Although Accutane acne medication was technically voluntarily pulled from the market in 2009 due to a growing list of serious side effects, its active ingredient can still be bought through a federal program called iPledge.
Isotretinoin, which is used to treat severe nodular acne, was added to iPledge as part of a risk management program to ensure that pregnant women do not use it because of an extremely high risk of severe birth defects.
Those birth defects, as well as other serious complications from Accutane, have been the subject of approximately 5,000 lawsuits filed against Hoffman-LaRoche over the past five years.
Other isotretinoin and Accutane side effects include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, severe depression or suicidal tendencies, heart attack, stroke, hearing problems, low blood cell count and seizures.
Accutane reportedly brought in more than $1.2 billion in annual sales before LaRoche pulled it off the market.
People who have suffered serious side effects due to medication containing isotretinoin, including Accutane, Claravis and Sotret, can seek free legal help from a litigation attorney to decide if they should file a lawsuit to seek both punitive and compensatory damages.