Isotretinoin, prescribed and sold under the name Accutane, is an immensely powerful medication designed to treat acne and acne scarring in adults. It was designed and sold as a drug of last resort, only to be used when all other treatments for acne and acne scarring had been exhausted without success.
And for the most part, Accutane does what it says, for more than 50 percent of the patients who use it. Unfortunately, for one in 500 patients, their acne actually gets much worse. Then, of course, there is one other hiccup that makes Accutane far worse than the condition that it was designed to treat.
Accutane Lawsuits on the Rise
During the past years, more than two million people have used Accutane for their acne problems. And a large portion of this group have developed severe, long term side effects that include chronic bowel problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and many other maladies that run the gamut from dry skin and itching to severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
The makers of Accutane insist that it is a natural treatment for acne and severe acne that is drawn from vitamin A.
In nearly untraceable doses, Accutane is present in the bloodstream naturally, but many of the complications of Accutane’s long term side effects come from too much of it being present in the body.
For all of the patients that have had too much Accutane, all of them have developed severe side effects.
With Crohn’s Disease, especially, Accutane patients have been stricken with an unfortunate and ongoing disorder that cannot be cured. Crohn’s Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IDB) that can affect any (or all) parts of a person’s digestive tract. The disease is a series of flare ups, followed by lengths of time where the condition improves, only to flare up again. Since there is no cure, once a person is afflicted with Crohn’s Disease, they are living with it for the rest of their life.
The End Result of Accutane Treatment
Moreover, while Accutane is still generally considered safe in extremely small doses, the problem comes with the fact that its curative properties are nearly non-existent at those small doses. For many, the only amount of Accutane that will cure their acne will also leave them afflicted with any number of harsh, long term side effects that are far worse than the acne could ever be.
Worse yet, for those afflicted with Crohn’s Disease, or any other form of inflammatory bowel disease, a person’s chances of bowel and colon cancer rise significantly.
The makers of Accutane insist that, since it is a naturally derived medication, that is has no long term effects. They point to the fact that the body is capable of expelling excess Accutane from the bloodstream in a week’s time, with no lasting trace.
In addition, while this is true, the days in which the body was flooded with Accutane are enough to encourage the harsh, long term side effects that will stick with a person for a lifetime.
David Anderson is the author of this article on Accutane lawsuit settlements.