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Accutane Inflammatory Bowel Disease Sparks Lawsuits

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the most severe side effects associated with the cystic acne medication, Accutane, and has formed the basis for thousands of lawsuits. Some victims have successfully received significant Accutane settlements. One jury verdict handed awarded over $25 million to a young man with IBD.

In 2009, Hoffman La-Roche, the manufacturer of Accutane, took the medication off the market, in part due to increasing evidence of side effects from Accutane use, as well as expensive litigation and payouts. As of 2012, only isotretinoin – the generic version of Accutane – is available for purchase.

IBD includes Accutane Crohns disease and Accutane ulcerative colitis

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic condition that causes pain and complications of the digestive tract. Two of the most common types of the condition are Accutane Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which share symptoms including abdominal cramping, inflammation, discomfort and irritation of the gastrointestinal organs.

IBD patients may experience health problems such as fever, appetite loss, anemia, bloody stool or diarrhea, weight loss, and the frequent urge to have a bowel movement. In severe cases, inflammatory bowel disease can lead to life-threatening conditions like bleeding ulcers, bowel rupture, intestinal blockages, perianal disease, fistulas, and bowel cancer. There is no cure for IBD.

Click for more information regarding side effects from Accutane use.

Did drug label warn of Accutane inflammatory bowel disease?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that drug companies update a medication’s warning label as soon as reasonable evidence reveals a positive link to side effects. Before 2009, when Accutane was removed from the market, the drug’s warning label listed possible side effects including inflammatory bowel disease and stated, “In some instances, symptoms have been reported to persist after Accutane treatment has been stopped.”

Today, the FDA warns consumers that they should never purchase Accutane, or generic isotretinoin, over the Internet.

Lawsuits yield substantial Accutane settlements

As of 2012, several Accutane lawsuits have enjoyed significant success. Most notably, Andrew McCarrell, who in 2007 filed his lawsuit in New Jersey, was awarded a settlement in excess of $25 million, the highest jury verdict reported so far.   Substantial amounts have also been awarded to other plaintiffs who suffer from Accutane related inflammatory bowel disease.

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