In Recognition of IBS Awareness Month, Public Health Watchdog Warns that Accutane Has been Associated with Severe Gastrointestinal Side Effects, Including IBS

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In Recognition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month, Public Health Watchdog Warns that Accutane Has been Associated with Severe Gastrointestinal Side Effects, Including IBS, as well as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease.

Public Health Watchdog is recognizing IBS wareness Month by warning that the acne drug, Accutane, may be associated with IBS, as well as other severe gastrointestinal disorders.

Public Health Watchdog, a media outlet created to inform the public about and protect them from defective drugs and medical devices, is recognizing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month by warning that the acne drug, Accutane, may be associated with IBS, as well as other severe gastrointestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Numerous lawsuits alleging Accutane caused serious gastrointestinal side effects, including IBS, are currently pending in a multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (MDL No. 1626). Accutane state mass tort litigations have also been established in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, (In Re: Accutane Litigation, Case ID No. 110601110), and in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County (In Re: Accutane Litigation, Case No. 271).

The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders declared April IBS Awareness Month in 1997. IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder which often produces symptoms of chronic stomach or abdominal pain and changes in bowel behavior such as diarrhea or constipation. According to IBS.org, IBS is common with worldwide prevalence estimated at 9% to 23%. Yet many people remain undiagnosed and unaware that their symptoms indicate a medically recognized disorder. Symptoms of IBS include:

  •     Abdominal pain or discomfort that is not caused by another illness or injury.
  •     Constipation, diarrhea, or alternation between the two.
  •     Higher than average sensitivity to large meals, alcohol, caffeine, certain drugs, and more.
  •     Changes in the frequency or consistency of bowel movements after the onset of the condition

Accutane was introduced by Roche Pharmaceuticals in 1982. However, according to Reuters, the company stopped selling Accutane in 2009, in part due to mounting legal costs from litigation alleging the drug caused serious side effects, including IBS, and other severe gastrointestinal disorders, in some users. [reuters.com/article/2009/06/26/roche-acne-idUSLQ637720090626]

Several studies have linked Accutane with severe gastrointestinal disorders. In 2009, University of North Carolina (UNC) researchers published a study that linked use of Accutane with gastrointestinal disorders. The study compared 21,832 healthy patients with 8,189 consumers who had been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. The UNC study results revealed that Accutane users were 1.68 times more likely to develop Accutane inflammatory bowel disease, and that patients who had filled four more prescriptions displayed a 2.67 times increased risk. Accutane users also showed a 4.36 greater chance of developing ulcerative colitis. [med.upenn.edu/gastro/documents/CrockettAccutane.pdf]

A more recent study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in March 30, 2010 looked at data from 87 health insurance plans and found nearly 8,200 people who had been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. Those taking Accutane were four times more likely to develop ulcerative colitis, while the chance of developing the bowel disorder rose in relation to the size of the Accutane dose. [nature.com/ajg/journal/v105/n9/full/ajg2010124a.html]

For more information about Accutane and serious gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS, please view this video blog produced by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP.

About Public Health Watchdog
Public Health Watchdog is a media outlet created to provide consumers with up-to-date information about defective drugs and medical devices that could endanger their health. For more information on dangerous drugs and medical devices, please visit Public Health Watchdog today.

Contact:     Herbert Waichman, Partner
                 Parker Waichman LLP
                 (800) LAW-INFO
                  (800) 529-4636
                      http://www.yourlawyer.com

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Herb Waichman, Partner
Parker Waichman LLP
(800) 529-4636
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