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Accutane Sufferer Hopeful with Generic Isotretinoin Lawsuit

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Walnut Creek, CALike countless teens, Brad was prescribed Accutane to treat acne. And like a small percentage of Accutane consumers, he is now suffering from Accutane Ulcerative Colitis, to the point where he was hospitalized on three occasions.

“Just a few months after I stopped the Accutane four-month treatment back in 2005, I slowly developed loose and bloody stool, which I later found out were the symptoms of ulcerative colitis,” says Brad (not his real name), age 28. “I called Kaiser Hospital and described my symptoms over the phone. They suspected that I had Crohn's disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

"I guess getting stressed out over my final exams aggravated my condition. It was so bad that I couldn’t even stand in front of my class and do a presentation. I had to go to the bathroom several times a day, and I was losing a lot of weight and a significant amount of blood in my stool. I was emaciated and at the point where I was so skinny and frail. At one point I weighed 150 lbs—I am 5’ 11”. Everything I ate just flushed right through me and it came out a bloody mess. Then my skin turned pale.

"My parents were so upset that they talked to the doctor. I was first hospitalized in 2008, right after I got my BA degree.

"During my month-long stay I had a colonoscopy and I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I asked the doctors if it could possibly be related to Accutane but they just said it happens ‘naturally’. I didn’t buy that reasoning. The dermatologist at Kaiser was the Accutane prescribing doctor so I don’t think they were being completely honest with me; I think they were afraid of a medical malpractice lawsuit.”

Brad now takes prednisone, an infusion of Remicade once a month, and a lot of herbal supplement vitamins. He is on a strict gluten-free and dairy-free diet. No sugar, caffeine, alcohol. (He had a severe attack from drinking one beer at a party). He rarely goes out to eat anymore. And he has to pay a monthly health insurance premium to Kaiser because he now has a pre-existing condition.

Accutane has affected every facet of his life, including work. “It prevented me from traveling overseas, which affected my work,” he says. “I was working at Sherwin-Williams, mixing and gathering paint. When I went on deliveries I had to go to the bathroom so often it would take a long time to get the deliveries done. Eventually they laid me off.

"Right now I am unemployed but working on getting my ESL teaching certificate so I can work online, from home. Having to commute is a problem: I just can’t eat breakfast in the morning and rush to work like a normal person. I’m in a lot of pain when I wake up.

"I used to be athletic and into extreme sports. After losing so much weight and having colitis, I decided that, since my body was so weak, I gave up sports. I couldn’t risk getting injured. Prednisone weakens bone density so I don’t even work out so much. No matter how many drugs I take, flare-ups always occur, and I never know when they are coming.

"Now I spend most of the time in my apartment. I even have accidents while driving. Most 28 year olds don’t shit their pants. It is so embarrassing.

"Needless to say, I’m pretty mad at the drug makers. They have made trillions of dollars. Why can’t they deal with people they have poisoned? It isn’t fair that the consumers suffer when they walk away and get on with their rich and healthy lives. I was never given any justice; I wasn’t given my day in court.”

During his month-long hospital stay, Brad spent a lot of time online, researching Accutane side effects. He found out that many Accutane and generic brand users started getting symptoms of ulcerative colitis, IBD and Crohn’s after being prescribed Accutane from various health care providers. “I put two and two together and found so many Accutane lawsuits,” he says. “I decided to contact an Accutane lawyer.”

Brad connected with a law firm in Newark, NJ. “They thought I had a case since so many people are suffering from colitis-- they had a huge mass tort against the generic makers,” he says. “They flew me to Newark to get my deposition. But a few months later, I was notified by the attorneys that all of our cases had been thrown out of the Supreme Court. There is a law stating that generic manufacturers cannot be held responsible for side effects and failure to warn.”

(In Mensing v Pliva-- , federal drug regulations applicable to generic drug manufacturers directly conflict with, and thus preempt, state-law tort claims.)

Brad was recently offered an Accutane lawsuit settlement. Unfortunately he was prescribed the generic version: a law firm in New Jersey offered a $3,000 settlement. Brad likens that amount to putting a band-aid on a massive wound. “I’m not sure how they arrived at that figure but I pay well over $3,000 per month just in medications,” he says. “To me that figure is an insult for a life of pain and suffering. And I might be losing my colon.”

Brad isn’t giving up. He argues that Sotret, made by Ranbaxy, the generic version he took, (others are Amnesteem (Mylan), Claravis (Barr) and Isotroin (Cipla)), is exactly the same formula as Accutane.

“I am still hopeful that I can get compensated; I believe this generic drug law is unjust and from what I have learned, attorneys are fighting both the original maker and the generic manufacturer,” he adds.

“Luckily my family and girlfriend support me. Without my mother and father I would have been in serious trouble financially.”

(In 2009 Roche pulled Accutane off the US market after juries had awarded millions of dollars in damages to former Accutane users over Accutane inflammatory bowel disease lawsuits.)

Since March 2006, the generic version of Accutane (isotretinoin) has been monitored and controlled by iPLEDGE, a website mandated by the FDA. According to wikipedia, dermatologists are required to register their patients before prescribing and pharmacists are required to check the website before dispensing the drug. A physician may not prescribe more than a 30-day supply—Brad was prescribed a four-month supply. And a new prescription may not be written for at least 30 days.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Took accutane for years and developed ulcerative colitis in my last two months of treatment, how could a dermatologist let me stay on this drug for 3 6 month treatments? does anyone know if accutane for sure caused my pain.

Posted by

on
I used Isotretinoin for about a year during my teenage years for ache. Several years later I developed IBS with no sign of cause. Did Isotretinoin cause my IBS?

Posted by

on
Same year's that I took it, same brand, same story...tired of it. I wish a lawyer would have some balls to get us some money so we can support our families.

Posted by

on
Hello Brad, I also took the generic brand of Accutane and 3 years later diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It upsets me how these people can get away with this. I can not go out and enjoy life as much as I use to because I am scared I will have an episode. A 19 year old should not have to worry about shitting their self when going out somewhere. Just like you, every morning at the same time I have to run to the bathroom. I go numerous times a day even while on the medication for ulcerative colitis. The pain was unbearable. My colon looks terrible, words can't explain how all of this has impacted me. I have to look out for what I eat. Everyone who knows me knows I love hot and spicy food, but now I can't eat those anymore. The thought of having my colon remove terrifies me, but I'm only 19 and it's already this bad. There could be that possibility.

I think we should also get compensated for the damage this drug has done to us. Just because we took the generic brand does not mean we should be undermined. We are suffering too. The generic medicine was very expensive and all my hospital and doctor bills are adding up. My parents and I are stressed because of these bills. Our vacation was my colonoscopy and my hospital bill, because I had to get my appendix taken out. Something needs to be done about this.

Posted by

on
To the dermatologist at the top- F**K YOU

Posted by

on
In resopnse to the abouve comments, I AM a dermatoligist and I do perscribe accutane on a daily basis. There is always a risk of developing IBS and or Chrons disiease if there is a family history of these diseases. There are hundreds of evidence based research articles that support that and hundreds that disprove it. If a person NEVER took accutane and they have a history of inflamatory acne, whould the develop IBs/ or Chrons?, it is quite possible and there is evidence to prove that.
Acne is a disease that involves inflammation and IBS and Chrons are as well. Thus, If a person is prone to inflammation they can develop it anywhere in their system.
(Also, you all had to be enrolled into the FDA regulated program,IPLEGE, and this states all of the possible risks, and you ALL signed these consents and agreed to take the medication.

Posted by

on
I am in the same position as you Brad. I took Sotret and developed UC ~1 year afterwards. I wish I never took the drug. The doctor that prescribed it made it sound like it was no big deal "just some dry skin". The lack of warnings on the original product systematically caused dermatologists to massively over prescribe Accutane and its generics to victims like us. The pain of having eternal intestinal bleeding and inflammation has no price. I would be willing to give all the money in the world for a cure or reversal of what generic Accutane did to me.

Posted by

on
Hey man, I am empathetic as I am consistently going through my own issues from accutane treatment, 7 years ago. As you know this is a dangerous drug, especially when too much is prescribed.

I fully believe there are ways to fix the effects of accutane. Myself and a couple others are working through an accutane sufferers sub forum at allthingsmale.com. Just search official accutane thread in google and you will find it. You come across as intelligent and possibly driven, we could use another hand in this war. Whether you sign up or not, good luck to you, and stay strong.

Posted by

on
I feel bad for you Brad and completely understand your feelings and what you are going through. My daughter took generic accutane and has had 8 surgeries in the past few years and is currently hospitalized again and facing her 9th surgery due to massive complications from the drug. Her ulceratve colitis was also caused by (generic ) accutane use. She used it for 10 months! How can these companies get away with this? They should be ashamed to take all that money and not do due diligence to compensate those harmed. Shame on them.

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