What is the difference between IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Accutane IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)?



UPDATE: Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is no longer reviewing new Accutane cases. This page is provided for informational purposes only.

The Accutane lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) lawsuits for former users of the popular acne medication. While this condition is often confused with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Accutane lawsuits are not being pursued for IBS.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of conditions that impact the colon and small intestines. It can cause severe stomach conditions, and a great deal of pain. IBD from Accutane has greatly reduced the overall quality of life for hundreds of former users of the acne drug or its generic equivalents.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a troublesome, but much less serious condition that is usually diagnosed when most other gastrointestinal ailments, including IBD, have been excluded as possibilities. It is also often associated with abdominal pain, discomfort and changes in bowel habits.

Side effects of Accutane have been linked to an increased risk of IBD, and hundreds of people throughout the United States have filed an Accutane IBD lawsuit.

The Accutane bowel problems generally comes in two forms: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. The primary difference between the two is location, which both can cause open sores in the digestive tract and result in symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomitting, weight loss and athritis.

IBS is much less understood, since it is a condition of exclusion. Stress, infections and changes in the body’s chemistry have all been suggested as possible causes for IBS. Symptoms can include chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and changes in bowel habits; including both diarrhea and constipation.

IBD is usually treated through the use of anti-inflammatory medications and immunosuppressant drugs. In some cases it results in surgery to remove affected areas via colostomy, bowel resection and other surgical methods.

IBS is treated through the use of stool softeners, laxatives, antidiarrheals, dietary changes and even antidepressants. However, there is no known cure.


The manufacturers of Accutane and generic equivalents have failed to adequately warn about the risk of IBD from Accutane. As a result, former users diagnosed with the bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, may be entitled to financial compensation through an Accutane bowel disease lawsuit.

Complaints allege that the drug makers failed to adequately research the IBD side effects of Accutane or warn about the impact IBD may have on an Accutane user for the rest of their life. Information contained on the drug’s warning label has been vague and confusing, leaving consumers and physicians without complete information to make an informed decision about the acne benefits of the drug compared to the risk of IBD with Accutane.

To review a potential claim for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation on line or call our Accutane IBD lawyers toll free at (800) 522-0102.

UPDATE: Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is no longer reviewing new Accutane cases. This page is provided for informational purposes only.
Austin Kirk

Last Updated November 24, 2010
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  • Karen says:

    I took Accutane for over a year between 1985 (earliest) and 1989 (latest). My daughter had taken Accutane for acne and I had very oily skin. Her doctor told me he could take care of the problem with Accutane. Shortly thereafter I began to have periodic diahrrea for no apparent reason. It gradually became worse and worse. In 2007 and 2008 I was having horrible problems. I have been to two different gastro doctors and they have tried everything they can think of and the diahrrea keeps getting worse. At this point I am completely carb intolerant. My diet consists of meat and squash and a very small amount of hard cheese. I plan to go to the Mayo clinic after the first of the year to see if they can help. I went on ss disability in 2009 because my condition was so severe that I had fecal incontinence and had lost 25 pounds over a two year period.

    Posted on December 24, 2014 at 9:58 pm

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