Saturday, September 13, 2008

Accutane Side Effects Being Debated in Courts

Accutane is a powerful drug that can clear up severe cases of acne. But as with many other potent drugs, the side effects can also be powerful. Accutane has been claimed to cause suicidal thoughts or behaviors in rare cases, but a more frequent complaint about the drug is a variety of gastrointestinal disorders.

Accutane (generic name: isotretinoin) should only be used for severe instances of acne, and when other treatments have failed. Accutane side effects are noted in an article on severe acne from the American Academy of Dermatology, which notes that some people should not take the drug at all because of its adverse effects.

The article notes possible Accutane side effects including "Severe pain in the chest or abdomen; trouble swallowing or painful swallowing; severe headache, blurred vision or dizziness; bone and joint pain; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea or rectal bleeding; depression." And Accutane can cause severe and life-threatening birth defects, so females of childbearing age are required to sign a pledge to use birth control, according to

Numerous lawsuits related to Accutane side effects are in the works, says Forbes magazine. It notes that "A Florida jury awarded $7 million in 2007 to a man who had most of his colon removed after suffering from a disease apparently caused by Accutane," an award that the article says the drug's maker, Hoffmann-La Roche, is appealing. The article also says that a jury in Utah awarded $10 million to a woman who contracted IBD, saying that the manufacturer "downplayed the drug's risks."

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