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Published: May 1st, 2010
Side effects of Accutane, a popular acne medication that is available as a generic, have been linked to increased risk of serious and debilitating bowel problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.
STATUS OF ACCUTANE LAWSUITS: Plaintiffs have been awarded millions of dollars in compensation in the first Accutane bowel disease lawsuits to go to trial in the United States, and hundreds of other cases are still pending. In addition, Accutane lawyers are continuing to review new cases for individuals who used the medication and were diagnosed with:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
OVERVIEW: Accutane (isotretinoin) was developed in 1982 for the treatment of severe acne. It has been used by more than 16 million people worldwide before an Accutane recall was issued in June 2009, and the brand name medication was discontinued. Roche cited the cost of defending against Accutane lawsuits as a factor in their decision to stop selling the name brand of the medication in the U.S. Accutane continues to be available as a generic sold under a variety of names, such as Claravis, Sotret, Amnesteem and generic isotretinoin.
There are nearly 1,000 lawsuits over Accutane pending in state and federal courts. All of the Accutane suits include allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately warn users about potential Accutane side effects. The company lost the first six cases that went to trial so far, with verdicts totaling $56 million. Roche has also reached Accutane settlements in other lawsuits for undisclosed amounts.
ACCUTANE SIDE EFFECTS: Accutane has been linked to conditions similar to vitamin A toxicity which appears to be dosage related. Scientific studies have suggested that Accutane adverse reactions could include:
- Birth defects
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ulcerative colitis.
ACCUTANE BOWEL PROBLEMS: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is the name for a group of digestive disorders that includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and have been linked to Accutane. IBD impacts the intestinal tract and affects about 4 million people world wide.
Crohn’s disease affects all layers of the intestinal wall in the small and large intestines, as well as other digestive organs and can cause parts of the intestines to narrow, cause the formation of abnormal tunnels between digestive organs, and cause fissures in the anal skin. Ulcerative colitis affects the inner lining of the colon and rectum, causing them to become inflamed. There is no cure for either disease. However medication and surgery are options which can be effective in treating these ailments.
ACCUTANE STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME: In February 2010, Health Canada reported that it had received reports of severe skin reactions, including sometimes fatal reaction known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome from Accutane. At least 66 reports of Accutane skin reactions were identified by Health Canada, including adults and children, with two of the cases resulting in death.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a severe skin reaction that occurs as a side effect of several medications. It is highly debilitating and causes the skin to burn from the inside out, producing blisters, severe rashes and the skin may begin to separate from the body. When the skin lesions affect more than 30% of the body, the condition is referred to as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). Treatment in a hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Burn Unit is often required, and the conditions can be fatal in many cases.
REVIEW A CASE WITH AN ACCUTANE LAWYER: Submit information regarding a potential Accutane lawsuit to have your case reviewed and evaluated by an attorney. If it appears that you, a friend or family member may be entitled to compensation as a result of Accutane side effects, you may be contacted by a lawyer.