According to The Guardian newspaper, the number of fatalities among users of the highly popular drug increased by five compared to the previous year and is the highest since 1983.
Users were warned in 1998 that the drug could cause "some people have had thoughts about hurting themselves or ending their own lives (suicidal thoughts), have tried to end their own lives (attempted suicide), or have ended their lives (suicide). These people may not appear to be depressed," as quoted by the newspaper.
According to the MHRA, which governs the safety of the drug, its findings were not evidence of the drug's side-effects but only "a suspicion ... that the drug may have been the cause." The agency added that the Isotretinoin Expert Working Group would reconsider all data regarding the risk of suicide to establish whether further regulatory measures were necessary.
Within this context, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will publish a special guidance on all available options for treating acne by 2021. According to the institute, Roaccutane can be recommended for severe cases when other drugs did not help.
Roaccutane, which is also known as Accutane, is drug isotretinoin used by about 30,000 people per year in the United Kingdom.