Accutane is a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of severe acne. Over 5,000 dangerous drug personal injury lawsuits have been filed against Roche Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Accutane, alleging that serious injuries have been caused by the drug. As of 2009, Accutane was pulled from the market. However, the generic form, isotretinoin, is still available under other brand names including Claravis, Amnesteem and Sotret. These acne medications can cause extremely severe side-effects that include:
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease
• Ulcerative colitis
• Crohn’s Disease
• Gastrointestinal disorders
• Severe depression
• Suicidal thoughts
• Birth defects
• Liver damage
Because the side-effects are so serious, it is important that doctors screen patients before prescribing the medication. Some people should not take isotretinoin. A doctor should ask about the following before prescribing any form of isotretinoin .
• Possibility of pregnancy. Isotretinoin can cause dangerous birth defects, so it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or might become pregnant.
• Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)
• Metabolic disorders
• Severe weight problems
• Eating disorders
• Bone disorders or diseases, including osteomacalcia (softening of the bones) and osteoporosis
• Eye or vision problems
• Hearing problems
• Heart disease
• Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides in the blood)
• History of intestinal disorders
• Pseydotumor cerebri
• History of psychosis
• History of depression
• Vitamin A overdose
• Kidney disease
• Liver disease
Doctors should ask patients if they are taking any other drugs before prescribing isotretinoin. Isotretinoin should be avoided by anyone taking the following drugs, unless medically necessary.
• Birth control pills containg: desogestrel, ethinyl estradiol, ethynodiol, mestranol, norgestimate, norgestrel, etonogestrel (in NuvaRing and implant contraceptives), levonogestrel (Mirena, Norplant, Jadelle, and emergency contraceptive pills), or norelgestromin (in the patch Ortho Evra).
• Norethindrone (Aygestin)
• Phenytoin and other drugs used to treat seizures
• St. John’s Wort
• Tetracycline antibiotics, including tetracycline, Brodspec, Sumycin, Tetracap, demeclocycline, Declomycin, doxycycline, Doryx, Vibramycin, minocycline, and Minocin
• Vitamin A supplements
Women who take isotretinoin must agree to take part in the iPLEDGE program which is designed to prevent women who are pregnant or might become pregnant from taking the drug. Women in the program are required to use two forms of birth control and take a pregnancy test before receiving their prescription. They are also required to take monthly pregnancy tests while on the drug.
Doctor should explain the risks of the medication to the patient before prescribing any form of isotretinoin.
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