Accutane is a prescription medication that is utilized in the treatment of acne, primarily in adolescent patients. It is usually prescribed when an acne condition does respond to other medications or antibiotics. The brand names for Accutane include: Accutane, Amnesteem, Sotret, and Claravis. New Jersey-based Hoffman-La Roche Inc. is the drug’s manufacturer. This medication is a form of vitamin A and causes a reduction in the amount of oil that a patient’s glands release. This causes the skin to renew itself in a rapid fashion.
Accutane Side Effects
Accutane has been scrutinized by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its numerous side effects. These side effects range from mild to severe. Some of the side effects associated with this medication are pain in the bowels, chest, or stomach. The pain may be an indication that there is damage to the body’s organs that may not dissipate, even though the medication has been discontinued. Additional symptoms that may be a sign of abdominal issues are swallowing that has become difficult or painful, heartburn that has developed or increased, and diarrhea. Other symptoms include bleeding from the rectum, darker urine, and the skin or eyes take on a yellow color.
Just one dose of Accutane can lead to severe birth defects. It can have an effect on the baby’s heart, brain, eye, ears, and numerous other areas of their body.
Psychological Side Effects
There are also neurological and psychiatric issues that are linked to Accutane. Some of the Neurological effects are dizziness, stroke, headaches, lethargy, and insomnia. Psychiatric side effects may include suicide, suicidal thoughts or attempts, depression, and psychosis.
The drug has been linked to various chronic conditions that involve damaging effects on the gastrointestinal tract. One of these conditions is ulcerative colitis. Someone with ulcerative colitis, has chronic inflammation in their digestive tract, and ulcers are present on the lining of their large intestine and their rectum. Some users reported immediate symptoms and others developed the conditions months or years after using the drug.
There are complications that can occur in severe cases of ulcerative colitis that include shock, a colon that ruptures, and heavy bleeding. If is possible for death to occur if it is spread through the whole colon. Experiencing repeated inflammation attacks can lead to scar tissue on the rectum and the intestine wall may thicken.
The majority of ulcerative colitis cases that are in advanced form, require expensive surgical procedures and extended stays in the hospital. It could require that all of the colon and the rectum be removed. After removal, some patients might be required to have an ileoostomy. In this procedure, an opening is surgically made on the wall of the abdomen. The bowels can then remove intestinal waste into an ostomy pouch that collects it.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Some symptoms of ulcerative colitis are pain or gurgling noise in the abdomen and difficulty with bowel movements, even though the urge is felt. Other symptoms are fever, rectal pain or bleeding, loss of weight, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Hoffman-La Roche Inc. has had hundreds of lawsuits filed against them alleging that Accutane usage has led to conditions such as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), and other related issues. In 2008, a woman was awarded 10.5 million dollars because the company failed to give warnings of chronic and dangerous side effects. At 14, she developed ulcerative colitis and her colon was taken out. She now suffers with chronic diarrhea. In another case in 2010, a gentleman received a settlement of 25.16 million dollars from the company because they failed to warn of the bowel disease risks associated with Accutane. He endured 5 operations and his colon was removed.
Many conditions can be attributed to Accutane, but colon removal is the most severe. It causes extreme pain and a debilitating lifestyle. After many procedures, symptoms may persist for a lifetime.