Accutane is an anti-acne drug intended for use on the most serious forms of acne, and only after other acne treatments have been tried but failed to produce good results. However, Accutane also carries with it some serious side effects, including suicidal thoughts and actions and intestinal problems, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may lead to the removal of all or part of the colon or large intestine. Although Accutane manufacturer Hoffman-La Roche has known about the dangers of IBD and other side effects since the initial trials of the drug in the early 1980s, the company did not take steps to put strong warnings in the prescribing information. Hoffman-La Roche has recently withdrawn Accutane from the market due to the risk it poses, but too late for many people who suffered serious injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a dangerous side effect of taking Accutane for acne, you may be eligible for compensation. To learn more, please contact the pharmaceutical injury lawyers at Techmeier Law Firm for a free case evaluation.
The active ingredient in Accutane is isotretinoin, a chemical that is similar to retinol, vitamin A. It works by inhibiting the function of the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin and contribute to several types of acne, including nodular acne. The exact mechanism by which the chemical works is not known, which applies equally to the positive and negative effects of this dangerous drug.
High Danger, Inadequate Warning
Accutane has long been known to cause some types of potentially serious side effects, including:
- Birth defects
- Psychological changes, including depression, suicidal thoughts and actions, violent thoughts actions, psychosis
- Pancreatitis, including fatal hemorrhagic pancreatitis
- Liver damage
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Boxed warnings are given only for birth defects. Accutane is considered a pregnancy class X drug, and women should not take the drug while pregnant and should be continually screened for pregnancy while using Accutane.
However, with over 200 confirmed cases of suicide linked to Accutane (and internal FDA documents suggesting the real number could be as much as 100 times that high), Hoffman-La Roche did not act to put stronger warnings on the drug label. It also did not work to increase the warnings related to gastrointestinal disorders, including IBD and fatal pancreatitis.
Litigation against Hoffman-La Roche
As a result of several congressional hearings looking into Accutane and the dealings of Hoffman-La Roche, many people believe that La Roche has acted to conceal or deny the severity of reactions to Accutane while simultaneously advertising the drug directly to the public. A combination of direct-to-patient advertising and concealment of risks led to more people receiving Accutane and suffering dangerous side effects.
As a result, many lawsuits against Hoffman-La Roche have been resolved in favor of people who were injured or lost loved ones due to Accutane use.
Why Choose Techmeier Law Firm for Your Accutane Lawsuit
The pharmaceutical injury lawyers at Techmeier Law Firm have experience dealing with these complicated cases that require knowledge of both medical and legal issues. In addition, Techmeier Law Firm can draw on the financial and legal resources of a nationwide network of some of the best lawyers in the country to pursue the best possible resolution of your case.
If you have suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one as a result of Accutane use, please call 800-242-1050 or use our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.