Suicidal thoughts has been one the worst reported side effects of taking the Accutane drugs and other generics formulations. La Roche responded to these growing concerns and complaints by health official in 1999 by adamantly telling the FDA that there was no proof or link of suicidal behaviour caused by taking Accutane.
Then in 2000, the FDA openly stated that there were 147 known suicides that could be directly linked to taking the Accutane drug. It was then that Roche decided to place a warning label on the packaging informing people of the possible side effects that could involve depression, rare suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and even suicide.
In 2002, a congressional committee was held where the FDA informed the committee that they had received over 3,000 reports of patients experiencing adverse psychiatric behaviour with 173 suicides directly associated with taking Accutane.
It was then that La Roche changed the label on the Accutane packaging again to warn of “psychosis, depression and rarely, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, suicide, and aggressive and/or violent behaviours.”
In November 2004, FDA researcher David Graham testified before Congress that Accutane should be carefully scrutinized to determine whether the drug should continue to be on the market in the United States. Graham describes Accutane as “a 20-year regulatory failure by the FDA.”
In December 2004, USA today stated that Roche had ignored an internal doctor’s recommendation that people who take Accutane be monitored for signs of depression and that a warning be placed on the drug’s U.S. label stating this.
In 2005, a study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry concerning the effects of Accutane.
The study involved conducting brain scans on 28 acne sufferers.