The compound that later would become Accutane was first studied in the 1960s as a treatment for skin cancer. By 1971, it became clear that the drug would not be an effective treatment for cancer, but surprising, seemed to treat acne that often did not respond to traditional treatments. After study, review, and eventual approval of the drug, Accutane became widely available in the 1980s and its popularity slowly increased.
While it was marketed, some of the side effects known to affect Accutane users were disclosed to those who would be prescribed the drug. However, with time, it became clear that many additional medical problems can stem from the use of Accutane and that Accutane users unwittingly accepted those risks when they took the pill without knowing that problems may arise.
Accutane is the brand name of isotretinoin, a chemical compound which may also be called 13-cis retinoic acid. The drug Accutane was available in American markets until 2009, when it was removed by its manufacturer, Hoffman-La Roche, after the patent on the drug expired. But today, many still use isotretinoin for the treatment and control of acne as a generic product, often sold under names including Roaccutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Absorica, Isotroin, and Epuris.
To date, more than 16 million people across the world have used Accutane or a generic version of the drug at some point in their lives.
Side Effects and Complications of Accutane
Whether using Accutane or a generic form of isotretinoin, it is possible that a teen or adult will suffer from serious, potentially permanent harm from side effects and other complications associated with the drug.
From the initial moment that Accutane entered the American pharmaceutical market, manufacturers knew of the very strong likelihood that Accutane use might lead to miscarriages, stillbirths, and birth defects among pregnant women and their unborn infants. As a result, many females who were prescribed Accutane were informed of this risk and were advised to use contraception to prevent pregnancy. In some instances, contraception was even required. But there have been instances where women were not properly notified of the dangers associated with Accutane while pregnant and harm has unfolded as a result, affecting not only those female users but also their children, family members, friends, and loved ones. These effects have been associated with the ingestion of Accutane but have been linked with handling the drug alone as well, meaning that any female in a household with an Accutane user may have been harmed by the drug’s side effects
Other issues associated with Accutane and isotretinoin were less apparent or even unknown from the outset but came to light as patients used the drug. Some users have developed Crohn’s disease and have faced a lifetime of suffering believed to have been caused by their use of isotretinoin. Crohn’s disease, also called regional enteritis, is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can wreak havoc on any portion of the gastrointestinal tract of someone who suffers from the condition. Crohn’s disease is linked to the immune system but is not an autoimmune disorder with its caused rooted in the interplay between environmental, bacterial, and immune reactions. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, decreased appetite, weight loss, bloody stools, and oral sores. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease which means that Accutane users who develop Crohn’s will continue to suffer from the ill-effects for the remainder of their lives.
Another condition that has been linked to Accutane use is ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis shares many similarities with Crohn’s disease but its effects are much more localized, affecting only the colon and rectum where Crohn’s disease can strike any portion of the gastrointestinal tract. Signs may mirror those of Crohn’s disease and can include things like abdominal pain, cramping, bloody stools, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and a failure to grow in children.
Other forms of inflammatory bowel disease as well as problems associated with the digestive tract may be caused by Accutane use and may lead to harm among Accutane users.
Legal Options after Accutane Side Effects
If you used or handled Accutane or a generic form of isotretinoin and you were injured as a result, you may be entitled to legal relief for your damages. A typical claim may seek compensation for your medical expenses, future costs, pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, lost wages, and any other harm you may have endured due to your Accutane usage.
The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all injury victims who call us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575. You can also reach a member of our team by contacting us online. Regardless of the method you choose, know that we have an attorney available and standing by to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
If you were injured, make sure your rights are protected by contacting a Chicago injury attorney at Abels & Annes, P.C. today.
If you used Accutane or isotretinoin and you were injured, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO for a free case consultation.