North Carolina Dangerous Drug?: Acne Prescription Meds Linked to Eye Problems, Birth Defects, Bone Growth Delays, and Miscarriages

April 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Isotretinoin, a drug sold under the brand names of Claravis, Roaccutaine (formerly called Accutane), and Amnesteem, is a popular prescription medication that is used to treat severe cases of acne. For example, since 1982, some 16 million people have taken Roaccutaine, which is made by Roche.

Unfortunately, this medication has also been linked to serious side effects. In a new study that was conducted in Israel, 14% of participants that took isotretinoin experienced eye conditions within a year of getting on the drug. Comparatively, only 7% of those belonging to the acne-free comparison group and 9.5% of participants with acne but who had never taken the medication experienced eye problems. The most common eye condition reported was pink eye (also called conjunctivitis),  which can be contagious.  Other potential eye-related side effects include visual disturbances and decreased vision at night.

The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP represents children and adults injured because of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. If you believe that an injury or health issue was caused by a particular medication, contact our Charlotte, North Carolina dangerous drug law firm today.

Reuters quotes eye problem specialist and Oregon Health and Science University professor Dr. Rick Fraunfelder, who advises parents to take their kids to an ophthalmologist prior to allowing them to take Isotretinoin. He also recommends bringing them back to the eye doctor every 90 days during the first year of taking the medication.  Diagnosing any potential eye problems early can help prevent permanent side effects.

Tel Aviv University researcher Gabriel Chodick, who is one of the study’s authors, says that the likely reason for the increased risk of eye injury is that this acne medication can upset the eyelids’ meibomian glands function. These are the glands that generate oily substance that stop the eye from drying up. The drug itself may irritate the surface of the eye.

When questioned about the eye injury risk, Roche refused to comment on the study. However, a company spokesperson noted that these potential side effects are already listed on packaging labels as possible side effects.

Now just because a side effect is included on a drug label does this exempt a drug maker of liability? What if the risk is proving to be an actual risk than a possible one in that more, rather than less people seem to be developing the complication?  What about medical costs or permanent damage or other health issues that result, including complications and infection? What about the other losses and costs that may then arise? Did the drug manufacturer do enough to make sure that a drug was as safe as possible?

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact our Charlotte, North Carolina injury law firm today.

Acne drug tied to a doubled risk of eye problems, Reuters, April 18, 2012



More Blog Posts:

Anticholinergic Meds May Impair the Brain, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 27, 2012

Prescription Drug-Related Injuries and Deaths Have More than Doubled, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, November 1, 2011

FDA Advisory Panel Meets to Discuss Fosamax and Other Bisphosphonates But Offers No Specific Recommendations on Duration of Long-Term Use, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 16, 2011


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