Sue Scheff: DrugWatch – Knowing Your Teen’s Prescriptions

An important guest post from

As we know from past experience, being a teenager can be quite difficult, while raising and empathizing with that teenager can be one of the more challenging tasks of being a parent. Especially when that child has a condition that makes things just a little bit more difficult.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that approximately 40 to 50 million Americans struggle with acne, the majority – about 85 percent – being teenagers and young adults. Four contributing factors have been identified in the cause of acne: excess oil, clogged pores, bacteria, and inflammation. The most important played in the fight against acne seems to be inflammation, which determines if a blemish will appear as a minor blackhead or severe and painful lesion.

Parents who are coping with this stage of their child’s development may seek out any measure to alleviate their child’s stress over a condition that can lead to poor self-image, depression, and anxiety. Acne treatment takes time – up to four to eight weeks – and there is no guarantee that any prescribed treatment will work.

As a parent it is your responsibility to weigh your child’s need for a healthy self-image with the possible consequences of certain acne treatments. While many teenagers experience success with certain methods such as birth control, oral antibiotics, or corticosteroid injections, others do not and may opt for more extreme treatments.

According to U.S. House of Representatives documents from 1998-2000, Accutane use was directly related to 54 suicides and 51 suicide attempts. This popular acne medication has also been linked to stomach complications like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

If your child has taken this medication, it is your responsibility to advocate for their health. If you child has experience the onset of any of the side effects of Accutane or related generic medications that are still on the market, an Accutane Lawsuit may be an option for your child to receive the assistance they need.