The acne medication Accutane (isotretinoin, a form of Vitamin A) has been shown to cause inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Accutane was voluntarily withdrawn from sales in 2009 by its manufacturer, Roche Holdings, but the same drug continues to be sold as a generic form under the names Claravis, Sotret, and Amnesteem.

In 2006, researchers at the University of Chicago found a link between Accutane use and inflammatory bowel disease. Following up on the 2006 study, a study published in the September 2010 edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that Accutane users had over four times the rate of ulcerative colitis as non-users.

More than 1,000 Accutane patients have filed lawsuits against Roche alleging the company failed to warn consumers about the severe side effects of the medication, and was negligent in not cautioning Accutane users to watch for symptoms like weight loss, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and abdominal pain or cramping. Those symptoms can indicate intestinal disorders, and so a proper warning of Accutane side effects would have helped patients recognize they were having an adverse reaction to Accutane.

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