Q: What is Actos?
A: Actos is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. The drug is prescribed for people with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Pioglitazone is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other medications, but it is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
Q: I’ve heard that the FDA announced Actos may increase the risk of bladder cancer. Should I be worried?
A: The new warning was issued after the FDA’s review of data from an ongoing study which found that Actos increased the risk of bladder cancer among patients taking a high dosage of the drug over a period of several years. In one study with more than 193,000 diabetes patients, individuals taking Actos were on the drug for an average of two years, the FDA said. “Compared to never being exposed to pioglitazone, a duration of pioglitazone therapy longer than 12 months was associated with a 40 percent increase in risk [for bladder cancer],” the agency said.
Q: I am thinking about taking Actos for my diabetes. Is it still a good idea?
A: Right now, the FDA advises doctors not to use Actos in patients with bladder cancer, and to use it with caution in patients who have had bladder cancer. The FDA also says that “the benefits of blood sugar control with pioglitazone should be weighed against the unknown risks for cancer recurrence.”
Q: What should I do if I have been on Actos for a long period of time and have symptoms associated with bladder cancer?
A: The FDA said diabetes patients should inform their doctor if they are having symptoms of bladder cancer such as blood or red color in urine, an urgent need to urinate or pain while urinating, and pain in back or lower abdomen.
The Strom Law Firm is now accepting product liability cases concerning the diabetes drug Actos and its link to bladder cancer. Call us right now to schedule a free consultation. 803.252.4800