Why have so many people chosen to file an Accutane lawsuit recently?

The primary ingredient in Accutane is isotretinoin, an acid that can have profound effects on the body.  From 1982 to 1998, this drug was widely prescribed.  However, in the late 90s and into the 2000s, a bulk of the medical research on this drug demonstrated serious adverse effects, some of them permanent. As a result, many people who have taken the medication are now seeking restitution for their health problems.

What is isotretinoin typically used for?

Isotretinoin was developed by Hoffman-La Roche, though Dr. Gary Peck is believed to be the person responsible for finding medical applications for it.  In strong enough doses, it is highly effective at shutting down sebum production in skin follicles.  This prevents the sub dermal inflammation that occurs when sebum builds up in excess under the skin. As a result, it is effective at curing hormonal and cystic acne.  This made isotretinoin an extremely popular drug following its creation.

What dangers have led people to pursue an Accutane lawsuit?

The problem with isotretinoin is that doctors do not know exactly how it works in the body.  While it is reliable at preventing acne from forming, it can have unpredictable effects on a person’s overall health.  By far the most severe side effect of the drug is its extreme risk of causing birth defects. Isotretinoin is teretogenic, meaning it has a profound effect on the genetics in a developing fetus.  Between 1982 and 2003, around 2,000 women became pregnant while taking the medication.  Of these, 160 births resulted in significant congenital defects. Most of the remaining pregnancies ended in miscarriage or abortion.

Isotretinoin is also believed to be responsible for many cases of inflammatory bowel disease, specifically ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Research in this area is still ongoing.  Many patients have also expressed psychological disturbance while taking the medication, particularly depression and suicidal ideation.  Further studies are being performed in this area of research.

The medication may also cause irregular bone growth that is permanent.  This may result in stunted or excess bone growth.

What research has been done on isotretinoin?

This drug is one of the most researched substances in the world, with the medical community producing several studies every year regarding its safety.  These studies often find novel ways in which isotretinoin interacts with the body.  For example, a study in May of 2009 showed that the substance altered the expression of hundreds of genes in the skin, resulting in major changes in skin biology.  The drug has also been shown to induce cell death in some parts of the hypothalamus and hippocampus, which is responsible for the regulation of memory and some emotional responses in the brain. The implications of this research are still being studied.

Who can help me file an Accutane lawsuit?

Because isotretinoin can cause a range of effects, it is best for a victim to seek out an attorney who has handled these cases before.  A personal injury lawyer with experience in drug injuries, and particularly isotretinoin, can help a victim file a claim, put together a demand package, negotiate a settlement and, if necessary, argue the case in court.  With a competent legal expert on their side, the victim stands a much better chance of putting together a successful claim.