If you or someone you love has taken Accutane and been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Ulcerative Colitis or Crohns disease, this medication could be to blame.In 2005, the Accutane label was modified to warn that IBD had been associated with use of the drug.However, our Accutane IBD lawyers do not believe the warning accurately reflected this risk.
Accutane has been named in more than 5,000 lawsuits because of its dangerous side effects, including IBD. Recently, several plaintiffs in Accutane IBD lawsuits have won significant jury awards.In June 2009, Roche Laboratories decided to remove Accutane from the market, citing loss of market share.However, the company also acknowledged that it was incurring increasing costs because of the Accutane litigation.
If you or a loved one has used Accutane and suffers from IBD, we want to hear from you today. Our Accutane IBD lawyers intend to make sure Roche is held accountable for failing to adequately warn patients about this dangerous side effect.We are currently offering free lawsuit consultations to victims of Accutane-induced IBD.
Accutane was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982 as a treatment for recalcitrant acne. The active ingredient in Accutane is isotretinoin, which is derived from Vitamin A.
Accutane works by drying up sebum, an oily substance produced by skin glands. Too much sebum can lead to bacterial growth and inflammation of skin follicles, which in turn can lead to acne. Isotretinoin is also available in Amnesteem from Genpharm and Mylan, Claravis from Teva-Barr, and Sotret from Ranbaxy.
Accutane has long been associated with a number of very serious side effects. A current Black Box warning on Accutane cautions consumers about its potential to harm unborn children. Additional serious side effects associated with Accutane use include depression, IBD, and liver disease.
IBD and Accutane
IBD is a group of other, more specific disorders that are characterized by inflammation of the intestines. This inflammation is long-lasting and can develop over and over again, even if it should appear to clear up. Symptoms at first may appear to be similar to those of the stomach flu.
There is no cure for IBD, but there are treatments that can lessen suffering.
Early symptoms of IBD include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Pain in the joints
- Sudden weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Skin conditions
- Rectal bleeding
There are actually two types of IBD. Ulcerative colitis often causes ulcers and inflammation in the large intestine. In most cases, it begins in the rectum and works its way up the colon.
Crohns disease usually affects the small intestine, but can occur in all portions of the digestive tract, including the mouth, stomach, and colon. Ulcers result from Crohns disease that may go away without treatment, but they often recur in the same or other spots over and over again.
Treatment of IBD includes dietary changes that may require patients to reduce their intake of dairy products and fiber. Anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed to relieve the inflammation caused by IBD. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent or treat infection of the ulcers. More powerful medications, called immunosuppressants, may also be necessary. In the worst-case scenarios, surgery may be required.
In 2006 the American Journal of Gastroenterology published a study that noted a link between the use of isotretinoin and the development of IBD. Then, in March 30, 2010, an article published in the same journal linked Accutane use to bowel problems.In conducting the study, researchers from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill reviewed data from 87 health insurance plans and identified 8,189 people who had been diagnosed with IBD.They concluded that Accutane increased the risk of developing ulcerative colitis by a factor of four, depending on the daily dose of the drug.
Accutane IBD Litigation
Hundreds of people across the country have filed lawsuits claiming Accutane caused the development of IBD, including ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease.Juries in many of these lawsuits have been very sympathetic to plaintiffs.In November 2008, for example, a New Jersey jury ordered the company to pay $13 million to three such plaintiffs. The previous April, another New Jersey jury awarded $10.5 million to a woman who blamed the drug for her ulcerative colitis.
In May 2007, yet another New Jersey trial resulted in an award of $2.62 million to a patient who needed to have his colon and most of his rectum removed after taking the drug. In October that same year, a Florida jury awarded $7 million in damages to another Accutane user who developed IBD.