Plaintiffs Sue Hoffman-LaRoche Over Accutane Crohn’s Disease
Tracy Ray | October 3rd, 2012
Accutane, an anti-acne medication, was first approved in 1982, but was taken off the market in 2009. More than 7,000 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against Accutane manufacturer Hoffman-LaRoche, charging that the drug company failed to warn them about dangerous side effects such as Crohn’s disease. The Accutane MDL established in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida to consolidate Accutane litigation currently contains 65 lawsuits. Other lawsuits have been consolidated in a multicounty litigation (formerly a mass tort) in New Jersey under Judge Carole Higbee. Many of these plaintiffs charge that Accutane caused them to develop the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease known as Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms and treatment of Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, painful, and debilitating form of inflammatory bowel disease that is characterized by inflammation of sections of the digestive tract lining, causing chronic pain and digestive problems. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can include severe abdominal pain, cramping, bloody stools, chronic diarrhea, fever, inflammation of the mouth and eyes, anemia, reduced appetite, and weight loss. Crohn’s disease can also lead to other problems including infections, gallstones, and nutritional deficiencies. Hear more regarding side effects of Crohns disease.
There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, so treating the illness requires lifelong monitoring to manage the condition. Treatments can include medications, special diets, and/or surgery.
Differences between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Crohn’s disease is often mistaken for ulcerative colitis, another inflammatory bowel disease that can be caused by Accutane. It is sometimes difficult for doctors to initially determine which of the two ailments the patient is suffering from.
One of the differences between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is that ulcerative colitis affects only the large intestine and rectum, while Crohn’s disease can attack at any point along the digestive tract from the rectum to the mouth. Another difference is that ulcerative colitis affects only the top layer of the digestive tract, while Crohn’s disease can affect all layers. In addition, ulcerative colitis affects a single unbroken section of the digestive tract, whereas Crohn’s disease can attack several different unconnected sections of the digestive tract, leaving healthy tissue in between the afflicted areas. Read more on the subject of Crohn’s disease.
Patients who have used Accutane and developed Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other forms of inflammatory bowel disease may be eligible for compensation through Accutane litigation. Patients are advised to consult with an attorney who can evaluate their situation and determine if a lawsuit is advisable.
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