Side Effects of Accutane
Frenkel & Frenkel offers this in-depth explanation of the potential side effects of Accutane, including recent reports of new side effects.
The side effects of Accutane, a prescription drug taken orally for the treatment of severe acne, range from minor to life threatening. Minor side effects include dry skin, dry mouth, and inflammation of the whites of the eyes. However, some users report depression, changes in behavior, seizures, and thoughts of suicide. Frenkel & Frenkel, a Dallas law firm, provides more information about the dangerous side effects of Accutane.
Minor Side Effects
For most users, the side effects of Accutane are relatively minor. Because isotretinoin--the generic form of Accutane--shrinks the sebaceous glands, common side effects are related to dry skin, such as flaking, peeling, or lip chapping. These side effects can be addressed by using moisturizers to relieve the discomfort. However, not all of the side effects of Accutane are easily corrected.
Miscarriage and Birth Defects
Just one dose of Accutane by a pregnant woman can cause severe birth defects. For this reason, women using Accutane must use two forms of birth control before, during and for one month after using the drug. In addition, doctors are required to perform regular pregnancy tests prior to and during the use of Accutane. Birth defects include enlargement of the fluid-filled spaces in the brain, small head and brain, mental retardation, heart defects, ear and eye abnormalities, cleft lip and palate and other facial abnormalities. The side effects of Accutane can be devastating.
Depression and Suicide
One of the most frightening side effects of Accutane is an increased risk of depression and suicide among those taking the drug. Even more concerning is that ceasing to take the drug does not necessarily end the depression or suicidal tendencies. Depression in those taking Accutane occurred even in patients that had no family or prior history of depression. Researchers at the University of Bath, UK believe that Accutane may disrupt the way the body makes and uses serotonin, which may be the reason for depression and suicidal thoughts in users.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that patients taking Accutane werefour times as likely to develop inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, than those who did not take the drug. This makes IBD the latest of the side effects of Accutane. Although the link between Accutane and IBD is still under investigation, early reports indicate that there is a significant risk for those taking Accutane to develop IBD.