The circumstances around the tragic suicide of Jon Medland, as told by his father, reflect stories of similar patterns of behaviour as related to us by other parents of suicide victims taking Roaccutane.
What some people regard as a miracle cure for acne, apparently has an action that for some people has devastating consequences.
Isotretinoin, Accutane/Roaccutane, plus15 or 16 generic names was originally not a first line treatment due to concerns about adverse side-effects. Roche have withdrawn Roaccutane in the USA. They say, for financial reasons as the patent has run out.
There have been court actions awarded against Roche in the USA relating to Inflammatory Bowel Disease a side effect.
The drug is a retinoid derived from Vitamin A. There are retinoid receptors in the brain. Scans have shown isotretinoin changes cells in the brain, not seen in those taking antibiotics.
As well as reports of psychiatric changes, including long term depression, aggression, reclusiveness and suicide, some users suffered from serious skin reactions.
The recommended dosage of the drug has been halved since it was first licensed.
It can harm a foetus, and pregnancy should be avoided during treatment and possibly for some time after treatment.
Originally licensed to treat cancer, isotretinoin, clears acne for many people, we must ask if the cost is justified in keeping it on the market. Cost, not to the shareholders but to the many who suffer harm.
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