Accutane, belongs from the family of drugs called retinoids, which is a chemical compound of Vitamin A. It is used for the aid of acute acne. This powerful drug is prescribed mainly when other drugs are proved ineffective.

The drug was introduced to the public and FDA approved it in 1982. But on June 29, 2009, the manufacturer Roche US Pharmaceuticals withdrew it from the market.

The question naturally comes against such a step. Let us find out.

Accutane contained extremely high doses of Vitamin A; therefore patients were exposed to severe health problems. The consumers became prone to cataract, optic neuritis, menstrual disturbances, bone disease and more.

Accutane pregnancy problem:

Accutane was also a threat to the pregnant. Accutane birth defects came in the forms of visual impairment, hearing problem, mental retardation and facial dysmorphism. The drug may lead to abnormal development of body organs or with abnormal structures for a newborn. Report says, Roche reported FDA that there were 162 birth defects between the years of 1982 to 2000.


Accutane also affects psychic health of a patient. There had been several suicidal cases or attempts had been recorded after the consumption of this drug. On December 2002, UPI Medical Correspondent Steve Mitchell declared the new found link in between suicide or mental depression and Accutane.

Intestinal Problems:

Accutane triggers intestinal problems also; a number of intestinal problem like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and many other problems can arise due to the consumption of this drug. Doctors used to stop the drug if any patient was seemed suffering from severe health or bowel problems after taking the drug.

Lawsuits against Accutane:

There were numerous lawsuits filed against Accutane. According toUS medication law, any individual him or herself or any of the family members of any individual who has suffered from the wrong side effects of a drug, can file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer.

There were over 5000 lawsuits filed against Roche Pharmaceuticals over Accutane side effects. One woman was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis who received $10.5 million over her pain. Roche also paid $78,500 for the medical expenses of the woman. There were more other cases which were not so successful for the defendants.

In February, 2010 Roche and Accutane again made the headlines as the company had to pay more than $25 million to a man who were suffering from inflammatory bowel disease years after consuming Accutane.

There were no case filed over sudden death after Accutane intake, but most of the cases were on suicidal thoughts, gastrointestinal disorders or psychiatric side effects. The defendants claimed that the company failed or neglected the law and the potential threat by the drug by hiding its adverse reactions on the mind of the people. However, after FDA had found 147 known cases of suicide or suicidal attempts by consuming Accutane, the manufacturing company was asked to update the warning levels.
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Author's Bio: 

Jack Taylor
Powers Taylor LLP is a boutique litigation firm that represents people injured by unsafe drugs. The attorneys of Powers Taylor founded this firm to focus on client needs. We employ unique and creative litigation strategies to obtain decisive results for our clients.