Accutane and Increased Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Accutane and Increased Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

In June of this year, Roche Holding quietly pulled the drug Accutane from the market. Accutane is prescribed to treat moderate to severe cases of acne. The drug has had an extensive history of leading to adverse effects since its approval in 1982, such as suicidal behavior and birth defects. The removal of the drug from the market came in the face of increasing proof that Accutane leads to another serious health problem: Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Last week, a study quantified the increased risk that Accutane presents with regard to developing this disease. Users of the medication were found to incur almost twice the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease over people not on Accutane.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease encompasses a group of diseases that cause the intestines to become swollen and red. The disease usually recurs and lasts a long time.

Two types of inflammatory bowel disease associated with Accutane are:

  • Ulcerative Colitis: Ulcerative Colitis typically causes ulcers along the lower section of the large intestines. Those with the disease often suffer symptoms of abdominal pain, weight loss, and bloody diarrhea. The disease may also be associated with symptoms that affect other parts of the body. For example, painful, arthritic knees in a young person who uses Accutane may be a manifestation of ulcerative colitis. This disease is also associated with an increase in the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Crohn's Disease: Crohn's Disease typically causes ulcers along the small and large intestines. Like those who suffer from ulcerative colitis, people with Crohn's Disease suffer from abdominal pain, weight loss, and bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms may include vomiting, skin rashes, arthritis, and eye inflammation. Crohn's disease is associated with an increase in certain types of cancer, primarily cancers of the area that is inflamed as a result of the disease.


If you or a loved one has suffered an inflammatory bowel disease or other harmful side effects, such as birth defects and suicidal behavior, as a result of taking Accutane, contact an experienced attorney at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm immediately. We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and explain your legal rights.