Yet more tragic cases to report on this month, with Accutane again linked with suicide and persistent erectile dysfunction.
Major UK news organisation, Channel 4, despatched their Health correspondent to meet the parents of a 15 year old who sadly took her own life earlier this year. Annabel Wright had been prescribed a course of Accutane for non-severe acne.
Annabel’s mother, Helen, asked their dermatologist about about the suicide connections she’d read about online, before Annabel commenced the course. These were dismissed and instead Helen was told to look out for low mood and depression. “We were never told that random suicidal impulses can come out of the blue and be overwhelming,” Helen told Chanel 4. Annabel had previously been a happy, vibrant and energetic young girl who took the drug after becoming worried about scarring from acne.
The broadcaster dug down into the website of the UK’s medicines regulator, discovering 60 ‘serious incidents’ associated with isotretinoin (brand name: Accutane), so far this year. That includes 31 deaths, and 25 suicides. This number may include figures from previous years, due to delays in reporting, with the regulator concluding that 14 have occurred this year. The regulator is now reconvening an independent investigatory group to examine the drug.
Annabel’s parents had to use every ounce of strength they had left to do the interview with Channel 4. But they wanted to do it – because “they owed it to Annabel.”
Channel 4 also met with a young man dealing with sexual dysfunction for 13 years, after originally taking Accutane age just 14. Now 27 years old, he bravely discusses the radical and devastating impact Accutane has wrought on his life. Like Annabel, Albert Woods was prescribed Accutane for acne.
“Everything was working before I was prescribed this drug. I had a high sex drive, like any young teenager. It wasn’t until I was 16 and I entered into my first proper relationship. It was then I realised that I couldn’t perform, and things weren’t working.”
Governments across Europe, including the UK, added erectile dysfunction and decreased libido to the patient information leaflet in 2017. But this was way too late for Albert and many others like the patients of Propeciahelp.com.
Albert went on to tell Channel 4:
“It has devastated my life. In every area of my life it has been devastating. I didn’t have anyone, no doctors, no one around me, no on in my life telling me this could be a result of this drug. I was completely in the dark.”
Albert began talking with other patients online, and Annabel Wright’s parents did the same – receiving a glut of messages from patients experiencing extreme side effects after taking Accutane.
The Channel 4 piece lands amidst a wave of lasting sexual dysfunction reports from patients who’ve taken widely-prescribed pharmaceutical drugs, including Propecia and SSRIs, in addition to Roaccutane. With growing media interest in this unique medical problem, the Propeciahelp team is now looking for patients to talk on our YouTube about their situation. Join the growing number of patients taking action, with our support, and let’s fix this together.