Accutane has been associated with pseudotumor cerebri also known as intracranial hypertension, intracranial pressure or brain pressure. The term pseudotumor cerebri, comes from words meaning a false (pseudo) tumor in the brain (cerebri) because the symptoms of this disorder mimic those of a brain tumor. Like a brain tumor, if the condition is not treated quickly, it can lead to permanent vision problems, stroke, seizure, and death.
There is no argument that Accutane can cause Pseudotumor Cerebri. The current Accutane label makes specific reference to the condition as follows:
Accutane use has been associated with a number of cases ofpseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension), some of which involved concomitant use of tetracyclines. Concomitant treatment with tetracyclines should therefore be avoided. Early signs and symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri includepapilledema, headache, nausea and vomiting, and visual disturbances. Patients with these symptoms should be screened for papilledema* and, if present, they should be told to discontinue Accutane immediately and be referred to a neurologist for further diagnosis and care.
Here is the warning from Accutane's own Medication Guide:
Accutane can increase the pressure in your brain. This can lead to permanent loss of sight, or in rare cases, death. Stop taking Accutane and call your prescriber right away if you get any of these signs of increased brain pressure: bad headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Also, some patients taking Accutane have had seizures (convulsions) or stroke.
If you are taking or have taken Accutane, watch for these symptoms that might indicate increased pressure in the brain:
Treatment for pseudotumor cerebri includes reducing brain pressure by fluid removal methods including spinal tap. Steroids can help reduce brain tissue swelling. Other drugs may also be used. Visual loss is not always treatable and may be permanent and/or may result in blindness.
If you or a loved one has suffered from pseudotumor cerebries or other health complications from taking Accutane, please call or e-mail today and we will evaluate your Accutane claim for free.