Actos News

New Study: Actos Users 80 Percent More Likely to Develop Bladder Cancer
Thursday, May 31, 2012

A new study conducted by researchers at McGill University and Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Canada suggests people with Type 2 diabetes that take Actos (pioglitazone) are over 80 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who don't take the drug. For patients that take Actos for more than two years, the risk of developing bladder cancer is doubled - a finding that is very unsettling considering Actos is meant to be taken long term. The Actos study was published Thursday in the journal BMJ

The Actos study comes on the heels of a safety announcement from Health Canada earlier this year that indicated "emerging signals" have linked Actos (pioglitazone) to bladder cancer. Health Canada, the nation's federal health department, issued the statement after performing a safety assessment of the Type 2 diabetes drug, which was based on an ongoing study being conducted by Actos manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The drug regulator asked Takeda to update the Actos label to inform the drug's users about the link to bladder cancer.

Researchers in the latest study looked at medical records from over 115,000 people from Britain that were prescribed medication for their Type 2 diabetes. The patients were placed into four groups: those that took pioglitazone exclusively, those that took rosiglitazone (Avandia) exclusively, those that took a combination of both pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, and those that took nothing. An increased risk for bladder cancer was only seen in the group of patients that took pioglitazone. The risk was found to be greater in patients that took pioglitazone for longer durations or at higher dosages.

"I think this is probably the single best study of this issue, and I think (it) leaves little doubt that pioglitazone is a potential risk for bladder cancer," said Dr. David Juurlink, head of the division of clinical pharmacology at the University of Toronto. "I think this study adds fuel to the argument that this is a class of drugs that people should simply not be prescribing - doctors should simply not be prescribing."




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