Accutane is a drug sold in the United States to combat severe facial acne, skin conditions and several cancers. The drug has garnered widespread negative publicity for its adverse side effects, particularly in pregnant women. Side effects associated with the use of Accutane include digestive abnormalities, Crohn’s Disease, diverticulitis and ulcerative colitis. Accutane has also been linked with birth defects, premature births, stillbirths and a number of birth defects.
Accutane is a form of the drug Isotretinoin, a derivative of vitamin A. Up until 2009, Accutane was used across the United States to treat severe forms of acne. Most dermatologists recommended Accutane as a last resort after topical and anti-bacterial medications failed. In very rare cases, Accutane was prescribed to treat specific strains of nerve cancers, rare forms of connective tissue disorders and Keratosis, a severe skin condition.
At its inception, Accutane was widely heralded as a safe and effective answer to systemic acne- a condition known to cause both physical and psychological scarring in its victims. However, many began experiencing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, colitis and other digestive troubles. Accutane has been blamed for severe depression, stunted growth in teenagers and other skin disorders.
Accutane is linked with severe birth defects as well. Mothers who took the drug during pregnancy have a higher risk of loss of pregnancy, pre-term birth and fetal death. The FDA has issued warnings prohibiting doctors from prescribing Accutane to any woman who is pregnant, may become pregnant or is breast feeding.
The FDA has been particularly vocal in protecting Americans from the adverse side effects associated with the use of Accutane. The IPledge initiative was implemented in 2007 to reduce the risk of fetal exposure to Accutane and requires that patients must fill their prescriptions within seven days of receipt of they will be forced to wait for 23 more days to ensure a full menstrual cycle has elapsed, thus reducing the risk of fetal exposure to the drug. IPledge does not apply to males or women not of child-bearing potential.
Accutane is a dangerous and risky chemical combination that is scientifically proven to cause side effects ranging from intestinal difficulties to suicidal thoughts or actions. Always consult a doctor if, after taking Accutane, you experience any of the above described side effects and never start or stop a medication without the approval of a physician.
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