Dreaded by teenagers and adults alike, acne is a condition that becomes an issue for most people within their lifetime. Whether mild or severe forms, acne creates anxiety over untimely blemishes and breakouts. In early 1982, manufacturing company Hoffmann-La Roche discovered isotretionoin, generally known as Accutane. Initial reports showed the drug to be effective because about 85% of patients observed a reduction of their acne within a 5 month period. However, manufacturers and developers failed to properly disclose Accutane symptoms. This left many people to choose between debilitating acne or potentially increased dangers from the side effects.
In the same year Accutane was developed, the FDA approved it for commercial use with a label warning against taking it during pregnancy. Nevertheless, women began reporting birth defects that ranged from heart problems, mental retardation, facial disfiguration, and missing ears. The FDA required that Hoffmann-La Roche increase the warning labels on the bottle. However, this was only the beginning of the drug’s powerful effects.
In 1998 the FDA acknowledged that depression and suicidal thoughts were also Accutane symptoms. They once again strengthened the warning label, but for some, it was already too late. The FDA received documentation that 37 individuals who took Accutane committed suicide during the time between its FDA approval until 2000. Thirteen of those took their own life even after discontinuing their use of Accutane. Medical professionals often disagree on whether Accutane can be the direct link to the suicides. However, with 37 related deaths, presenting a connection between the two can hardly be ignored.
We often think of a side effect as something that disappears when you stop taking the medication. With Accutane, some side effects became permanent reminders for patients. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, bone disease, decreased night vision, and keloids are just a few conditions that people are left to deal with after their Accutane use. Some of these diseases are chronic and irreversible, leaving many with a new source of discomfort. Although the drug is no longer in use, the list of people reporting these complaints continues to rise.
Since 1982, 13 million people took Accutane to treat their severe acne before it was discontinued in 2009. Not everyone experienced severe side effects but for those that did, the damage may be irreversible. Anytime you’re considering a new medication, check the warning labels and make sure it is FDA approved. It can make all the difference to your health and well-being. As a victim of the side effects of Accutane, you should contact a respected and capable personal injury to consult with you. The birth defects of your child or acquiring a permanent condition because of Accutane is not your fault. You should take the necessary steps to file a legal complaint against the manufactures who acted negligently at your expense. Contact a pharmaceutical lawyer to defend your case and your right to a healthy life.