Actos (pioglitazone) is a single-ingredient drug used to improve blood sugar control in diabetics. In 2010, over 2.3 million people filled prescriptions for Actos. Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that using Actos for more than a year can lead to an increased risk of several health consequences, including:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

The FDA’s announcement is based on a five-year interim analysis of data gathered during an ongoing ten-year study. These interim results revealed that patients who take high doses of Actos and are exposed to it for over a year have a 40% higher risk of developing bladder cancer – along with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The FDA Warns Patients
Based on the five-year data, the FDA officially recommends that patients who are already suffering from bladder cancer should not use Actos. If a patient has a prior history of bladder cancer, they should use the drug with caution, carefully weighing the advantages of controlling blood glucose against the possible risk of cancer recurrence.

Any symptoms of bladder cancer should be quickly reported, including:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or back
  • Pain while urinating

Actos & The FDA

Actos’ manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, continues to dodge concerns about their drug, citing the benefits of Actos for patients who suffer from Type 2 diabetes as a reason why Actos should remain available. Since Actos is still the only drug on the market that successfully combats insulin resistance, it has not yet been included in a drug recall by the FDA.

Drug Regulators Clamor for a Recall
Despite the success of Actos in controlling blood glucose, many medical professionals agree that the benefits of controlling blood sugar may not be worth the heightened risk of bladder cancer, heart disease, and other potential conditions. In fact, other countries – including Germany and France – have already suspended Actos from use after revealing the results of their own study, which discovered the same high risk for bladder cancer.

Since Takeda Pharmaceuticals has failed to perform important early research and warn patients about Actos’ health risks, thousands of patients may have already developed bladder cancer or experienced a heart attack because of the drug.

Nationwide Pharmaceutical Injury Lawyers

Our experienced pharmaceutical injury lawyers at The Cochran Firm are now reviewing the potential for legal action against Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Actos. If it is proven that the drug’s manufacturers put their desire for profit ahead of patient safety, an Actos user who develops bladder cancer or cardiovascular disease may be able to pursue compensation for their injuries.

If you believe you have suffered serious injury because of Actos, please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. The Cochran Firm has offices across the United States with the resources and experience to pursue fair compensation on your behalf.