The Nature of the Drug: Accutane was an anti-acne medication that Roche Laboratories, Inc. introduced in 1982. The drug worked by drying sebum, the oil produced by the skin glands (the sebaceous glands), since too much of the oil can promote bacteria that causes acne.

Roche stopped manufacturing Accutane in 2009 because of its many side effects. But generic brands of the drug called Amnesteen, Claravis, and Sotret are still available.

The Hazards of Accutane: Accutane causes certain serious side effects, plus a number of milder ones. It can produce (1) birth defects, such as cleft palate, missing ears, and central-nervous-system abnormalities. Some 42% of infants in Accutane-exposed pregnancies, indeed, suffer from birth defects; and so eventually Roche created counseling programs for women taking the drug, urging them not to get pregnant while on the drug.

Two other serious side effects that Accutane can cause are (2) inflammatory bowel disease that sometimes includes gastrointestinal bleeding, and (3) suicidal behavior. Inflammatory bowel disease can include (a) ulcerative colitis and (b) Chron’s disease; and both those conditions can produce vomiting, rectal bleeding, and diarrhea, and may require surgery to remove parts of the bowel.
Accutane can also cause depression, leading sometimes to hospitalization for depression and sometimes even to suicide. Roche responded to reports of depression and suicide by adding a warning label to Accutane stating that it could cause psychiatric disorders.
Minor side effects from Accutane include diminished night vision, nosebleeds, peeling skin, bleeding or swollen gums, fatigue, headache, and other conditions. In most cases those side effects are not serious, but occasionally a sufferer must seek medical care.

To Obtain Legal Relief: Persons who have taken Accutane or one of its generic forms who have suffered birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease, or psychiatric problems, or who suspect that some other medical condition has been caused by the drug, may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.