Manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Actos® is a medication designed to treat Type 2 diabetes – a disease characterized by the body’s inability to regulate insulin causing high blood sugar levels. Actos® works by improving how your body uses insulin and decreasing the amount of glucose your liver releases. One attractive feature of Actos® is that it does not cause your body to create more insulin, so when it’s used alone, the medication does not cause low blood glucose (called hypoglycemia).
Actos® became so popular that it was the 10th best selling medication in the United States in 2008, grossing about $2.4 billion. However, the drug has been blamed for a number of side effects including cancer, heart failure and bladder tumors.
If you have suffered an injury – including bladder cancer – after Actos® use, you may have an Actos® injury claim against Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Talk to experienced Actos® injury attorneys who can help you evaluate your case and file a claim if that is appropriate.
In June of 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert to the public, stating that Actos® use may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. A warning will be included in the labeling information of Actos®, as well as other medications that contain pioglitazone, the drug’s main ingredient. The FDA’s safety warning stemmed from a 10-year study of patients taking the medication. At the five-year mark, there was no notable increase in the incidents of bladder cancer. However, patients who were taking the medication for a longer period and were exposed to a higher cumulative of Actos® were 40 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is treatable when detected early. When tumors are in the early stages and have not grown into the bladder wall, they can usually be removed in an out-patient procedure. The five-year survival rate for patients with early-stage bladder cancer is 85 percent, and many patients are diagnosed with a superficial tumor. Therefore, if you are taking Actos®, it is important to be aware of the warning signs, which may include:
- Pain when urinating
- Urgent need to empty the bladder
- Pain in the back or lower abdomen
- Loss of appetite/weight loss
- Blood or a reddish color in your urine
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are taking Actos® to treat Type 2 diabetes, see your doctor as soon as possible.