Accutane was (and its generic equivalents still are) prescribed to patients for the treatement of severe acne. The active ingredient isotretinoin (which reduces the amount of oil released by the skin) is typically a last resort for those who have tried other acne medications and/or antibiotics without success.
While the drug may help to clear up your complexion, it is also the cause of severe side effects in many patients. The most severe are:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Depression and other psychiatric disorders
- Increased risk of suicide
- Birth defects
Besides the very dangerous side effects listed above, isotretinoin is associated with other health problems as well, including liver, heart, and kidney damage.
Some Accutane users have been found to have elevated levels of liver enzymes, a sign of liver damage. This prompted the FDA to require Accutane’s manufacturer to include a label on the original medication warning of potentially irreversible liver damage. (Symptoms of liver damage include nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and jaundice. If you are taking Accutane or another product containing isotretinoin and you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.)
Accutane may also lead to heart problems. Tests done on more than 13,000 patients taking the drug found that they had abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats), which can raise the risk of heart disease. If you already suffer from heart disease, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides, then isotretinoin could be extremely dangerous to you.
Accutane has additionally been linked to a kidney disease known as acute glomerulonephritis. This disease causes inflammation of the kidneys, which then lose the ability to filter toxins and produce urine. Symptoms of acute glomerulonephritis include fatigue, nausea/vomiting, difficulty breathing, vision problems, high blood pressure, and reddish or cloudy urine. Left untreated, the disease can cause the kidneys to shrink drastically and permanently.
In an article published in the medical journal, Archives of Dermatology, researchers investigated the possibility of a connection between Accutane and eye irritation side effects. Using data from a medical database containing information on 14,682 adolescents and young adults, they found that those using Accutane suffered ocular adverse events 13.8 percent of the time as opposed to only 9.6 percent of those who had acne but did not take the drug.
Isotretinoin can cause still other side effects, including:
- Hair loss
- Weak bones and bone fractures
- Kidney stones
If you experience any severe side effects when taking isotretinoin, whether Accutane or a generic form of the drug, you should seek medical advice immediately. This is important not only for your health, but because documentation of your injuries by a doctor will be necessary if you decide to take action against a drug’s manufacturer.
There is no doubt that Accutane is dangerous. Accutane’s original manufacturer stopped production of the drug and to date has paid more than $56 million in damages to injured patients. If you have suffered injury caused by the drugisotretinoin, you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation.
If you’re suffering from any of the known side effects of Accutane, and you believe that your injuries have been caused by this dangerous drug, let the Rottenstein Law Group know. The knowledge, experience, and preparation of RLG’s lawyers will make seeking compensation for your pain as painless as possible. You’ve taken enough. We’ll take it from here.