Accutane Linked to Serious Side Effects in Pregnant Women
Accutane is a medication that was commonly prescribed to treat severe acne, typically when other treatments proved ineffective.
Over a period of more than 25 years, Accutane was prescribed to approximately 16 million patients. During this time, Accutane side effects became associated with the development of severe birth defects and miscarriage when taken by pregnant women. It has also been linked to an increase risk of depression and suicidal thoughts in some patients.
Pregnant women should never take Accutane, as the medication may cause life-threatening birth defects that may affect a developing baby’s brain, heart, ears, face, eyes, skull or head. These serious defects may develop following just one dose of Accutane.
The strong link between Accutane and the development of birth defects prompted the creation of the mandatory iPledge program. Through iPledge, women agree to use two forms of birth control and take regular pregnancy tests, or completely abstain from intercourse while taking Accutane.
In addition to birth defects, other severe adverse reactions associated with the use of Accutane, include inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These serious side effects have prompted the filing of approximately 5,000 personal injury suits against Roche Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Accutane. On June 29, 2009, Roche Pharmaceuticals pulled Accutane from the market due to numerous personal injury lawsuits and business costs, though the drug is still available in generic form.
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