Accutane / Isotretinoin

Modified on 2010/08/04 08:50 by Chrissie Cole
Accutane, a drug manufactured by Roche Laboratories and approved by the FDA in 1982, is used in the treatment of resistant nodular cystic, the most severe form of acne. The drug has been very effective in attacking acne in patients who have not responded well to more conventional treatments such as topical agents or antibiotics. However, doctors must carefully monitor patients taking Accutane because of certain adverse reactions. Frequent blood tests are required to ensure that the drug is not damaging the liver. Additionally, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant must not take or handle Accutane as severe birth defects may result. Accutane's potential psychological effects received attention recently after allegations from U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) that his son's suicide was due in part to Accutane-induced depression. Roche has added additional warnings to the drug's packaging regarding the possibility of Accutane-induced depression.

Accutane Lawsuits & Removal


A lawsuit filed by television actor James Marshall, against the manufacturer of Accutane, will go to trial in August, dragging the troubled acne drug back into the spotlight. The suit claims the drug caused bowel problems so serious that he eventually had to get his colon removed.


In June 2009, Roche pulled Accuntane from the U.S. market citing economic reasons for the decision, although he drug has always been cloaked in controversy, dating back to the late eighties when it was linked to serious birth defects.


In July, a New Jersey jury awarded $2.6 million to a man who claimed Accutane caused inflammatory bowel diseas. He also charged, the manufacturer failed to warn customers of the serious side effects that caused him to have multiple surgeries, including the removal of his colon.

Consumer Safety

See your doctor if you have suffered serious adverse side effects, including but not limited to severe depression, after taking Accutane. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Acne & Other Skin Disorder Drugs: Overview
  2. Birth Defects
  3. Congenital Heart Defects
  4. Depression: Overview
  5. Ischemic Colitis: Overview
  6. Accutane: Frequently Asked Questions
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