The prescription drug Accutane is used to treat severe nodular acne.  A number of serious side effects have been reported including Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, depression and suicide.  Roche, the manufacturer of Accutane has revised the drug’s packaging to include a warning about these serious side effects.

Accutane is Used to Treat Severe Forms of Acne

Accutane (generic isotretinoin) is a synthetic form of vitamin A.  It is a powerful prescription drug used to treat the most serious forms of acne that form cystic nodules and generate deep scars.  Although Accutane therapy should have been limited to the treatment of severe forms of acne, over time, it was prescribed for less serious forms of acne.  Early on, post marketing reports indicated a number of serious side effects associated with the use of Accutane.  Some of the common and less serious side effects include chapped lips, dry skin and itching, nose bleeds, eye irritation, joint and muscle pain and hair loss.  Less common but more serious side effects include intestinal complications such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide.  Elevated levels of cholesterol have been reported as well as liver damage.  You doctor will have to monitor your blood to make sure these symptoms are caught before they cause permanent damage.  Accutane has also been reported to cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women.  Do not take Accutane if you are pregnant or will become pregnant.  You should not get pregnant for one month after you terminate Accutane therapy as Accutane is still in your system.          

Suicide and Accutane

Accutane has been reported to generate psychological complications in patients with or without a history of mental problems.  Some patients experience depression, suicidal thoughts and have even committed suicide while taking Accutane.  These Accutane side effects may actually occur after Accutane therapy has been terminated.  Symptoms include feeling sad, anxious, irritable and/or angry, lack of motivation, sleep disturbances, changes in weight and trouble concentrating.  Suicide attempts have been reported in the news.  A young male piloted a small plane into a high rise building in Tampa, Florida and his family filed an Accutane lawsuit against Roche, the manufacturer.  Another family filed an Accutane lawsuit because their young son killed himself by standing in front of a moving commuter train.  A number of other suicide lawsuits have been filed or are pending as well. 

The FDA has required Roche to revise their labeling on Accutane packages a number of times, including adding a “black box” warning to make sure that healthcare providers and patients are fully aware of all of the side effects of Accutane. 

If you have experienced an Accutane injury such as Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide or any other Accutane side effect you may be entitled to financial compensation. Accutane Lawsuits are currently being filed across the country.


Susan Ardizzoni, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Biology with a major in Neuroscience (medical) and minors in Biochemistry, Physics, and Mathematics with experience in basic and clinical research.  Although the author is not an attorney, this article was sponsored by the law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP and constitutes Attorney Advertising.  To learn more about Accutane injury or Accutane Lawsuits please visit

Published November 17, 2011 by