Accutane is a prescription medication often reserved for the most severe cases of acne, but the troubling side effects have recently been proven to be very detrimental to the health of the patients relying on the medicine. The possibility of liver failure is a primary concern of individuals that have been taking the medication for a lengthy period of time. Patients that are currently using Accutane or have previously used the medication need to be aware of the potential warning signs of liver failure.
Many medications have been proven to cause some type of liver damage, and the result is the buildup of scar tissue on the inner linings of the organ. Cirrhosis of the liver occurs when the scar tissue that is being built up gradually replaces the healthy tissue. The liver has an important role within the human body and serves as a filter to all foreign materials and substances. Even normal nutrients and mild toxins can prove to be deadly if they are not adequately filtered by the liver, so repeated damage often leads to liver failure. Cirrhosis can also be associated with serious illnesses such as Hepatitis, so it is necessary to consider the warning signs in order to detect a possible cause of the damage to the liver as quickly as able.
Some of the warning signs of liver damage can include nausea, vomiting, sudden weight loss, rapid weight gain, dehydration, changes in appetite, and diarrhea. Many patients don't seek medical treatment in time because they mistake the symptoms that they are experiencing for a mild illness or flu. By the time a patient seeks medical attention, the damage to the liver may already be severe enough to lead to liver failure. Some patients are not concerned with the early warning signs because their physician has advised them that Accutane itself can cause nausea. Several indicators of impending liver failure are more severe and may not manifest themselves until a significant amount of damage has already been done. These signs include severe swelling or retention of fluids, jaundicing, changes in mental status or confusion, and abdominal problems.
Once liver failure occurs, it cannot be treated or reversed and the only acceptable way to remedy such permanent damage is for the patient to receive an organ transplant. If liver damage is detected prior to complete liver failure, patients have a much stronger prognosis and can often be treated. Patients currently on Accutane should have frequent blood work processed to check for increased liver enzyme levels. Patients that have taken Accutane in the past should also have a comprehensive metabolic panel completed to rule out any possible liver damage.
Multiple lawsuits have already been filed against Roche Pharmaceuticals, who are the creators and manufacturers of Accutane. Because the serious side effects and detriments are not limited to liver failure, patients need to be aware that the medication can also cause other illnesses and conditions such as Crohn's disease, colitis, severe depression, suicide, and others.