Accutane (isotretinoin) is a prescription acne medication manufactured by Hoffman-La Roche that was first introduced in the United States in 1982. Accutane was used to treat severe acne (nodular and/or inflammatory acne) that could not be cleared up by using other acne treatments, such as antibiotics. Accutane was removed from the market in 2009 after many lawsuits were filed regarding serious side effects from Accutane.
Side effects of using Accutane may include dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, photophobia, muscle and joint pain, insomnia, lethargy, visual disturbances, hearing deficiencies, headache, nausea, malaise, drowsiness, amnesia, hallucinations, behavioral disorders, seizures, psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, suicide ideation, suicide attempt, and suicide.
Studies of the generic version of Accutane (isotretinoin) have also linked its use to a serious risk of birth defects and to bowel disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis. According to preliminary research evidence presented to the American College of Gastroenterology in January, 2009, the risk of being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in isotretinoin users was more than four times greater than in the general population, and patients who had filled four or more prescriptions for Accutane had a risk of inflammatory bowel disease that was more than 2.5 times greater than in the general population.
A New Jersey Accutane Lawsuit
A New Jersey woman who had used Accutane for six months in 1998 allegedly developed inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis) six weeks after she stopped taking Accutane. She alleged in her lawsuit that she would not have taken Accutane had she been made aware of the possible side effects. The jury hearing her case decided that the woman was entitled to $2 million in damages because Hoffman-La Roche failed to adequately warn her about the risks of taking Accutane, including developing ulcerative colitis. Hoffman-La Roche was dissatisfied with the jury’s verdict and appealed its decision. A judge recently upheld the jury’s verdict.
Accutane (isotretinoin) is a vitamin A derivative belonging to the retinoid class of medicines, which are used to treat skin conditions. The manner in which Accutane works is not known but it is believed to act on the sebaceous glands that produce oil/wax to reduce sebum excretion, which may indirectly reduce bacterial activity associated with acne and thereby improve acne. To read more from the manufacturer about Accutane, click here.
If you have been injured as a result of taking Accutane or another drug in the United States, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and injuries. A medical malpractice attorney versed in such claims may be able to assist you with your possible drug claim.
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