Isotretinoin was originally developed as a chemotherapy medication for the treatment of certain cancers, including brain cancer and pancreatic cancer, among others. The drug was effective in treating these cancers because of its ability to kill rapidly dividing cells. Isotretinoin is a retinoid, which means it is derived from vitamin A and is found naturally in small quantities in the body. Oral isotretinoin is marketed under a variety of names, including Roaccutane, Amnesteem and Accutane, a medication currently used to treat severe nodular acne and cystic acne in the United States.
Accutane is manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals and was approved by the FDA in 1982 to treat severe nodular acne that is otherwise unresponsive to other treatments, including antibiotics. In some cases, cystic acne can cause significant pain and disfigurement, causing red cysts and scarring. Accutane has been extremely successful in treating patients suffering from severe acne, in many cases requiring only a four to five month treatment. The medication works by decreasing the amount of oil that your skin produces, thereby decreasing the frequency of acne breakouts.
The FDA has taken a number of precautions to increase awareness of the dangers of Accutane. Since 2000, the FDA has required the drug’s labels to be updated, has instituted educational programs for patients and prescribers, has implemented a risk management program, and is constantly monitoring reports of adverse side effects linked to Accutane. Currently, the three most common conditions associated with the use of Accutane are inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Accutane has been known to cause inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD, generally described as a group of inflammatory conditions affecting the intestines. The major types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. This disease is typically accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss and vomiting; some victims of Crohn’s disease also experience fatigue, lack of concentration, arthritis and skin rashes, among other symptoms. Ulcerative colitis is similar in nature to Crohn’s disease, but while Crohn’s can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, UC is restricted to the colon and rectum. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract accompanied by ulcers on the lining of the large intestine and rectum. The main symptom of this condition is constant diarrhea mixed with blood. Victims of ulcerative colitis often experience periods of severe symptoms followed by a period in which they are symptom-free. This condition affects approximately 35 to 100 out of every 100,000 people in the United States each year.
The use of Accutane has been linked to a number of severe conditions which can cause major difficulties for an affected person, significantly decreasing the victim’s quality of life. People with inflammatory bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are typically plagued with the symptoms of their conditions for the majority of their lives; treatment for these conditions focuses mainly on relieving the symptoms related to the diseases. Victims of Accutane injuries are not at fault; many people who have suffered an injury due to the use of Accutane have hired an Accutane lawyer in order to file a lawsuit. As a result, some Accutane victims have received millions of dollars in damages. If you or a loved one has suffered from an injury as a result of using Accutane, you should consider how an Accutane lawsuit can benefit you. Victims of Accutane injuries deserve to receive reimbursement for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and an experienced Accutane attorney can help you collect the compensation you are entitled to.