Bladder Cancer Side Effects from Actos Identified in Another Study

Yet another study has tied side effects of the diabetes drug Actos to an increased risk of bladder cancer. 

According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) on July 3, researchers confirmed an association between the Actos and bladder cancer.

This research is the latest in a number of studies finding an increased risk of bladder cancer side effects from Actos.

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Researchers looked at a number of biomedical databases, trials and studies that included data on 2,657,365 patients. Of those patients, 3,643 were diagnosed with bladder cancer.

The study determined that there is a 22% increased risk of bladder cancer among patients with type 2 diabetes using Actos or another drug belonging to the same class of medications, known as thiazolidinediones, which also includes Avandia and Rezulin.

The research comes on the heels of two other reports published several weeks ago that appeared to also confirm links between Actos side effects and bladder cancer. One study conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania also determined that the problem may be class-wide, but they calculated the increased risk to be closer to 75%. Another study, by other Canadian researchers, limited the risk to just Actos.

The FDA has been studying potential links between Actos and bladder cancer since September 2010. Last year, a study conducted by French insurers was the first to positively report an Actos association, leading France and German to order an Actos recall in those countries. The response in the European Union and by the FDA were to increase warning labels on Actos, but to keep the drugs on the market.

Actos (pioglitazone) was developed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and approved in the United States for treatment of type 2 diabetes in July 1999.  It is a once-daily pill that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  Related medications that also contain the same active pharmaceutical ingredient include ActoPlus Met and Duetact.

A growing number of former users of the medication are now pursuing an Actos lawsuit against Takeda after developing bladder cancer, alleging that the drug maker failed to adequately research the side effects of the medication or warn about the link.


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