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Acne Drug Blamed for Son's Suicide

Feb 2, 2006 |

A Menasha couple blames the acne drug Accutane for there son's suicide.

Warren and Wendy Zimmer say there is no other reason their son would suddenly take his own life. By all accounts, Justin Zimmer was a good kid with a great future ahead of him. He was an A student, class president, and very good athlete in three sports.

But he had complexion issues, and on December 19, his doctor prescribed Accutane. Less than a month later, on January 15, Justin took his own life.

His parents put the blame squarely on the Accutane side effects, which include depression.

"We were thinking that it would be something like a progressive thing that you would notice a change," Warren Zimmer said.

"He promised us that if he felt any differently that he would definitely talk to us. We were comfortable with that," said Justin's mother.

Justin's parents say neither they nor any of his friends detected any signs of depression or suicidal tendencies.

"He had so many things to look forward to. His birthday is tomorrow. He was supposed to get his drivers license tomorrow," Wendy Zimmer said. "He was looking forward to that!"

The Zimmers say the medical community is suddenly silent about Accutane. The Zimmers, however, have a message for anyone about to use Accutane, even if it was clearing their son's complexion.

"Don't do it," they said. "It's not worth it."

"Justin was a beautiful person inside. It didn't matter what his face looked like."

Justin’s tragic death isn’t a single example of Accutane depression consequences. Many of those who suffered the drug’s psychiatric side effects have already filed lawsuits against Roche

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