400 cases of attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts and suicide had been reported to the FDA as of 2001. United States Senator Bart Stupak of Michigan believes the psychological side effects of Accutane led to his son’s suicide in 2000.
Accutane Intestinal Problems
Accutane has also been linked to a number of intestinal problems, including Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory disease of the intestines, and ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Persons suffering from inflammatory bowel disease may still have this Accutane health problem even after they stop taking the drug.
There have been numerous lawsuits filed over the use of Accutane; the are currently hundreds of outstanding Accutane lawsuits alleging Accutane caused intestinal problems such as Crohn’s Disease. A jury awarded an Accutane user with a $2.6 million verdict in a case where Accutane was argued to have caused inflammatory bowel disease.
Accutane Lawsuit Time Limits
There may be time limits for filing an Accutate lawsuit. If you or a love one suffered severe side effects, health problems or even death as a result of taking Accutane please contact the Accutane attorneys by filling out the form at right.