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General Motors Recalling 800,000 SUVs and Pickup Trucks for Brake Problems

General Motors Corp. (GM) is recalling 804,000 full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in 14 northern states because of potential problems with the anti-lock braking system.

Corrosion in the braking system has been blamed for more than 200 low-speed crashes.

A GM spokesman says the problem occurs when salt and other road grime gets into the area covering the antilock braking system sensor near the wheel hub. The problem activates the ABS at speeds much lower than normal, requiring a longer stopping distance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describers the problem as an unwanted application of the antilock brake system; http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

An ongoing investigation was opened by NHTSA in late April of more than 1.2 million GM pickups and SUVs in 20 states because of questions about the antilock brakes.

ConsumerAffairs.Com has received complaints about the problems with GM antilock brakes since 2002 and GM says there have been 228 crashes reported through the end of May, including 10 minor injuries.

Ralph Nader Demands NHTSA Issue Warning about Potential Electrical Fire Hazard in 3.7 Million Ford Trucks and SUVs

Ralph Nader has demanded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alert vehicle owners to a potential fire hazard in numerous models of Ford and Lincoln SUVs and trucks.

Nader wrote to Jeffrey Runge, head of NHTSA, insisting he issue a public warning about "life-threatening hazards" from a faulty cruise control switch in those vehicles.

The auto manufacturer is currently recalling about 750,000 Ford F-150s, Expeditions, and Lincoln Navigators manufactured in 2000.

While the current recall will replace cruise control switches, which may catch fire in the above mentioned vehicles, the NHTSA is continuing its investigation to determine whether the same fire hazard exists in as many as 3.7 million additional automobiles.

The government investigation, which began in March, involves F-150 pickups manufactured from the 1995 to 1999 and 2001 to 2002 and Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigator models from 1997 to 1999 and 2001 to 2002.
The NHTSA has received more than 550 complaints of engine fires as a result of the cruise control switch in the Ford models.

As previously reported in newsinferno.com, after 911 was called, 74-year-old Darletta Mohlis died in an attempt to escape from her burning house. Her three children and husband, Earl, are suing the Ford Motor Company in a wrongful death action claiming a faulty cruise-control deactivation switch on Mr. Mohlis’s 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck caused the fatal fire. 

In its ongoing investigation of fires linked to faulty cruise control shut off switches in Ford vehicles, CNN has already reported that despite the fact that Ford is aware of 16 million 1992 to 2003 vehicles at risk, only slightly over one million have been recalled.

The switch (manufactured for Ford by Texas Instruments) costs $20.57 and has already being linked to 559 fires reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Many of these fires have completely destroyed the vehicle. In this case, however, Mrs. Mohlis died when her entire house burned down after the family pickup truck caught fire while parked in the garage.

The fires are spontaneous and often occur when the ignition switch is off and the key removed. This is because Ford designed the switch to remain on or “hot” at all times. When a crack develops in the film (supplied by Dupont) separating the brake fluid from the electrical circuit, the leak will cause a fire.

Since May 1999, Ford has recalled a total of 1,071,000 vehicles in two separate recalls. CNN reports, however, that a document it has obtained shows Ford is aware that it installed a total of 16 million of the switches between 1992 and 2003 in the following vehicles:

•    Mark VII/VIII from 1994-1998
•    Taurus/Sable and Taurus SHO 2.3 L 1993-1995
•    Econoline 1992-2003
•    F-Series 1993-2003
•    Windstar 1994-2003
•    Explorer without IVD 1995-2003
•    Explorer Sport/Sport Trac 2002-2003
•    Expedition 1997-2003
•    Ranger 1995-2003

In March 2005, the NHTSA opened an expanded investigation into more than 3.7 million of these vehicles. Ford, however, has chosen not to recall all of the vehicles arguing that the switch has performed well for years in most vehicle models.

As a result, Ford has limited their recalls to those models “with an increasing fire rate report.” A recent recall notice was clear as to the risk, however.  Ford stopped using the switch last year in favor of a new design.
In the case involving the Mohlis family, inspections of the truck and fire scene have been performed by two experts hired by the family’s attorney, officials from the NHTSA, and inspectors from Ford.

The family’s experts, an electrical engineer and a certified fire investigator, believe the switch caused the fire. Ford claims the fire started elsewhere and spread to the truck and the switch had nothing to do with the fire. The NHTSA has made no public statement as to its investigation or findings.

Mr. Mohlis stated the truck had been parked in the garage and shut off for four days before the fire.

Respiratory Tract Infections in Children Linked to Newly Discovered Virus

Tobias Allander and Björn Andersson, of the Karolinska Institutet (KI), identified a previously unknown virus called human bocavirus that can cause respiratory illness in children.

The researchers discovered the virus in respiratory tract samples from children at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm utilizing a new method for virus discovery.

Currently, infections of the lower respiratory tract are a significant cause of hospitalization of children. In about 20% of cases, doctors are presently unable to determine the cause of the infection.

Dr. Allander, a scientist at KI’s Centre for Molecular Medicine and Department of Clinical Microbiology and an associate professor at KI’s Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics along with his colleague Dr. Andersson, pioneered a method that allows for the systematic scanning of samples to detect unidentified viruses.

The Swedish team found bocavirus contributed to at least 3% of serious lower respiratory tract infections.

Dr. Allender commented: "We believe that the most important aspect of our discovery is that it will enable the discovery of many more viruses, and this may help us solve important medical questions. Identifying unknown viruses will probably help in developing diagnostics and treatment for diseases that are currently of unknown origin."

Many scientists believe that as yet unknown viruses may be involved in the development of diseases such as childhood diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study can be found in the latest issue of PNAS (the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA).

Study Finds Americans Getting the Bulk of Their Antioxidants from Coffee

A new study reports that one health benefit of coffee may be as an antioxidant. According to Joe A. Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania (U.S.), Americans actually get most of their antioxidants from coffee.

Vinson states that antioxidants can be good for you in a number of ways including affecting enzymes and genes, though more research is needed, he said. They are also thought to combat damage to cells and DNA.

Vinson’s study considered the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils tea, coffee and coco. Then, using the Agriculture Department’s data on food consumption patterns, calculated the antioxidants Americans get from each food.

The results showed that adults consumed 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants daily from coffee, 294 milligrams from tea, 76 milligrams from bananas, 72 milligrams from dry beans, and 48 milligrams from corn.

Thus, most of the antioxidants taken in came from coffee since, according to the Agriculture Department; American adults drink 1.64 cups a day.

However, the study also concluded Americans are still not getting enough fruits and vegetables, which are, themselves, important sources of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Good vegetable and fruits sources include dates, cranberries and red grapes.

Recently, Japanese research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute linked daily coffee consumption of up to four cups to lower risk of liver cancer and research from the Harvard School of Public Health suggested coffee drinking lowered the risk of diabetes.

The Harvard study found men who drank more than six 8-ounce cups of caffeinated coffee per day lowered their risk of Type 2 diabetes by about 50%, and women reduced their risk by nearly 30%.

While these studies suggest a favorable side to America’s coffee consumption habits, excessive coffee drinking has its critics who point out that high caffeine intake makes many people jittery and unable to sleep. It may even raise cholesterol levels. As Vinson remarked as a disclaimer to the findings "We always talk about moderation in anything."

Lighter Cars May Save Fuel but the Tradeoff May Be Safety

Despite the current energy crisis, the Bush administration is urging automobile manufactures not to produce lighter, smaller and more energy efficient cars because of the potential danger of more accident-related deaths.
Instead, last week, the administration suggested new fuel economy regulations or CAFE standards for sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans, which they believe will save 10 billion gallons of gas in the next twenty years.

Environmentalists balked at the proposals since, "at best, they’re proposing a system that will save a month’s worth of gas," said David Friedman, an analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

John D. Graham, who formerly did academic research financed by the auto industry which found lighter cars lead to fatalities, is a top official at the Office of Management and Budget and was involved in developing the new plan. He claimed that the CAFE standards would save fuel, reduce the unintended safety risks to motorists, and provide an equitable regulatory framework for all vehicle manufacturers.

In 2001, the National Academy of Sciences essentially supported his safety research claiming 1,300 to 2,600 fatalities in 1993 were the result of the fuel-economy regulations.

According to the new plan, auto manufactures would have to meet a fuel economy average of 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and 21.2 mpg for light trucks on new models.

CAFE would also subdivide the light-truck group into six subcategories according to a vehicle’s dimensions and requirements for bigger vehicles would be lower.

Currently, the largest SUVs and pickup trucks, such as the Hummer H2, would not be included in the regulations. However, the administration says legislation may still be changed to include large SUVs when the final plan is announced in April 2006.

The plan promotes better technology including hybrid electric systems, more efficient transmissions, and less horsepower as opposed to reducing weight.

While safety clearly should be a priority, the prevalence of SUVs, which guzzle gas, contribute to pollution, and add unnecessarily to congestion in cities, is also a concern.

Consumers have raised this issue, saying that vehicles which are too fat, not too light are also dangerous by citing SUV crash studies.

Critics of the CAFE plan say the legislation may allow automakers to make their SUVs even larger, though soaring gas prices would hinder the marketability of such products and ultimately remove some of the allure enjoyed by SUVs.

Jury Hits DuPont with $14 Million Verdict in Dioxin Cancer Case

Glen Strong, an oyster fisherman of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, claimed that his rare blood cancer (multiple myeloma) was caused by exposure to dioxin from DuPont’s plant located about five miles from his home. A jury agreed and awarded Mr. Strong $14 million in actual damages.

In what is only the first of 1,996 cases filed against this particular DuPont company known as DuPont DeLisle the jury also awarded Strong’s wife, Connie, $1.5 million for her derivative claim for emotional damages.

The DuPont DeLisle plant makes titanium dioxide, a white pigment used in paint, plastics, toothpaste, and other products.

Mr. Strong’s attorney was reported as stating: "This chemical company cares nothing about the people of south Mississippi."

The state Supreme Court decision to uphold sanctions issued by Circuit Judge Billy Joe Landrum excluding nine DuPont witnesses from testifying occurred just hours before the trial and clearly impacted the outcome. 

As a result DuPont was unable to call any witnesses in its defense and had only the testimony of Strong’s doctor, who had testified there is no way to determine the root of multiple myeloma, to rely on.

Judge Landrum had ruled that DuPont "deliberately avoided" depositions of its witnesses by not giving Strong’s attorneys an opportunity to interview them before the trial.
According to a DuPont spokesperson, the company will appeal the decision, claiming an unfair trial, and will continue with its plan to defend each case on its own merits.

DuPont’s position is that the jury was prevented from hearing from real scientists who were ready to testify and prove the company was not responsible for Mr. Strong’s illness.

DuPont’s spokesperson also stated: "We don’t blame the jury, because they only heard half the story."

The jury deliberated for about two hours before arriving at a 9-3 verdict in favor of Strong. They will reconvene on Monday to determine if (and how much) punitive damages should be awarded.

Since the case was filed before Jan. 1, 2003, it is not affected by $20 million “cap” recently adopted by the Mississippi Legislature.

Breakthrough in SARS Treatment Reported by Chinese Researchers

A breakthrough has been announced in the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which resulted in 774 worldwide deaths (mostly in Asia) in 2002.

The discovery was the result of work done by a team of experts working in China’s Guangdong Province. The lead researchers were: Zhong Nanshan, China’s leading SAR’s expert; Li Baojian, a respected biologist; and Lu Yang, an expert on biological medicine.

After two years of extensive investigations into the disease, the scientists announced that fragments of genetic material, called interfering RNA, were proven to be successful in treating the illness. By slicing specific genes, the small fragments known as siRNA, appear to reduce an existing infection in monkeys and aid in the prevention of new ones.

Scientists conducted the tests with 20 monkeys in five groups. All the monkeys were infected with the SARS virus and some of them were treated with siRNA.

All the infected animals showed symptoms of the virus, but those with siRNA treatment suffered from less lung damage and had less severe symptoms overall.

Scientists project that this research may have implications for the study of other serious viruses and diseases including AIDS, hepatitis, and tumors.

California Sues to Have French Fries and Potato Chips Carry Cancer Warning

California’s crusading Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, has sued nine fast food chains and potato chip manufactures pursuant to that state’s law requiring companies to warn consumers if a product contains a potentially dangerous substance.  Known carcinogens would fall into that category.

Lockyer claims that the law applies to potato chips and fries since they may cause cancer due to the presence of the chemical acrylamide which has been on California’s list of carcinogens since 1990 and has been associated with cancer of reproductive organs in laboratory animals exposed to high levels.

Acrylamide was initially considered an industrial agent and was used both in food packaging and to treat sewage.  The substance was discovered in food in 2002 by Swedish scientists who identified it in starchy foods cooked at high temperatures.

Recent research has supported a connection between fried potatoes and cancer in a study earlier this month suggesting women who ate a lot of French fries as children had an increased risk of developing cancer later in life.

Lockyer claims that according to proposition 65 (an initiative passed by voters in 1986 to insure proper warnings on dangerous substances) companies including Burger King Corporation, Cape Cod Potato Chips, Inc., Lance, Inc., Frito-Lay, Inc., Ore-Ida frozen potato products, KFC Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, and Wendy’s International, Inc. should be required to place warning labels on their food products alerting consumers to potentially harmful levels of acrylamide.

Although Lockyer stated: "I am not telling people to stop eating potato chips and French fries. I know from personal experience that, while these snacks may not be a necessary part of a healthy diet, they sure taste good."

The food industry has expressed its unhappiness concerning the warnings and believes the proposed labels will cause unnecessary alarm and concern among consumers.

The attorney for several of the defendants said: "No one buys a potato to eat it raw. People will think if they make [French fries] on their own they will not have problems." A spokeswoman for Frito-Lay said the snacks are absolutely safe.

Lockyer argues that after the 2002 acrylamide reports, the products involved in the case were subjected to many tests to establish that they were subject to a proposition 65 warning label.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently determining the presence of the chemical in food, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has estimated French fries have as much as 125 times the amount of acrylamide for which a warning is required under state law. Consumers of potato chips receive as much as 75 times the level requiring a warning.

Lockyer’s case follows several others that sought to take action against these foods. In 2002 the Committee for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) filed a private suit against McDonald’s and Burger King. Currently it is pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Two additional private suits were filed on August 3, 2005 by Environmental World Watch, Inc. (EWW) and by the Environmental Law Foundation on August 25 against the same companies targeted by Lockyer.

Purdue Pharma Faces 1,000 New Individual Law Suits in New York City Claiming Addiction to OxyContin

Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, faces 1,000 separate lawsuits from people who claim they became addicted to the drug.

Although OxyContin was approved in 1995 to teat patients with terminal cancer or chronic pain, it has now become a “street drug” that is widely abused for the purpose of obtaining a quick, heroin-like high.

The plaintiffs, according to their attorney, claim Purdue was deceptive in their marketing for not telling doctors, pharmacists, and patients about the drug’s highly addictive potential.

A New York State Supreme Court judge on Staten Island (a county within New York City), where the cases were filed, had previously decided against certifying a class-action suit, stating that the cases involved different issues and injury claims. As a result, a coordinating Supreme Court judge has been assigned to each individual case.
Although Purdue faces similar suits across the country, it claims it will defend each case and expects to win every one.

"Over the last four years, Purdue Pharma has never lost an OxyContin personal-injury lawsuit. On the contrary, 365 personal-injury lawsuits involving well over 1,000 plaintiffs, including many cases brought by these same personal-injury lawyers, have ended in Purdue’s favor. We expect these new cases will be no different" said spokesman Timothy Bannon.”

All the cases Bannon cited were either dismissed by the court or withdrawn by the plaintiffs. In November 2004, however, the company settled out of court with the West Virginia state attorney general’s office over a 2001 lawsuit.

Despite Severe Warnings and a New Registry Program, Many Question Whether an Acne Drug Is Really Worth the Enormous Risks Posed by Accutane

For years, Accutane has been under siege from numerous medical experts, consumer watchdog groups, and even many officials within the FDA itself because of the many serious health risks linked to the drug.

One problem associated with the current FDA approval and review process that is quite troublesome, is the dramatic increase in the harm or risk that will be tolerated when weighing the potential benefits of a new prescription drug.

Traditionally, even drugs which promised significant benefits would be subjected to greater testing over longer periods of time when significant side-effects or adverse reactions were possible. If the drug was developed to treat a relatively minor condition, the possibility of dangerous side effects usually spelled the end of the drug in terms of FDA approval for marketing.

Today, however, drugs are routinely given FDA approval without sufficient long-term testing using large study groups and without adequate warnings despite evidence of significant side-effects and adverse reactions. Drugs are also permitted to remain on the market far longer than they should be once significant problems are suspected or even confirmed.

This has repeatedly resulted either in the need for upgraded warnings one or more times after a drug is already on the market or in dangerous drugs being pulled from the market only after causing numerous serious injuries or deaths.

Probably the most alarming situation today, however, is when a drug designed to treat a relatively minor condition is approved by the FDA and permitted to remain on the market despite clear evidence of significant side effects or adverse reactions.

In such cases, the risk versus benefit equation has all but vanished from the pharmaceutical companies’ consideration and the FDA’s standards. Accutane is an example of such a drug.

For all of the positive results it might have achieved, Accutane is still nothing more than an acne drug. This fact alone has caused a wide range of critics of the drug to wonder how it has been permitted to remain on the market at all.

Recent developments with respect to the drug and the manner in which Accutane is regulated and monitored requires a fresh look at the drug and its uncanny ability to survive when other drugs used to treat far more serious conditions with considerably less serious side-effects have been pulled from the market.

Accutane is manufactured by Hoffman-LaRoche Pharmaceuticals. Its active ingredient is known as isotretinoin and it is primarily used to treat nodular acne, a condition that is resistant to other treatments, including antibiotics, and is characterized by the appearance of many nodules or cysts.

These nodules are inflammatory lesions filled with pus and get lodged deep within the skin. The lesions can cause pain, permanent scarring, and negative psychological effects.

Since its approval in 1982, the drug has been linked to serious potential Accutane side effects including:

•    birth defects when taken by pregnant women
•    psychological problems including possible suicide
•    neurological problems
•    stomach, bone and muscle problems
•    hearing and vision problems
•    problems with fats and cholesterol in the blood
•    ulcerative colitis
•    Crohn’s disease
•    inflammatory bowel disorder
•    rectal bleeding
•    abdominal pain
•    central nervous system injuries
•    bone and muscle loss
•    cardiovascular injuries
•    liver and kidney damage
•    pancreatitis
•    immune system disorder
•    lupus
•    thyroid disorders
•    various allergic reactions
•    Some minor side effects include dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, and dry nose that may lead to nosebleeds.

In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration advised doctors who prescribe Accutane to watch their patients for signs of depression. Afterward, Hoffman-LaRoche, the maker of Accutane, notified doctors that the drug “may cause depression, psychosis, and, rarely, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and suicide.”

This was one of the first indications that Accutane was headed for further problems. In January 2001, Roche began mailing doctors, psychiatrists, and pharmacists, information about the recent discovery of links between Accutane and various psychological problems.

By that time, the FDA had already received reports concerning 66 suicides and 1,373 cases of psychiatric problems. The drug’s information packet had already been updated in 1986 to include information about Accutane depression.

Accutane birth defects are perhaps the most severe side effects to be linked to the drug.  The list of possible birth defects include: hydrocephaly (enlargement of the fluid-filled spaces of the brain); microcephaly (small head); heart defects; facial deformities; and mental retardation.

The warnings originally released with Accutane in 1982 designated it as Category X, which means that it must be avoided under all circumstances by pregnant women and nursing mothers. Yet in 1983 reports of babies being born with certain defects began to surface.

As a result, in 1988, Roche launched the Pregnancy Prevention Program (PPP) with a kit that included a contraceptive booklet, checklists to help assess whether patients could comply with the drug’s requirements, and a consent form for patients to sign stating that they were fully aware of the risk of birth defects.

In 2001, Roche and the FDA also developed what is known as the System to Manage Accutane-Related Teratogenicity (SMART), a plan which requires those female Accutane users in their childbearing years, who have not had hysterectomies, to take and submit a pregnancy test every month before receiving a 30-day refill of the medication.

Since Accutane’s market approval, there have been 2,000 incidences of pregnancies among users, many of which ended in abortion.  The FDA, however, has calculated that more than 160 babies were born with defects directly attributable to Accutane usage.

It is likely that there were actually more pregnancies that occurred in female Accutane users because there was no system for reporting Accutane-linked pregnancies at the time.

Apparently, however, these precautions and amendments relating to Accutane were not enough to prevent the continuation of some of the most severe side effects associated with the drug.

Reports of suicides and birth defects relating to Accutane continued to surface forcing the FDA and Roche to once again review Accutane’s warning label.

In May of 2005, a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggested that Accutane can actually change brain functioning.  This is the first study to monitor brain functioning of Accutane patients and the first to show a direct biological link between the drug and depression.

The team of psychiatrists conducting the study found that the group of young adults taking Accutane showed decreased brain functioning of up to 21% in the front part of the brain an area known to mediate symptoms of depression.

The authors of the study have now urged the FDA and Hoffman-La Roche to conduct further research on the drug.  Accutane has now been linked to 266 cases of suicide in the United States including some high-profile cases such as the death of U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak’s son.

Just this past month, the FDA announced that there would be a new National Registry for all Accutane users that will take effect in December 2005.  Both male and female patients will have to enroll in the registry as well as doctors and pharmacies.

The purpose of this registry, called iPLEDGE is to eliminate the risk of birth defects by strictly monitoring female patients to make sure that they are not pregnant when beginning treatment and that they do not become pregnant during treatment.

Until now, women of childbearing age have been required to use two forms of birth control, get two negative pregnancy tests before their first Accutane prescription, and show proof of another negative pregnancy test before each refill.

The computerized registry system will now make sure that these precautionary measures take place as each woman will have to enter this information into the registry either by phone or by internet.

While the registry doesn’t officially begin until December, it opened on August 22 in order to allow doctors, patients, and pharmacies time to understand how to use it before everyone signs on at the end of the year.

In addition to taking part in the registry, all patients will also have to read, review, and sign a document informing them of the risks associated with Accutane, specifically psychiatric side effects and pregnancy-related issues.

The March of Dimes, a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality, applauds the recent efforts of the FDA.  Still, the organization has its doubts about the new registry.

For one thing, the registry will not regulate internet sales, therefore people can still acquire Accutane over the internet without understanding the severity of the health risks associated with it.

There is also concern that people might get confused with the many generic forms of isotretinoin and may still end up taking Accutane and putting themselves at risk without even knowing it.

In their alert regarding Accutane released in May of 2005, the FDA advised all Accutane patients to discontinue usage of the drug and inform their health care professional immediately if they experienced any of the following symptoms:

•    Feelings of sadness or crying spells
•    Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
•    Sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping
•    Having increased irritability, anger, or aggressivity (i.e. temper outbursts, thoughts of violence)
•    Change in appetite or body weight
•    Trouble concentrating
•    Withdrawal from family or friends
•    Loss of energy
•    Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
•    Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

In some situations, discontinuing the drug may not alleviate the problem and psychiatric evaluation or further medical investigation may be necessary.

Currently, litigation involving the following injuries is either in progress or being considered in a number of states:

•    Inflammatory Bowel Disease
•    Premature Closure of Growth Plates
•    Birth Defects
•    Ulcerative Colitis
•    Crohn’s Disease
•    Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
•    Rectal Bleeding
•    Abdominal Pain
•    Central Nervous System Injuries
•    Bone and Muscle Loss
•    Cardiovascular Injuries
•    Liver and Kidney Damage
•    Pancreatitis
•    Immune System Disorder
•    Lupus
•    Hearing and Vision Damage
•    Thyroid Disorders

Many experts and consumer advocates believe the range of serious health risks (physical and psychological) associated with Accutane should have doomed the drug long ago. Indeed, hundreds of Accutane lawsuits initiated throughout the country, and the fact that it is nothing more than a treatment for acne (regardless of how serious it may be) makes its survival all the more astounding to its critics.

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