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Accutane May Cause Serious Side EffectsAccutane (generic name Isotretinoin) was approved for use in cases involving scar-forming and disfiguring acne. Unfortunately, a two-year U.S. congressional investigation found dermatologists have prescribed Accutane to patients with only mild cases of acne 90% of the time. This makes for a controversy, taking into consideration the severity of the side effects of this drug.

According to the Drug News web site, FDA Consumer magazine stated that “as powerful as Accutane can be in improving patients’ lives, the adverse effects can be just as powerful.” Some side effects experienced with Accutane usage have been problems with the liver, intestines, ears, skeletal system and eyes. In severe cases, patients taking Accutane experienced psychiatric problems. Pregnant women taking Accutane have experienced miscarriage and birth defects to their babies.

Hair loss experienced with Accutane usage has been troubling for many, occurring immediately or several years after the individual has stopped taking the drug.

The overall conclusion is that other methods of acne prevention and treatment should be tried before resorting to Accutane and only in cases of severe, disfiguring acne should Accutane be prescribed.

Several teenagers have posted videos documenting severe side effects from Accutane use (warning: these videos may be graphic):

It is normal for a teenager with a few pimples to want to try the strongest drug on the market – should dermatologists let these teenagers make the decision that will potentially render them unhealthy down the road?

Common side effects to Accutane are: pain and swelling of the lips, severe itching, hair thinning/hair loss and baldness, fragile and weaker skin, vision problems (conjunctivitis, contact lens intolerance, decreased night vision), nosebleeds, elevated liver enzymes (leading to liver damage), joint pain, muscle pain and depression.

Serious reactions to the use of Accutane are depression, erectile dysfunction, violent behavior and aggression, hearing impairment, suicide attempts, major birth defects, strokes and seizures.

Parents, teenagers and all users of Accutane need to be aware of these serious side effects.

Learn more about dangerous drugs at our safety blog and become a fan of Langdon & Emison on Facebook.


  1. Gravatar for William Eadie

    90% is an astonishing figure here. The pressure from pharmaceutical companies to prescribe their products drives that figure, in my opinion, putting profits over safety. We should expect for-profit companies to put profit before safety; we should just make sure industry regulations ensure that they don't get that choice.

  2. Gravatar for Melissa Kelly

    I agree, Will, that we cannot expect corporations to always be "good citizens" with respect to the marketing of their products. The problems with Accutane remind me of the problems with Yaz and Yasmin. The two drugs target similar markets - young women (Yaz/Yasmin) and young people (Accutane) -- and promise to rid them of problems commonly experienced by those markets. The promises made in each case were aimed right at the vulnerabilities of the relevant market. The result? The medications were both wildly popular, and later proven to be less safe than advertised. If corporations cannot resist this type of behavior (and being corporations, who can expect them to?), the public must rely on regulations to keep them safe.

  3. Gravatar for NCC

    Not a lot of people know the full story behind Accutane and everything that’s happened with it, my goal is to change that. I’m in the process of building a case to identify exactly the type of damage Accutane causes to the human body at the cellular level and when I do, the damage will be identifiable in everybody that has taken Accutane. Some of my ideas about Accutane and vitamin A are exclusive and cutting edge, nobody else in the world has ever discussed this topic as in-depth as I have in my report.

    I’ve created a comprehensive research report about Accutane’s history and pharmacology. Long story short, I took Accutane 12 years ago and have suffered from chronic latent side effects ever since. My symptoms resemble severe Sjogren's Syndrome; dehydration, dry eyes, dry skin, dry nasal passage, and many other problems including Type 1 Diabetes, systemic autoimmune disorder and interstitial cystitis (diagnosed 2007) which isn’t surprising because Accutane probably degrades and dries out the mucosal barrier lining the bladder and urethra. Sjogren’s Syndrome always happens to elderly women over the age of 50 and it never happens to young males who are in their twenties like me, unless they’ve been exposed to Accutane that is.

    One thing that needs to be pointed out is that Accutane causes Sjogren’s Syndrome in virtually everybody who takes it. Some people the effect only lasts while they’re on the drug, for others like me it can be permanent. Go here to this Wikipedia article to read more about Sjogren's Syndrome, the symptoms are exactly identical to the side effects of Accutane. One of the major defining characteristics of severe vitamin A toxicity (Accutane) is severe systemic dryness of the entire body. This is also the major symptom of Sjogren’s Syndrome.

    As a result of what happened to me, I've devoted a considerable amount of time investigating Accutane and Hoffmann-La Roche over the past several years. My research provides insight into why the side effects of Accutane can persist for a really long time after people stop taking it. Hoffmann-La Roche explicitly states in the Physician’s Desk Reference that they don’t know how Accutane works or how it causes an incredibly long list of side effects, but I believe that they do know. I also believe that through my research I have discovered Accutane’s true mechanism of action that Roche has been keeping secret from the public. My research dossier exposes the truth about Accutane, presents the scientific evidence, and is going to enlighten everybody about this drug's history and pharmacology and the latent long-term effects it has on the body which will lead to more independent research being conducted to elucidate the cause of the side effects.

    I've delved deep into this scandal and it's impossible to find any genuine good news about Accutane, yet dermatologists are always hyping it up as being a "miracle drug" which is total bs. The problem with Accutane is that it cannot distinguish the "good cells" (stem cells in the skin, all throughout the digestive tract, bones, eyes, etc.) from the "bad cells" (cancer). It simply targets all of the rapidly growing/dividing cells in the body, which is why people get so many side effects. This is how Accutane works. It was originally developed by Roche to be a chemotherapy drug to reduce stem cell growth and proliferation all across the body. The amount of dietary retinoic acid (from vitamin A) that gets into the bloodstream is tightly controlled by the liver, because too much or too little retinoic acid has dangerous consequences (blindness, vitamin A toxicity, etc.). When people take Accutane they’re bombarding their body with about 400 times the amount of retinoic acid that it normally handles.

    Roche has distorted the information behind vitamin A for the past 50 years, they’ve delayed and put off research that should’ve been conducted a long long time ago, they knew about the toxicity of vitamin A all the way back in the 1950’s and 60’s but that didn’t matter. They went on to exploit and destroy the lives of thousands of teenagers and young adults by needlessly exposing them to one of the most toxic drugs ever created by the pharmaceutical industry. A drug supposed to be used only for chemotherapy that accelerates the aging process by reducing stem cell proliferation and obliterating the water-holding molecule Hyaluronic Acid in the connective tissue down to levels of someone who is 90 year old, drying out the entire body before its time.

    If you're reading this I would encourage you to click on my link below, go to, download my Accutane research report and send it to everyone you know.

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