Accutane for Chemotherapy

Accutane is well-known as an acne drug. But did you know that it was originally developed for chemotherapy? This helps explain why Accutane side effects can be so devastating!

Chemotherapy drugs can wreak devastation on a person’s immune system as their healthy immune cells are killed. Accutane (isotretinoin) was developed as a chemotherapy drug for pancreatic cancer, brain cancer and other lethal cancers. It has the ability to kill rapidly dividing cells.

It takes time for a person’s body and immune system to fight back after the devastation caused by chemotherapy. That is consistent with the fact that some people develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) years after taking Accutane.  Accutane side effects from inflammatory bowel disease can include diarrhea, constipation, pain and bloody stools.

Side effects can go beyond the abdomen and include many other parts of the body and can be severely painful and chronic.  Others develop symptoms much more quickly, and flare-ups can occur without warning and varies from person to person.  Accutane like other chemotherapy drugs also weakens the immune system and could trigger the inappropriate immune system reactions that leads to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Resources: The Accutane

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