The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on June 2011 that Actos (pioglitazone) has been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Actos is an antidiabetic medication that is used to treat people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is not surprising that Actos lawsuits have sprung up due to the Actos bladder cancer risk.
A recent study prompted the FDA to issue safety concerns regarding the association between long-term users of Actos had an increased risk for developing bladder cancer. People who had been taking the drug for more than a year had a 40-percent greater risk for developing bladder cancer.
What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer develops when there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells (tumors) in the bladder. Cigarette smoking has been one of the main causes of bladder cancer, but now the drug Actos can be added to the list of things that increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.
The signs and symptoms of bladder cancer are similar to having a urinary tract infection. People typically report pain on urination, urgency and frequency. Blood in the urine, leaking urine, fatigue, low back pain, abdominal pain, and weight loss have also been reported.
The prevalence of this type of cancer in the population is rather high. It is the fourth most common type of cancer in men, and the ninth most common type of cancer in women. The good news is that it is treatable if caught in its early stages.
Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Immunotherapy is also used to stimulate the body’s immune system to kill the cancer cells. The selected treatments will depend on the stage of the cancer and how severe the symptoms are.
Actos Bladder Cancer
Commonly monitored possible Actos side effects are swelling (edema), congestive heart failure (CHF), swelling in the eye, inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), anemia, and fractures of the arm, hand and foot. Now bladder cancer can be added to the list of possible adverse reactions to the long-term use of Actos.
The FDA has added the increased bladder cancer risk to the Warnings and Precautions section on the label for Actos. This was based on the five-year analysis of data from the currently ongoing 10-year study. The drug is not recommended for people who have active bladder cancer or a history of bladder cancer.
Actos has helped people with type 2 diabetes mellitus control their blood sugars. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Actos. Studies on the risks of taking this medication are continuing and will help people determine if the benefits received from Actos are worth any possible risks.