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Georgia Accutane Injury AttorneysAccutane is a medication intended for the treatment of severe acne. It was first introduced in 1982 and has been used by more than 16 million patients worldwide. Citing growing competition from generics and a string of Accutane lawsuits, the makers of the drug pulled it from the U.S. market in 2009. However the medication continues to remain in use in other countries.

More than 5,000 Accutane claims have been filed against the makers of the drug, Hoffman-LaRoche (Roche Pharmaceuticals), by attorneys representing people who experienced severe side effects after its use. Most Accutane claims have been filed by people suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns Disease, hair loss, blindness, depression or birth defects. Most of the plaintiffs claim that they developed severe gastrointestinal disorders after taking the medication and criticize Roche for not issuing a better warning about the dangerous side effects of the drug.

The latest development in the series of Accutane lawsuits occurred on February 16, 2010, when a New Jersey court ruled that Roche Pharmaceuticals must pay $25.16 million in damages to a man who claimed he developed debilitating inflammatory bowel disease after taking the medication. This came after an earlier ruling stating the company must pay the man $2.6 million in damages was overturned on appeal.

Accutane Side Effects

Crohn's Disease

One side effect that has been linked to Accutane is Crohn's Disease, a gastrointestinal disorder that is extremely uncomfortable for those that suffer the effects. Crohn’s disease is an ongoing disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, also referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease can affect any area of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. The swelling extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The swelling can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea. Crohn’s Disease is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal discomfort often located in the lower right quadrant
  • Bloody stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Ulcers
  • Weight loss

In severe cases, patients with Crohn’s disease may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Skin complications
  • Stunted growth in children

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, the general name for diseases that cause swelling in the intestines. Because the symptoms of Crohn’s disease are similar to other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, it can be difficult to diagnose. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the top layer of the lining of the large intestine. In Crohn’s disease, all layers of the intestine may be involved, and normal healthy bowel can be found between sections of diseased bowel.

Crohn’s disease affects men and women equally and seems to run in some families. About 20 percent of people with Crohn’s disease have a blood relative with some form of inflammatory bowel disease, most often a brother or sister and sometimes a parent or child. Crohn’s disease can occur in people of all age groups, but it is more often diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 30. People of Jewish heritage have an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease, and African Americans are at decreased risk for developing Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease may also be called ileitis or enteritis.

Patients who develop any of the symptoms listed above should stop taking Accutane immediately and contact their physician.

Injured by Accutane? IBD or Crohn's? Contact the  Georgia Accutane Attorneys at Doyle Law by calling (678) 799-7676.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. The symptoms vary in severity and may start slowly or suddenly. About half of people only have mild symptoms. Others have more severe attacks that occur more often. Many factors can lead to attacks, including respiratory infections or physical stress.

Accutane has been linked to several chronic conditions involving damage to the gastrointestinal tract, including ulcerative colitis. A form of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract accompanied by ulcers on the lining of the large intestine and rectum. Some Accutane users report an immediate onset of symptoms, while others developed ulcerative colitis months or years after Accutane treatment was stopped. Treatment is available for the condition, though there is no known cure.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

  • Abdominal Pain and cramping that usually disappears after a bowel movement
  • Abdominal Sounds (a gurgling or splashing sound heard over the intestine)
  • Blood and pus in the stools
  • Diarrhea, from only a few episodes to very often throughout the day
  • Fever
  • Tenesmus (rectal pain)
  • Weight loss
  • Children's growth may slow

Other symptoms that may occur with ulcerative colitis include the following:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Joint Pain
  • Mouth sores (ulcers)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin lumps or ulcers

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

If you developed IBD following the use of Accutane, you may have legal options. Many of those affected by serious adverse reactions related to Accutane treatment wish to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering. To date, more than 5,000 personal injury claims have been filed against the manufacturer of Accutane because it has caused IBD to develop. Please call (678) 799-7676 to receive additional information about Accutane litigation and support.

Symptoms of IBD

Patients with IBD may experience the following symptoms:

  • Severe or constant abdominal pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Skin problems
  • Bleeding from the rectum

IBD, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to two chronic conditions that cause inflammation of the digestive tract: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These diseases are very similar, but affect different parts of the digestive tract.

Ulcerative colitis causes swelling and the formation of ulcers on the surface of the lining of the top layer of the large intestine. Patients with Crohn’s disease experience thickening of the intestinal wall, most frequently in the last part of the small intestine and the first part of the large intestine.