Accutane causing IBD commercials?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 5/20/2009 2:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone else seen these lawyer commercials offering free consults if you've been diagnosed IBD and have taken the drug accutane? I've seen it twice now on TV. I live in the East Coast in Hampton Roads Virginia Matro Area, an hour southest of Richmond(the capital), 10 minutes south of Yorktown(revolutionary War won), 25 mins south of Willaimsburg/Jamestown, and about 45 minutes North of Norfolk and Va Beach.

Here is some information I've found about the drug on the actual drugs wikipedia page.

Isotretinoin is a medication used for the treatment of moderate to severe acne. It was first developed to be used as a chemotherapy medication for the treatment of brain cancer, pancreatic cancer and more. It is still used in the treatment of these cancers to this day because of its ability to kill cells off that divide too quickly. The effects of the medication are non-selective and highly widespread. In some cases, it is used to treat Harlequin type ichthyosis, a usually lethal skin deformation in which sufferers develop armor plated-like skin and usually die soon after birth. It is a retinoid, meaning it derives from vitamin A and is found in small quantities naturally in the body. Oral isotretinoin is marketed under various trade names, most commonly Accutane (Roche)

Increasingly higher dosages will result in higher toxicity, resembling vitamin A toxicity.
Adverse drug interactions associated with isotretinoin therapy include:

Rare: impaired night vision; cataracts; optic neuritis; menstrual disturbances; INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE; pancreatitis; hepatitis; corneal opacities; papilloedema; idiopathic intracranial hypertension; skeletal hyperostosis; extraosseous calcification; psychosis; and it is believed that severe depression can occur, although there is no conclusive evidence for this.

Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Several scientific studies have posited that isotretinoin is a probable cause of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative colitis in some individuals. Three cases in the United States have gone to trial thus far, with all three resulting in multi-million dollar judgments against the makers of isotretinoin; there are an additional 425 cases pending.

I'm Wondering if anyone on HW has taken Accutane before, I've been lucky enough to not have had acne, nor basically any zits. Or if anyone has even seen this commercial. The commercial is what got me to look at the website on wikipedia.

Let me know your thoughts on this. Sorry a little long but I'd rather you have the info to read this and be informed then not know what i meant by being short.

Dont let this post fall to the way-side!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 5/20/2009 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
All I know is that there are several lawsuits in order because of accutane. Unfortunately, I don't think that this is the only environmental toxin causing autoimmune disease..

I never have taken accutane specific products, but I know there are many acne products with it so I don't know if I've used anything with it or not..
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 455
   Posted 5/20/2009 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   
me either..oh well there will be others lol
SCD since 01, remission since 01, occasional random junk food breaks :)
No meds ever.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 5/20/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh well we know this isnt the only toxin causing this. Its not the only thing period causing this, not just toxins because obviously around 30 percent of people have another family member with it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 5/20/2009 10:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't think its solely toxins either, but a good mix with genetic predisposition....blahhh what a complicated set of diseases. Then again, there aren't many that are simple..if any.
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/21/2009 5:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Nope not me.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 5/21/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   

I find this very interesting as I took accutane for almost a yr when I was about 16 or so. Nobody else in my family has had bowel disease or crohn’s, and my sister (who was raised and breastfed just like me etc) does not have crohn’s or IBD but I do.


The drug had some very adverse side-effects for me including severe skin dryness, stinging eyes, dry hair, and severe depression. If we had known what a strong drug it was I may not have taken it, at least not for so long. I was initially put on a lower dose for 3 months; the acne cleared but 3 months later returned. So I was put on the same dose for another 3 months, and after 3 months the acne returned again. The third time I was put on accutane I was put on the highest dose possible, and for six months. So I was on it for quite a long time.


Please keep us updated if you hear anything else about the lawsuits. I wish they were going on in aus so I could investigate! Don’t think I would take part but I am still very interested.


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/21/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I was also intrigued when I saw this ad on TV. I have not taken accutane, but regardless, these class action suits against drug companies still irritate me. Every single drug has side effects, its up to the patient to become educated and the doctor to become educated on the drug to weigh the consequences against the benefits. Ultimately, it is the patients responsibility. I don't mean to sound like a prick, but it just kinda irritates me.
-Heather, 23 yrs. old

- Crohns disease since 1995, officially diagnosed in 2003.

- Bowel resection in Dec. 07, Crohns reoccurred July 08.

- Medications - Entocort 9mg, Wellbutrin SR 150mg, Lexapro 20mg, Bentyl 10mg, Levsin, Trazadone 50mg, Humira

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
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   Posted 5/21/2009 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes well I was NOT informed by my dermatologist about the effects of this medication. I was not told it could cause severe depression, and after I became severely depressed my dad discovered over the net all of these cases of teens in the US committing suicide whilst being on acutance. Having a family history of depression (my uncle committed suicide) – I feel we were not properly informed.


I know this is not the fault of the drug company; but saying it was me – the 16 yr old patient – ‘s responsibility to know about these risks – is not right. Internet was only just coming in at this stage and we did all we could. Also, these new findings about accutane causing IBD were NOT around when I was on accutane at 16 years of age, so I was not informed.


I am not saying that accutane caused my crohn's - but it could have contributed to it. At the time, the drug companies said nothing about a link to IBD. And my dermatologist said nothing about a link to depression. So we were misinformed through no fault of our own. You put a lot of trust in specialists to do the right thing by you - it is not the patient's fault in all cases and whilst it might piss you off - it pisses me off more that I was affected in a negative way by the drug without being aware that it was the medication causing the depression. and Now I have crohn's, with accutane possibly being a contributing factor. I think I have a right to be pissed off more than someone who's medical condition has NOT been affected negatively by a medication due to no fault of their own.


Wait until you have a child who commits suidice whilst being on a drug for acne and then see how pissed off you are.

Post Edited (phoebeskye86) : 5/21/2009 7:34:47 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 5/21/2009 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Part of the theory relates to how Accutane dries out the epithelial layers of the body. It works great for acne, drying out the skin and shrinking the oil glands, but it also may affect the epithelial layer of the bowel. If the epithelial layer of the bowel is degraded in some fashion it makes sense that some sort of intestinal damage could occur. But sure, there are obviously other causes of IBD as well.

EasierRun, I can understand your frustration about our law system. But, there reasons why some pharmaceutical lawsuits are truely justified. You say the patient has ultimate responsibility, but the drug maker has responsibilty to disclose known side effects. If a drug maker knows about a serious side effect but does not strengthen their label, inform doctors or patients about this known serious side effect, do you not see something wrong there?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 5/21/2009 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   

That info is very interesting Kenny23. thanks….


It seems in this case ignorance is bliss, huh?


Never ceases to amaze me how ignorant some people can be of other people’s situations and experiences.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 5/21/2009 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
When I was on the drug, nobody discussed IBD with me (the risks). I was informed of several of the side effects, blood draws on a regular basis, no alcohol, etc. I believe, if I understand correctly, IBD was not effectively listed as a risk of the medication. Again, I haven't bothered to go back and really learn too much because I want to put the energy other directions, but if the drug company did not adequately warm users of the risk, it is indeed their liability. I'm not for frivolous lawsuits, but if there is fault, then there is fault. Time will bring that one out, I suppose.
--40 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone, Tysabri
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--currently taking methylprednisolone 40mg-taper.  Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09
--single mom to 11-yr-old girl

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 5/23/2009 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I took Accutane and had to go off of it d/t side effects. I had extreme headaches, dizziness and had to go immediately to a Neurologist who diagnosed me with increased ICP (intracranial pressure)/ pseudo brain tumor. They explained that it was cutting off the circulation to the optic nerve and could cause blindness. It resolved with stopping the med and daily visits to the doc to check the pressure. Almost had to have a spinal tap. Hense my apprehension to take meds at all today. I have recently joined and blogged about not taking my crohn's meds, after 3 yrs diagnosis. I have been in denial and in fear of the long term effects of meds. However, my symptoms are worse and I just started Colazal. After receiving counsel from my doc after my last colonoscopy last week, and peeps on here. (thanks again). You have to weigh out the benefits vs. side effects. All that being said; I should have just lived with my acne......this is the first I've heard of Accutane causing IBD. What are you to do at this point? I just find it interesting and will look into it more......but who knows...why or how, I'm finally accepting I have this disease.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 5/24/2009 8:46 AM (GMT -7)   
i took the drug and was diagnosed with crohn's within a year of taking the drug. coincidence? - perhaps. who knows. it would be nice to blame some one for it and reap a ton of money (sarcasm).
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 5/24/2009 7:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I took accutane when i was 18  for about 6 months and was diagnosed with crohn's when i was 27. 

28 yr old female, diagnosed with crohn's colitis with stricture of the colon april 2007, first fistula- october 07 :(  
joint pain and swelling
anxiety, depression
current medications:  Lialda 1.2g, remicade every 6wks, citalopram, ex-strength tylenol, multivitamin
But He said to me, "My grace is enough for you.  When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you." So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses.  Then Christ's power can live in me.  For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ.  Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong. 
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 7/7/2009 3:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I joined the lawsuit. Took accutane for 6 months, had tons of bouts of D and mucus stools soon after. At 22 full blown UC. No prior instances of any of the UC symptoms. No family predisposition. It is a dangerous drug.
Jeff, 24, Diagnosed July 2007 probably had it since 2005 but no real symptoms till July 2007 *Update 3/25/08: Entire Colon UC*
Lialda - 2.4mg 2x Day
Perrigo 1x Every night
Centrum Multi-Vitamin 1X Day
Probiotics by Ethical Nutrients- Intestinal Care (Started Recently During a Long Flare Seems To be Working Wonders) 2x day
Probiotics by VSL #3 (trying it out at 2x a day now)
Slow Fe (Iron supplement)- 1x day
Lexipro- 2x Day 10Mg
In What I Would Call a Remission....As Close to Normal As It Gets

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 7/7/2009 3:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't seen that one, but I did see a commercial about anyone who has had a CT scan with contrast. They said that the conrast can cause kidney problems.
Diagnosed with Crohns in 2001
First and hopefully last Ileocecectomy 2/18/2009

Medications: Asacol, Precription Folic Acid, Multivitamin, 1000mg Calcium, Vitamin D, Probiotics, Protonix,  Monthly B-12 injections.

Living a Great life with my Wife and my two Chocolate Labs
Hunter & Hailey.
I love them dearly.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 635
   Posted 7/8/2009 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   

My friend's son was on it for a while and had a big flare which turned out to be Crohns.  He was diagnosed about a year after being on the drug.

I don't know if she is part of the lawsuit but it seems coincidental.

What's also coincidental about this case and some others I bet is that the age group who would take this drug for the most part is the same age group that most folks are diagnosed with Crohns or UC.



28 years with Crohns in the term ileum.  Feb 07 Resection.  Apriso, Align and possibly going back to Entocort.  Currently pregnant!

Jeff Mason
New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/16/2010 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I was prescribed Accutane in the mid 1980s, with warnings about dry skin, depression, sun damage, potential liver damage, dry eyes/mouth, dizziness.
In the mid 1990s I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
I had tried various medications to get myself stabilized with the Crohn's, so I eventually had surgey to remove a good length of small intestine, give me an ileostomy, and sew up my rear.
I don' know cause/effect or correlation, or coincedence, because I have not read any of the scientific literature.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 232
   Posted 7/17/2010 7:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I never took accutane, hell I barely had acne. I did have a 7 year bout with eczema for which nothing helped though and a bunch of different steroid creams and shots -- none of which helped... But hey there's many different manifestations of IBD, not just the two main ones, there are subtypes as well and if Accutane caused anyone to develop this disease, I say get your money out of it. Why not?
CD 24 years. Multiple surgeries in past 10 yrs. 4 year Illeostomy. Mesh rejection. Too close to death, twice. Large inscisional hernia. Perpetually underweight. Short bowel syndrom. Have used a variety of complementary medical therapies. Highly recommend Bowen Therapy as the best body work. Take me vites. Started Low Dose Naltrexone March 27, 2010. Got married for the only time 2008. Survive because of the love of good friends, and because I can. Happy to be alive. IBD needs more awareness and more voices willing to speak up. BE well.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/16/2010 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I recognize the benefits of Accutane, but shouldn’t the drug company disclose ALL the risks to doctors and acne patients before use. I believe Roche didn’t want people to know that Accutane could lead to IBD or Crohn’s Disease because they wouldn’t make as much money. That’s not right or legal.

Not only is this an old post, but advertising is not allowed on this site.

Post Edited By Moderator (MMMNAVY) : 12/16/2010 6:15:52 PM (GMT-7)

Aces High
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/16/2010 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I took accutane (a generic version called Sotret) and was diagnosed with CD a little over a year after my last pill. I forget what website I went through, but they referred me to Hook & Bolton to start my lawsuit. I'm still totally on the fence about it, I mean the people at the lawyers office obviously make it sound as enticing as possible by telling me I can get millions out of it. However, they said it'd take 6-7 years for my case to get through the New Jersey court (where the pharmaceutical company is located) and I'd probably end up having to travel down there for the trial, and who knows how long I'd be down there for. They said it could be several months. I'm just skeptical I'd get that much money and if it's even worth my time to travel down there and potentially have to quit whatever job I'm working at to even go through with the case.

Also, they informed me this is NOT a class action lawsuit yet. It's all individual cases. So theoretically I could get nothing, or I could get a ton of money.

Has anyone on here gone through with the lawsuit?

Post Edited (Aces High) : 12/16/2010 5:49:32 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 12/16/2010 6:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Aces High you might actually have better luck if you start a new post about this.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders: All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.
I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586
All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.
The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others?
Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 12/17/2010 2:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all -
If I was in USA I would certainly join the suit (had UC and total colonectopy 4 years after taking Roaccutane for 18 months).  But I live in Belgium and would have to pay my lawyer (no win, no fee is illegal here).  I tried to find others who would join me but drew a blank and frankly can't face the stress of re-living all the truly awful moments and doing it alone with the possibility of losing 5-10KEURO in fees (that's what the lawyer said it would cost).  He also said that for a single suit, he would never go to court against Roche, just hope they would settle out of court, so it's just not worth it for me - BUT I am very angry - Roaccutane continues to be prescribed in Europe for acne and my pharmacist said he still has many requests for it and had no idea about this suit in the States.  I would like to see it taken off the market - apart from its links with IBD it is certainly a factor in severe depression.
All the best for Christmas and the new year - good health above all!  gillian

UC diagnosed Nov 2004
Toxic megacolon resulted in colonectopy Feb 2006, followed by two steps to creation of j-pouch Nov 2006.
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