The makers of Accutane, Roche Holding, pulled the drug after several lawsuits that resulted in large payments to plaintiffs who claimed that Accutane caused their inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A recent study (presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's 2009 meeting) of 21,832 healthy people and 8,189 people with IBD showed that those who had taken Accutane were one and a half times more likely to have developed IBD. The risk further increased with long-term use of the drug. A similar study done amongst Canadians in July showed no such association: people who had taken Accutane were no more or less likely to have developed IBD than those who did not.
With this recent study and the results of the court cases, the availability of the generic version of the drug is in question. It can already be difficult to obtain, but soon it may be impossible for those who wish to take it to treat their severe acne. Dermatologists and other professionals argue that the risk of developing IBD is still very low, and that therapy with isotretinoin is very effective and can help prevent the facial scarring and that can occur with severe acne.
After weighing these arguments -- would you take Accutane to treat your acne? After voting, click on "Comments" and tell me why or why not.
Crockett S, et al "Accutane use is associated with inflammatory bowel disease: A case control study using administrative data." ACG 2009; Abstract P1122.
Clara I, Lix LM, Walker JR, et al. "The Manitoba IBD Index: Evidence for a New and Simple Indicator of IBD Activity." Amer J Gastroenterol July 2009 104:1754-1763. 10 Nov 2009.