March 28, 2010

Accutane is also known as isotretinoin and is a synthetic form of vitamin A.  Accutane was originally developed for treating brain and pancreatic cancer because of its ability to kill rapidly dividing cells.  Oral Accutane is marketed under a number of names including Claravis, Decutan, Isotane, Oratane, and Isotret.  Accutane works by reducing sebum production by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in sebaceous glands.

Because of the serious side effects associated with Accutane, it was meant to be used only to treat the most  severe forms of acne.  Specifically, Accutane was meant to be limited to those instances of acne that are disfiguring and scar forming and that are untreatable by other methods.  Unfortunately, the government found that 90% of woman and nearly half the teens who took Accutane suffered only mild cases of acne.  This over prescription is one of the controversies surrounding this high-risk drug. 

Accutane Side Effects

Many alerts and warnings have been issued by the FDA about Accutane side effects.  Some of the side effects are mild like dry eyes and dry lips, however, there are a number of severe symptoms that persist long after treatment stops.  Medical studies link the use of Accutane to Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  Inflammation in the colon causes frequent emptying and diarrhea.  Other Accutane side effects include stomach pain, cramping, gastrointestinal bleeding, hepatitis, impaired night vision, hypertension, hair loss, and depression even after treatment ends.  Even Roche has openly presented that Accutane can alter mood and that this synthetic derivative of vitamin A can negatively impact brain function.  The FDA website warns that all patients should be observed closely for symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts.  Between 1989 and 2003, 72 suicides where linked to Accutane.  Accutane is one of three drugs most reported for adverse side effects on the FDA database. 

Hoffmann-La Roche has been faced with thousands of lawsuits over Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD) linked to Accutane treatment.  Millions of dollars have already been awarded to some of these individuals, compensating them for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Legal assistance is available for those who have used Accutane.  If you have experienced severe side effects associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease you may wish to contact an Accutane lawyer to be compensated for medical expenses and the suffering caused by the side effects of this drug. 


This article was sponsored by the law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP and constitutes Attorney Advertising.  To learn more about Accutane side effects or contact an Accutane lawyer please visit

Published November 17, 2011 by