Accutane is an acne medication that was once widely used, but withdrawn from the market in June 2009. The manufacturer, Hoffman-LaRoche, discontinued the drug as it faced Accutane lawsuits related to the drug’s powerful side effects.
Accutane is also known as isotretinoin. Approved for use in 1982, the medicine was originally manufactured to treat certain types of cancer. Later marketed as an acne medication, it proved effective at treating severe nodular acne, a chronic condition characterized by large, red, swollen lumps on the skin. Left untreated, severe nodular acne can cause permanent scarring.
Between 1982 and 2009, Accutane was used by more than 13 million patients, including those in Massachusetts. Additionally, many other individuals used generic equivalents, such as Amnesteem, Claravis and Sotret. The generic equivalents are still being prescribed.
The drug has long faced government scrutiny for its side effects, including birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, liver damage, suicidal thoughts and depression. In many cases, patients have required extensive medical treatment and surgery to correct Accutane injuries.
The FDA has issued several warnings about Accutane over the years. In 2005, it warned users to watch out for symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts and mood disturbance. The government agency has worked with Hoffman-LaRoche for many years on its iPledge program to reduce the risk of birth defects among female users. In 2007, the FDA warned consumers not to purchase Accutane or its generic equivalents over the Internet without consulting a doctor.
If you have taken Accutane, it is important to be informed of your rights. If you have taken the defective drug and suffered personal injuries as a result, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer.
Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston, Massachusetts is skilled at handling product liability cases involving defective drugs such as Accutane.