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Greg Webb
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Accutane's® Legacy of Side Effects: Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, IBD … and more!

4 comments

In June 2009, Hoffman LaRoche removed its prescription medication, Accutane®, from the marketplace. Accutane® had been prescribed since 1982 to treat severe acne conditions, but was found to cause Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease and other serious side effects in patients who had used Accutane®. Accutane® also has been prescribed to combat acne under various generic names including: Isotane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Clarus, Decutan, Isotret (Sotret), Izotek, Oratane, Roaccutane, and Isotretinoin.

Despite the fact that Hoffman LaRoche incurred a product liability lawsuit ($33 million) and various individual lawsuits were– and continue to be– filed, the medication is still being prescribed in its generic form. Surprised? So were we.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, there are other serious side effects to generic Accutane as prescribed for acne, which FDA’s Drug Watch points out.

They are:

  • Birth Defects
  • Liver Damage
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Suicidal Thoughts

In addition, the FDA requires a “Black Box” warning on all Isotretinoin (generic for Accutane®) products—to protect the unborn from birth defects, including mental retardation, visual or auditory impairment, and death. And there is a danger of a person taking an overdose of the generic form; if this occurs, the person must seek medical attention immediately. Drug Watch says those who take the generic forms of Accutane need to note that it interacts with other prescription medications and over-the-counter products including corticosteroids, seizure medications, tetracycline antibiotics, Vitamin A supplements, Phenytoin, and St. John’s Wort (herbal remedy).

Before taking this drug (and after consulting with your physician(s)), one needs to seriously consider whether the risks of taking generic Accutane for acne outweigh the benefits of having a clear complexion. Because much of the American public is focused on youth and beauty, the generic form of Accutane continues to be medically prescribed for acne. According to the Dermatologic Disease Database of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, “Nothing else in the world comes close to being this effective for acne."

4 Comments

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  1. ronald lariviere says:
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    I began a course of accutane in the early 70S for severe acne under directions of a doctor. I was diagnosed with crohns in 1983 and have suffered with this desease ever since.

  2. ronald lariviere says:
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    I began a course of accutane in the early 70S for severe acne under directions of a doctor. I was diagnosed with crohns in 1983 and have suffered with this desease ever since.

  3. Greg Webb says:
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    Ronald,

    I am sorry about your condition. Did your doctor(s) ever relate your Crohns diagnosis to Accutane? PRobably not, at that time in the 1980’s, I suspect they were not willing to make that leap. I wish you well.

    Greg Webb

  4. Alan Polekoff says:
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    I took accutane in the 1980’s. Caused permanent dry eye and dry mouth condition, which was evident immediately upon completion of my course of treatment. Also, never got the oil back in my skin, which was previously very oily. Now, many years later have an irritable bowel condition. Don’t know if it is related to accutane. Hopefully, it won’t progress to anything like Crohns disease. Often wonder if there was damage done to my internal organs from this drug as I am living with the changes to the external part of my body.