Accutane and Crohn's

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Brian DK
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/27/2008 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I was wondering if anyone else took Accutane before being diagnosed with Crohn's?  I took Accutane when I was in high school between 11th and 12 grade.  I was then diagnosed with crohn's disease 3 years later.  I don't remember having any problems to speak of before my senior year.  I have read about some class action law suits where people who took Accutane are suing (I believe the makers of Accutane) as they were diagnosed after taking it.  Has anyone else experienced this or know about the law suit?  I don't want to get rich, or care one bit about the money (HONEST), but if this was to blame, I would like to add my name to the list as someone who was affected.  I am not doing so good these days, and I am only 27.  I fear that the years ahead my not be good, so I am trying to get things under control now.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 5/27/2008 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
What is Accutane exactly?

I can tell you that before I was diagnosed with Crohn's, I wouldn't take medicine for anything... Not aspirin for a headache... not cold medicine... No matter how much my grandma pushed me... I just didn't want to take medicine.... My reasoning was... 'I take medicine for this, it has so many side effects... have to take medicine to treat the side effects. It's just not worth it...'

Not to say that I wasn't on any medicine at all (for short periods of time, there were some medicines I was on)...

Late kindergarten, they prescribed me Ritalin... and I took that up until I finished first grade... then, they took me off of it for some reason.... *It really mellowed me out... I used to be really playful and active, but after they put me on Ritalin... I was like... a zombie pretty much...* And that didn't change after they took me off of Ritalin...

Then... when I was 12, I started having regular visits with a psychiatrist.... Didn't like it at all... But I was very depressed at the time... and stayed in a period of severe depression for four years before I was able to overcome it (without help from a therapist or drugs).... Anyway, I only saw the psychiatrist for a couple of years.... and he prescribed me Paxil.... I took it for a few months, but it gave me really bad headaches, and as I said, I was very against taking medicine... so... I just stopped taking it...

And that's my medicine history... I really don't think I took the medicines long enough for it to have contributed to causing Crohn's or anything...

I think my diet and the difficult life I've led prior to Crohn's may have contributed to me having it... but I am careful not to blame myself or anything in particular for causing Crohn's... Sometimes, bad things just happen, and there wasn't anything you could have done to stop it...
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

Post Edited (Celey) : 5/27/2008 9:11:48 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 5/27/2008 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   

This is the first time I'm hearing of a connection between Accutane and Crohns. My brother was on it and he's never had any side effects. Neither did any of my many friends who were on it. I'm the one who got stuck with CD.

Do an internet search. I'm sure you'll find information as well as the legal firms involved in the lawsuits. Good luck to you!

32-year-old female diagnosed with CD in 2001.
Currently taking Pentasa 4g x four times daily and probiotics.

Brian DK
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/27/2008 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Accutane was a drug that my dermatologist prescribed to me as ACNE treatment. I took it for 3 months and it dried my out like you wouldn't believe. My lips were so dry and chapped that they were almost pealing off. I had to get my liver checked every 4 weeks as it must also do a number on that organ. I was just reading about Crohn's one day on the internet and found something about Accutane and the link between the drug and the disease. Although the Accutane did cure my ACNE, it may have caused this IBD as I have read. Just curious as to others thoughts.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 5/27/2008 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Brian, sorry you're not doing so well. YES, I have heard of this potential complication from Accutane, though I don't know anyone personally who feels they've gotten Crohn's from using it. A couple of my kids' friends are currently taking Accutane, so it could be years before they know if there are adverse effects. My best friend's son is taking it. She was well aware of the possibility of Crohn's as a complication (she mentioned it to me when he started it), but felt it was so minor that it was not a concern. (My friend's dad was an Internal Medicine doc., for what it's worth.)

I just googled "Accutane and law suits" and the words "bowel disease" comes up quite a bit. As you mentioned, it looks like there may be a class action law suit going on. Perhaps you should consult with a lawyer if you truly feel this was the cause of your CD.

Personally, I can't believe this drug is still on the market... though I've witnessed that it truly works for acne...
Mother to 16 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Currently taking Asacol, omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium w/D3 and a good multivitamin.
Started The Maker's Diet in early September. Gradually learning/using more SCD recipes, too! (cooking challenged)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 5/27/2008 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I took it for 1 year and it was at this time I began to experience painful hips and back which led me to a Rheumatologist. My hips were so painful some days I could not get out of bed to walk. The dermatologist at the time said the accutane can exasberate something or a condition already there but not be the cause so not to ignore it. It took quite sometime and a process that would take up a page but cut short I got so bad in December that I went back to the Rheumatologist who I was suppose to go back to in JUNE and he said 'I think you have Crohns and I think it is the Crohns triggering spondili-however you spell it, go to the gastro to be officialy diagnosed and get treatment. If treatment doesnt help or you are not happy with your treatment come straight back to see me.'
Also I seen a Naturopath who asked me if I took accutane and when I said Yes talked about how she believes it can play a role etc
It is now very interesting that I read this post. I am in Aust and havent heard anything about a case or anything.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 5/27/2008 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   
There is someone on the UC board who blames the accutane.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 5/27/2008 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
took accutane and began experiencing problems shortly thereafter. it was my junior year in highschool. but my identical twin brother took it the following year and he is fine. healthiest person i know. no crohn's. is there a connection? i dont know. i've heard of it before. i cant waste my time and life blaming myself for taking accutane.
Crazy Harry

Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 5/27/2008 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Were there any over the counter medicines (OTC'S) that contain the same ingredients as Accutane but in lower dosage? Never took the script...but wondering about the OTC's. Interesting concept for environmental triggers too, especially for those of us who have no direct family history to CD.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 5/27/2008 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   
That's why I was curious about what Accutane was.... Hmm... I did take something for acne when I was sixteen... not orally... just a cream.... Clearasil or somethin'.... but I didn't use it very often, either...

I don't have any direct family history of Crohn's, either... *Possibility my uncle may have had it... he didn't go to the doctor very much... he died from colon cancer* But... really dunno... Otherwise, no one else in my family has Crohn's... *I hope my siblings don't get it...*
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

Post Edited (Celey) : 5/27/2008 9:11:12 PM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/27/2008 10:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I've never taken it, my mom has UC and has never taken it, my MIL has taken it (for about 6 yrs) and does not have IBD (either CD or UC)...I've heard that one of the many possible side-effects listed in the insert is "UC-like symptoms"...that's all I know about it.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

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