Accutane has received extensive media coverage recently, as use of the acne medication may be linked to mental changes leading to depression.
Accutane Lawsuit Update 7/2/12: Last month, pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding AG was ordered to pay a total of $18 million to settle a pair of lawsuits claiming that Accutane caused the plaintiffs’ inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The company has now lost nine of 13 lawsuits brought by former Accutane users that have gone to trial since April 2007. Click here to learn more.
What’s the problem?
Sadly, Accutane has been the subject of concern for many years and has been linked not only to depression but to suicidal ideation as well. Roche Laboratories sent a letter to physicians in 1998 stating “Accutane may cause depression, psychosis, and suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and suicide. Discontinuation of Accutane therapy may be insufficient.” Additionally, research at the University of Bath (UK) and University of Texas at Austin (USA) discovered that Accutane increases the production of proteins and cell metabolites that are known to reduce the availability of Serotonin in the brain. Lower levels of Serotonin are strongly linked to depression, aggression, suicide ideation, compulsions, obsessive thoughts (fears), impaired sleep/appetite, fatigue, etc.
In November 2004, Accutane was listed as one of the top five drugs most dangerous to human health by the FDA. This ranking was made in part because of the link between Accutane and depression. Accutane use is also associated with a number of other extremely harmful side effects including severe birth defects, spontaneous abortion, impaired vision, Crohn’s disease, anaphylactic and allergic reaction, erratic bone growth, skin problems, hearing impairment, elevation of blood fat, joint inflammation, and a variety of other negative health consequences.