There have been a lot more personal injury lawyers airing commercials about Accutane being linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This perked my interest so I hopped online to find out what was going on. There are quite a few lawyers out there offering their services for pursuing legal action against Roche Holdings(creator of Accutane). Some of these lawyers though are incorrectly stating that Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease(Crohn’s/Ulcerative Colitis) are the same thing. They are not & Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not what these lawsuits are about.
Accutane has been studied for possible links to Inflammatory Bowel Disease as far back as 2001. Also non-public internal documents from Roche Holdings suggests that Accutane damages the intestinal tract & that physicians who were prescribing Accutane also noted a higher risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Accutane was “discontinued” by Roche Holdings in 2009, though the generic form is still available under the name Isotretinoin. Roche Holdings claims removing Accutane from market was not due to the lawsuits or concerns over safety.
Accutane has always been a very powerful substance. Even before this link to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Accutane had warnings for women who were pregnant since it can cause birth defects. It has also been indicated as a cause of depression.
The first Accutane lawsuit ended in 2007. The lawsuit found Roche Holdings liable for failing to label the drug correctly & awarded plaintiff Andrew McCarrell $2.62 million dollars. Roche Holdings appealed this judgement & the case was re-tried in 2010. The re-trial ended and again with Roche holdings found liable, but this time Mr. McCarrel was awarded over $25 million dollars.
Since 2007 then there have been other lawsuits that have come to completion & the outlook is not looking good for Roche Holdings. Although one judgment was overturned on appeal, there are hundreds more lawsuits on the way.
Most of the people who have won awards have been severely affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease, needing parts of their lower digestive tract removed. Due to the large quantity of people who are filing for lawsuits, I am wondering if this may turn into a class action lawsuit, though the award settlements usually amounts to far less when dealing with class-action style lawsuits.
Are you someone who is pursuing legal action against Roche Holdings or are you a lawyer representing something who is? Please comment below and let us know your story.
Hi, great post!
I’m a lawyer representing a number of persons with bowel problems resulting from Accutane use.
There have been over 1,000 Accutane lawsuits filed against Roche, the manufacturer of Accutane, as well as lawsuits filed against makers of generic Accutane (isotretinoin).
Six cases have resulted in jury verdicts (including the two jury verdicts you mentioned for Andrew McCarrell), and all six have been large victories against Roche. Roche has appealed all of them. Our team has been involved with all of these trials.
Most of the Accutane cases are pending in New Jersey and have not been certified as a class action. They are all separate cases. We’ll see if Roche continues to take them to trial, as their track record at trial has not been very good.
Of course, Roche denies any liability despite the scientific and medical evidence linking Accutane to bowel conditions. It would cost them too much money to admit there is a problem, so even when lawsuits are settled it is under a confidentiality agreement and the company makes no admission of liability.
Interestingly, when Roche took Accutane off the market (in the U.S. and certain other countries) in 2009, it released a press release that did say that it was “faced with high costs from personal-injury lawsuits”. This suggests that the lawsuits were a factor in its decision to withdraw Accutane — otherwise, why mention it?
Accutane is a very powerful drug that, unfortunately, was prescribed in many cases involving only mild or moderate acne. There were strong warnings on the label for many different conditions, but bowel problems were not among those warnings. That is why most of the Accutane lawsuits involve inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
It is sad to see so many people whose lives have been turned upside down by IBD as a result of taking Accutane.
I took accutane this last summer and not even 6 months after starting it I was diagnosed with ibs gastritis gerd and gastroparesis. I hope you can help
My son took Accutane for a full year at the age of 13. At the age of 20 he started having stomach issues. He has now been diagnosed with Gerd, and Gastroparesis. He has lost so much weight that I worry about him. This is a horrible drug!
Many people that go on accutane have to try taking antibiotics first to see they will clear up the acne. Sometimes patients can be on antibiotics for years. Does this long term use of antibiotics play a role in accutane’s effects on the digestive system? Do they antibiotics leave the digestive system compromised before patients even start the accutane? Do you know of any related medical studies Also, for patients already on accutance is there anything they can do,such as diet, to help prevent IBD and Crohn’s Disease?
I am not aware of any studies that suggest antibiotic usage before taking Accutane was the cause of a person’s Crohn’s disease. I don’t believe it’s really even known why Accutane causes Crohn’s besides it being hard on the digestive tract and being a very powerful drug. Branded Accutane has been removed from the market, Isotretinoin generic is still probably available. There are diets you can try, that can help with digestive issues such as IBS or IBD, but they aren’t guaranteed to cure or improve IBD and no one knows if they can prevent it, but you might try checking them out.
To date, over 2,500 cases have been filed in New Jersey as a part of the Accutane Mass Tort Litigation against the manufacturers of Accutane and generic isotretinoin. If you believe you have developed Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease as a result of taking Accutane or generic isotretinoin, please visit http://www.vamasstortlawyers.com for more information about your legal rights.
hi, my name is Luis and I took Accutane as result my intestine hurts so much that i wake up at night with severe pain on my intestine. and its been 5 or 6 years that have diarrhea. So I went to the doctor and he told me that the problem is in my intestine. i thinking about suing Roche for what i have.
Perhaps you might want to get in contact with one of the two law offices that posted here or look for a local law office that works with personal injury claims. You will also want to get an exact diagnosis from your doctor to determine if you do have Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis or something else.
Hi, my name is Tilda and I took Accutane for over 11 years. The doctors just kept perscribing it. You know I was so trusting of those doctors, and in the end look what it has done for me — it has given me ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel s, I even had to have my leg amputated because the pain was so bad in the joints. I am filing a lawsuit as soon as I can.
@Tilda, I am so sorry to hear of the pain you’ve gone through. I would definitely try to find a lawyer ASAP as the legal process is usually slow… Perhaps you might want to check out Advocacy For Patients With Chronic Illness @ http://www.advocacyforpatients.org/
I am Canadian. There is currently a class action being launched by the Merchant Law group against Roch for accutane use. they have about 1100 in the class so far. Unfortunately my son took a generic form sold in canada by prempharm called Clarus.
Are there people out there who took Clarus and now suffer from IBD? Maybe if enough people respond The Merchant Law Group might agree to expand the class to generic users. If you are out there send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
What about GERD and Globus Hystericus? Around about my 6th and final month into taking accutane, I developed acid reflux, and started to feel like my throat had a ball in it. My throat was extremely dry and would sometimes click when I swallowed. I have been on every drug, changed my diet, etc., but two years later, no relief. I have seen online that MANY people complaining of this as well. Is there any resource or assistance with the other types of damage this drug can do and any legal assistance for that? I never had ANY issues until taking this drug. PS your acne will come back after a few months, lol.
Does anyone know if there is a link between Accutane and gastroparesis? Are there any cases of this currently in litigation?
Hi Bonnie! My 16 year old son just returned home today from a 5 day stay in the hospital for gastroparesis. He was put on Accutane about a year ago for 6 months. I am wondering if there are other people as well who have taken Accutane and wound up with gastroparesis. I would appreciate hearing from others who feel there is a link between the two. My son has always been the epitome of health up until two weeks ago. Looking back throughout the year however, what I thought was a stomach bug from time to time turned out to be something very different. Thank you for your help in either alleviating my worries that there’s no connection or help me to see that there is one. Thank you! Julie Toliver
Thanks for posting Julie, sorry to hear about your son’s illness with Gastroparesis. At this time I am not aware of any known studies or lawsuits that link Accutane to Gastroparesis. Gastroparesis hasn’t been very well studied, so it’s not surprising that there hasn’t been much research on if Accutane causes Gastroparesis.
I’ll keep my eyes on the lookout for any such information though.
Bonnie & Julie,I am very interested in discussing my past complications due to what I believe was Accutane.Which I only took for 6 months in 2000.I had a gastric pacemaker placed in 2006 due to severe gastroparesis and bouts of accute pancreatitis.I am living much better now but the device only helps not cures.I have also seen the lawsuits for accutane and feel because they have no idea what problems accutane can cause they just dismiss any claims that aren’t supported by enough people.I would think they would rather address all medical concerns with a few patients before it was administered to thousands.Please contact me.I have been trying to link my problems to accutane for over 11 email@example.com
I’m so very sorry to hear this S. Redden. I can’t help but wonder this very thing myself. Since my last posting, we have continued to be in and out of the hospital, and we are going back tomorrow, because he is still throwing up. I will try to get in touch with you soon, and again, I am so sorry to hear you have dealt so long with this wicked gastroparesis! It’s a nightmare.
i also have severe, debilitating gastroparesis and i took accutane while i was in high school. however, there was about a 5 year gap between the two – i didn’t get GP until after college. i wonder though if they could be related.
It is so strange to hear of all your stories. I have just been diagnosed with gastroparesis, I am convinced it has been brought on by accutane.
It was November 2009 I had a very bad infection on my chin that no antibiotic cream/pills would shift. I was then sent to a dermatologist who suggested accutane. I read through the hundreds of side effects but still chose to go on it. I only had it for 4-5 months. August 2010 I began getting awful pains in chest etc. After multiple hospital admissions and test after test a year later I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis.
I have alwas been a fit and healthy teenager ad never suffered from any condition. My consultant says it is unusual to get Gastroparesis when you are my age and don’t have diabetes. He is looking into the accutane link!!!
Please help if I have a case against Accutane!
Hello, I’m so happy to read your posts about Gastroperesis, my otherwise healthy son went on Acutane for 8 mos about three years ago and begin throwing up everyday when we told his Dr. about it he said he didn’t think Acutane and suggested an OTC allergy med???? Anyway after several years of illness, throwing up and extreme weightloss he’s been diagnosed with Gastroperesis. I’ve asked his Dr.s about the possibility of this being caused by the Acutane, but they say, they have no idea what caused it. He’s 20 now and in college and struggles with his illness and is trying very hard to understand and live with this disease. Any info you could give me about the relation of Acutane and Gastroperesis and living with this horrible disease would be greatly appreciated!
Other’s have commented here that there could be a connection between Gastroparesis & Accutane. Accutane does appear to be hard on the digestive system. Currently there is no hard data that Accutane causes Crohn’s Disease or Gastroparesis.
Please check out Crystal Saltrelli’s site, Living With Gastroparesis she has a lot of information & a book available which can be very helpful.
You might want your son to take a break from college to work on trying to get his health under control. Some people do make full or partial recoveries from Gastroparesis or are able to live around it somewhat successfully.
I originally asked the question about a link between gastroparesis and Accutane about 10 mos ago. Since that time my son has seen 3 different gastroenterologists and none have been able to definitively diagnose him and yet he continues to lose weight, is hungry yet feels full all the time and has abdominal pain constantly. We have an appointment with a neurogastroenterologist in two weeks. Was wondering if anyone had experience with seeing a neurogastroenterologist and if this type of specialist was able to successfully diagnose and treat them? My son has been ill now for almost 2 yrs. I am still pursuing a link between Accutane and his symptoms, not for a lawsuit but to make sure the generic form of Accutane is removed from the market so no one else’s child’s health is ruined by this drug. I appreciate all the posts since my original one. Thank you.
I took my son to see the neurogastroenterologist last week and she does believe he has gastroparesis and does think there is a link with Accutane. He has to have a 5 hr. gastric emptying study and an bariostat EGD to diagnose it definitely and to see what treatment might be effective.
Any suggestions on next steps to get the generic form of Accutane off the market before others are harmed would be appreciated. I wrote to the FDA approx. one year ago with no response. Thank you.
It sounds like you’re on the right path as far as getting a diagnosis for your son. As far as getting Accutane/Isotretinoin off the market, that is much harder to do. A recent supreme court ruling makes it extremely hard to sue a generic manufacturer for damages. The fact that there are no proven studies linking Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Gastroparesis to Accutane will make it even harder. There are currently thousands of lawsuits pending against Roche, the manufacturer of the brand name version Accutane. Perhaps there will be more information that comes to light from Roche internal documents as the lawsuits progress. That information may help lead to it being taken off the market entirely or for the FDA to require stronger warnings. Petitioning the FDA may be the right thing to do as well, but we would need a flood of requests rather than a trickle :(.
My daughter took Roaccutane for a short time but blood tests revealed dangerous liver levels so had to stop. Liver levels went back to normal. Within a year she had gastroparesis, diagnosed after gastic emptying test, and surgery for a feeding tube as she couldn’t keep down food or water. Now has a tube in her lower abdomen to bypass stomach, and hooks up to a pump each night for her nutrition. Constipation has been linked all along as well. Also has severe depression and suicide issues. Co-incidence or is there a link with accutane? We live in Australia. Anyone know of research, studies, or at least anyone compiling data about patients and side effects. If no data is collected, links can’t be made.
There was a large study published in the Annals of Gastroenterology 9/12. It concluded there was no connection between Accutane and Crohns/Colitis. A second article 1/13 showed a likely connection between IBS and Acne…NOT Accutane. They cautioned against coming to conclusion using a “study” that included only 85 people. There are many possible links in acne treatment such as antibiotic use that are unanswered.
People, note…who started this blog? An attorney who makes a living suing Roche, the maker of Accutane! The attorneys make money on YOU and YOUR pain/illness. They convince you there is someone to sue to make it better. THEY get a HUGE amount of all settlements. They grabbed on to a loophole and ran with it because there were no studies to prove otherwise. Now there are. They attorneys were wrong. Are they still there for you? Probably not.
I assure you that I am not a lawyer who makes money from suing Roche. If you can link to your studies, that would be helpful, as I could not locate an issue of Annals of Gastroenterology for September 2012.
It is the most prescribed drug for acne treatment and also prescribed for cancer treatment also. The side effects are worst sometimes.
hi I’m an Australian woman, 60yrs of age who took two doses of Roaccutane at age 35 (so way back).
I had severe subaceous cysts and it took two treatments to conquer them. I had had treatment with minomycin quite a few years previously (very temporary relief) and then given up til my 30s.
I have had ulcerative colitis for 20 odd yrs (mild) and looking for anti inflammatory diet today came across the link to Accutane for the first time.
I was not diagnosed for many years because I don’t like going to doctor’s and my case has been mild enough for me to manage alone.
December 2015 however saw a flare up of such unusual severity (which may be related to the fact I’d just given up smoking – apparently smoking helps UC) that I finally had the colonoscopy I’ve put off for decades and got the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, proctitis. Even so it is a comparatively mild case – I have usually been in remission – I am lucky. Also told by my specialist today that progressive degeneration unlikely.
Does anyone know if ulcerative colitis caused by the drug usually present within a few years or can it wait for decades? I am concerned about a relative who is OK at present but did take the drug about 20yrs ago.
I took accutane 16 yrs ago at a moderate dosage for 4.5 weeks. My health declined rapidly after that and within 6 months could not digest anything properly. My life as I knew it before accutane was over. I’ve been diagnosed with severe IBS, nerve damage in the GI tract, and gastroparesis. It was the accutane. My life has been very difficult since then. I wonder if any class action lawsuits will be awarded in Canada or elsewhere. It is not fair what happened to many people because of this drug…