Researchers have identified a potential connection between the use of the diabetes drug Actos and the development of severe side effects, including heart disease. Actos (pioglitazone) garnered FDA approval in 1999 and has since been used in combination with diet and exercise to treat type II diabetes in adults. Actos belongs to a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones, and functions by increasing the sensitivity of muscle, fat and liver cells to insulin, allowing these cells to remove glucose from the blood more effectively. Actos is currently manufactured by drug company Takeda Pharmaceuticals and has become one of the most frequently prescribed diabetes drugs on the U.S. market. Despite its popularity however, Actos may no longer be considered a safe diabetes treatment due to information regarding potential heart disease side effects associated with Actos. If you took Actos to treat your type II diabetes and have since suffered from heart disease, contact a qualified Actos attorney for help.
Coronary heart disease occurs when the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart become narrowed, caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries. While some people with heart disease may exhibit very noticeable symptoms, other people may have the disease without experiencing any symptoms at all. The most common symptom of heart disease is chest pain or discomfort, which indicates that the heart is not getting enough blood or oxygen. Other symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath and fatigue with activity.
Heart disease treatment depends on the symptoms exhibited and how severe the disease is. Victims of heart disease may benefit from taking medications to treat diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. An important aspect of heart disease treatment is living a healthy lifestyle, which includes getting plenty of exercise, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol intake. Procedures and surgeries used to treat heart disease include:
The FDA issued a safety announcement in June 2011 warning the public about the increased risk of bladder cancer in patients taking Actos for more than one year. After reviewing the results of an epidemiology study observing the potential link between Actos and bladder cancer, Actos was removed from the market in France, and officials in Germany advised against using Actos in new patients. In 2007, the journal Lancet published a study in which researchers suggested that the risk of heart failure was significantly higher in patients taking Actos, particularly in those patients with a history of heart disease or heart failure. Actos currently carries a “black box” warning notifying patients and healthcare providers about the potential for Actos to cause or worsen congestive heart failure. In addition, the FDA made an announcement earlier this year indicating that another thiazolidinedione drug, Avandia, would be removed from the U.S. market in November 2011, due to concerns that the drug may cause serious cardiovascular side effects like heart disease and heart failure.
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. If you or a loved one has suffered from a heart disease side effect, and you believe Actos to be the cause, contact an Actos attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file an Actos lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical cost of treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. Drug companies like Takeda are responsible for the safety of their medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies intentionally conceal the more serious side effects of their drugs in an attempt to make their product more appealing to the public. This deceptive practice puts millions of consumers at risk of unnecessary harm and possibly even death. By hiring an Actos lawyer to represent your case, you can protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve.