Accutane® Bowel Disease & Birth Defects

Accutane® Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Most recently, Accutane® has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease in some patients. Inflammatory bowel disease is marked by painful inflammation of the intestines. The two main types of inflammatory bowel disease are Crohn’s Disease, which most commonly affects the small intestine and/or the colon, and ulcerative colitis, which affects the large intestine (colon).

Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include:

  • Cramping and pain in the stomach
  • Urgency to make a bowel movement
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Fever

Both Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis can lead to potentially fatal intestinal complications, including bleeding from ulcers that form on the intestines, rupturing of the bowel, perianal disease, toxic megacolon and colon cancer.

Accutane® Birth Defect Risk

Scientific data has proven that women who ingest Accutane® during their pregnancy have a much higher risk of giving birth to children with birth defects. As a result, women who are of the child bearing age and are taking Accutane® or any isotretinoin-containing drug are strongly advised not to get pregnant. Before taking the medication, women are required to sign and agree to follow instructions outlined in the iPLEDGE program.

Under the iPLEDGE program, women taking the medication agree to use two forms of birth control while taking Accutane®. They are also instructed not to get pregnant for at least one month after stopping an isotretinoin treatment. The risk of miscarriage is also high in women taking the acne medication.

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