Actos News

Actos Advice for Diabetic Patients
Thursday, September 22, 2011

In June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about an increased risk of bladder cancer from the long term use of pioglitazone, which is the active ingredient in the type II diabetes drug Actos. Patients taking Actos will have concerns about the health risks associated with the popular diabetes drug, and whether they should continue using the medication.

It is natural to be concerned, especially since the FDA warning linking bladder cancer with Actos use limits the choices that diabetics now have for controlling this disease. There are already severe limitations on the availability of diabetes drug Avandia in the marketplace after it was linked to an increased risk of heart disease and heart problems in diabetic patients.

Actos was supposed to be different. For a while, patients found that the drug allowed them to manage their glucose levels adequately, and the side effects reported were minimal. Actos was believed to differ from Avandia in the way that it worked to control glucose levels and sales skyrocketed, especially after the health risks of Avandia became public knowledge.

However, data gathered by Actos maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals last year showed that pioglitazone could increase the risk of bladder cancer. The FDA conducted a review, and in June, the agency warned about the risks of bladder cancer in patients with prolonged use of Actos. According to the FDA, patients who took Actos for longer than two years were 40 percent more likely to develop the deadly cancer. The data review also found that patients who were exposed to cumulative dosages of the drug were also at the highest risk of developing bladder cancer.

Doctors have been discouraged from prescribing Actos to people who suffer from bladder cancer, or have a history of bladder cancer. Your physician will be able to review your Actos usage, and determine whether the risks outweigh the benefits.



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