Accutane is an effective drug used in the treating acne, primarily in adolescents. It is manufactured by Hoffman-LaRoche.
This medication has been linked to the onset of Crohn's Disease,
ischemic or ulcerative colitis, and auto immune disorders. Persons with
inflammatory bowel disease have a significantly higher risk of colon
cancer than persons not using the medication. Also, Hoffman-LaRoche has
notified physicians that the drug may cause depression and/or psychosis
up to and in some cases including suicide. The FDA has also warned
doctors to watch their patients on the medications for signs of
In May 2999, Congressman Bart Stupak’s 17-year-old son committed
suicide. Stupak thinks his son’s suicide may be linked to his use of
Accutane. "We are up over 100 reports, that's just what is coming in to
us, so I believe there are probably over a thousand cases," Stupak
said. "The average time is 88 days from when you start taking it, and
the effect is very sudden.... You are doing strange things at 3 a.m.
and you are dead at 7 a.m."
FDA announced in 2001 that new warning labels and consent forms
would be required for Accutane users. The form warns patients to watch
for signs of depression, including but not limited to feelings of
sadness, irritability, feeling unusually tired, loss of appetite,
trouble concentrating, thoughts of hurting themselves or suicidal