Accutane, also known as isotretinoin, is a drug used to cure severe acne. Accutane is manufactured and sold by Hoffman-LaRoche and received FDA approval in 1982. Accutane is a popular drug, with over one million prescriptions a year in 80 different countries.

How Accutane Works

Accutane is similar to Vitamin A in that it can alter your DNA transcriptions. This allows Accutane to reduce your body oil production by minimizing your sebaceous glands that cause acne. Accutane also destroys bacteria deep inside the skin further reducing the chance of developing acne. Accutane takes only four to six weeks to cure acne.  Treatment costs are between five and seven hundred dollars.

Accutane Restrictions

The FDA approved Accutane to treat only the most severe forms of acne that cannot be treated with other medication. This restriction was placed on Accutane because the medication has been linked to severe side effects, including birth defects and suicide. This severe form of acne causes swollen red bumps in the skin that can lead to significant physical pain and scarring

Accutane Off-Label Use

Although Accutane is not intended for use by patients suffering from mild to moderate acne, a report shows that 90% of Accutane users do not suffer from severe acne. Other reports state that Accutane is prescribed to 26 times more women than it should. This prompted Ralph Nader’s consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, to call for the FDA to control who can be prescribed Accutane and stop its widespread use.

Accutane Side Effects

Accutane has been linked to several severe, life threatening and fatal side effects. In 2004, Accutane was named by the FDA as one of the top five most dangerous prescription drugs available on the market.

Accutane’s side effects include:

  • Birth Defects
  • Suicide/Depression
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Crohn’s Disease
  • Hair Loss
  • Cholesterol Level Increases
  • Increased Blood Fat Levels
  • Dry Lips, Mouth or Nose

Contact an experienced accutane injury lawyer today for a free case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by