Actos, or pioglitazone, is a medication commonly prescribed to help control blood sugar levels in adults with Type II diabetes. It is also used as a preventative diabetic medication for patients who show early symptoms of the disease. First approved in 1999, Actos is one of Takeda’s best-selling drugs, bringing in billions of dollars in sales for the drug manufacturer every year.
Actos Side Effects: Bladder Cancer
In June 2011, the FDA issued a safety warning linking Actos to an increased risk of bladder cancer, especially when used for more than one year. The warning stems from preliminary results of a 10-year observational study conducted in September 2010, showing that the risk of bladder cancer increases as the duration and dose of Actos use increases. Patients using Actos for longer than one year were found to have a 40 percent elevated risk of bladder cancer. Although men are at greatest risk for the disease, female Actos users are five times more likely to suffer from bladder cancer than those not taking the drug.
In response to the serious cancer risk, European regulators suspended the sale and use of Actos. French and German authorities banned use of the drug after a study of more than 150,000 diabetes patients taking the medication confirmed an increased risk for bladder cancer. As of July 2011, those who use Actos, or another diabetes drug known as Competact, will have to switch their medications.
Although U.S. regulators have not yet pulled Actos from store shelves, new information will be added to the drug’s label to alert users of the increased bladder cancer risk. Lawmakers and medical experts share concerns that a black box warning is not adequate enough, and urge the FDA to pull the drug from the market. They also claim that the federal agency failed to adequately warn users about known cardiovascular risks associated with Actos.
Signs and Symptoms of Actos Bladder Cancer
Common symptoms of Actos-related bladder cancer include:
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent or painful urination
- Inability to urinate
- Urinary tract infection
Other Actos side effects may include:
- Heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney cancer
- Liver problems
- Bone fracture
Contact our Experienced Actos Attorneys
The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have extensive knowledge about Actos drug litigation. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with bladder cancer or experienced any of these dangerous side effects while taking Actos, contact our office immediately for a free, confidential consultation. Our Actos lawyers can explain your legal rights and the compensation that you may be entitled to for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Our Actos attorneys have helped Actos users around the country who suffered serious and potentially fatal side effects. Actos is often prescribed as an alternative to the diabetes drug Avandia, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and death. However, studies have shown that both drugs carry the same health risks. The risks of Actos were not adequately disclosed, and our firm is handling injuries resulting from Actos cancer use nationwide.
Visit this link to learn more about the warnings, precautions, and indications associated with Actos on the FDA’s website: