Accutane (isotretinoin) is a medicine that was used until 2009 to treat severe cases of acne. Like other skin medications, it is a form of vitamin A. In fact, isotretinoin is naturally exists in very small quantities in the human body.
It would seem that this drug would be safe.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill have found that patients who were prescribed Accutane or generic isotretinoin for the treatment of acne are four times more likely than those who did isotretinoin to have an inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis (UC). They found that the risk of the risk of developing UC increases with the dose of isotretinoin.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine. Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Severe stomach cramps
- Severe or bloody diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Difficulty moving the bowels or a feeling of urgency
- Weight loss
- Skin problems
- Night sweats
- Joint pain
Ulcerative colitis does not have a cure. Treatment usually focuses on reducing inflammation and other symptoms. Successful management of symptoms can lead to remission.
Treatment for UC may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Pain medication
- Diarrhea medication
- Nicotine patches
- Weight loss
- Diet changes
In 2009, Roche removed Accutane from the U.S. market after millions of dollars in damages had been awarded to Accutane users suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis. Actor James Marshall of Twin Peaks fame was one of the many to join in an Accutane lawsuit after he suffered the removal of his colon after suffering ulcerative colitis linked to his Accutane use.
Isotretinoin is still available in generic form. It is marketed under the names Sotret, Amnesteem, Claravis, and Isotroin.
If you are suffering from ulcerative colitis after treatment with Accutane or another form of isotretinoin for acne, you may be eligible to file an Accutane ulcerative colitis lawsuit. To learn more about Accutane class action lawsuits, contact the Milwaukee pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.