New Jersey Accutane Attorneys

Accutane Side Effects

One of the most common skin conditions affecting people worldwide is acne. Not all acne is a temporary side effect of puberty, however. Some severe forms of acne can not only be unsightly, but cause ongoing pain and discomfort for people of any age. People with such severe cases of acne often opt for prescription medications as treatment. Although antibiotics may be enough to treat certain forms of acne, others are resistant to such treatment and so require stronger medications. In order to address this condition, pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche developed Accutane, which uses Isotretinoin as its active ingredient. Unfortunately, Accutane comes with potentially dangerous side effects.

What is Accutane?

Accutane, or Isotretinoin, is a prescription medication used to treat a severe form of acne called severe recalcitrant nodular acne, for which no other treatment, such as antibiotics, has been successful. Related to Vitamin A, Accutane works by slowing down the production of sebum which may cause the formation of pimples and aiding in skin renewal. It comes in capsule form and is taken orally.

Although approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982, issues related to adverse side effects created many challenges in the FDA's post-approval management of the drug, eventually leading to its removal from the open market. In fact, since 1982, Accutane underwent over 30 "Labeling Revisions." It is now only available through a highly restricted prescription program. Yet, failure to warn consumers of some of its serious side effects continues to be a basis for potential legal action against the makers of Accutane.

Serious Side Effects of Accutane

Having been available for over a decade, Accutane was prescribed and taken by a large number of people before its safety issues prompted Roche to take it off market. Although the drug caused a number of less serious side effects, it became known for its causing of birth defects and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to a group of conditions affecting the small intestine and colon. The main forms of IBD are ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease. Although Crohn's disease and UC are different conditions, mainly in terms of location and the nature of the inflammation, they may both cause any of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Severe pelvic region cramps/muscle spasms;
  • Fever;
  • Rectal bleeding; and/or
  • Weight loss.

In severe cases, IBD can require surgery and extensive medical treatment. In the case of ulcerative colitis, there is also an increased risk of developing colon cancer. Although not commonly fatal, IBD can significantly lower a person's quality of life and create inordinate financial and emotional hardships.

Helping You Understand Your Legal Rights and Options in NJ

When pharmaceutical companies fail to properly warn consumers of dangerous side effects or fail to adequately and comprehensively test their drug to determine potential side effects, they endanger the health and well-being of every consumer that takes the drug.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a serious and life-altering condition. If you or a loved one suffers from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis as the result of Accutane use, the experienced New Jersey defective product attorneys at Blume Forte can investigate the details of your potential claim and advise you of your possible legal rights and potential options. To learn more, call us for a no-cost consultation at (973) 635-5400.

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