Acne Treatment Linked to Serious Medical Conditions

Acne mat be treated through a variety of remedies. Commonly, the first method of treatment includes: extractions and/or antibiotic treatment. Laser therapy is one of the latest methods available to treat severe acne. When all else fails or an adjunct to treat is required, some physicians turned to Accutane (isotretinoin) until it was pulled from the U.S. market in 2009 due to life threatening injuries linked to the drug. By the same token, generic versions of Accutane are still available and this sparks a cause for alarm, including:

  • Claravis
  • Sotret®
  • Amnesteem®

In 2009, a study linked Accutane’s active ingredient (also used in the generics), known as  isotretinoin, to an increased risk of IBD which is a disease that comes in to primary life threatening forms called Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, and bleeding.

In 2010, Health Canada issued a public health announcement associating isotretinoin with severe skin reactions, such as edema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, which often lead to hospitalization and disability. Many of the rare cases identified in Canada due to skin conditions resulted in death. These conditions may also be referred to as skin death in which skin sloughs off of the body to expose organs. Many of people with severe forms of these conditions must have their disease managed in the burn unit of a hospital. There is no cure for Steven’s Johnson syndrome.

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