Researchers have suggested that the diabetes drug Actos may be associated with an increased risk of major side effects, including bladder cancer. Actos (pioglitazone) has been on the market since 1999, and is currently manufactured by drug maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Actos belongs to a class of medications called thiazolidinediones, and is used to help control blood sugar levels in adults with type II diabetes. In patients with type II diabetes, fat, liver and muscle cells do not respond properly to insulin, which prevents blood sugar from entering the cells to be store for energy. Actos functions by increasing the sensitivity of these cells to insulin, allowing the cells to remove glucose from the blood more effectively. Unfortunately, recent studies have indicated that Actos may no longer be considered safe in the treatment of type II diabetes, due to the potential risk of severe side effects. If you took Actos to control your blood sugar and have since suffered from bladder cancer, contact an Actos attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse.
Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the bladder, the organ in the pelvic area that stores urine. Bladder cancer most often begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder, causing symptoms like:
Bladder cancer treatment depends largely on a number of factors, including the type and stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and the patient’s treatment preferences. Surgical procedures for early-stage bladder cancer include surgery to remove the tumor or surgery to remove the tumor and a small portion of the bladder. For patients with invasive bladder cancer, surgery to remove the entire bladder may be necessary, followed by surgery to create a new way for urine to leave the body. Other victims of bladder cancer may benefit from immunotherapy, which can help the immune system fight cancer cells, or chemotherapy or radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, even with treatment, bladder cancer often recurs. Because of this risk, bladder cancer survivors often undergo follow-up testing for years after successful treatment.
The FDA issued a safety announcement in June 2011, warning patients and physicians about the possible increased risk of bladder cancer among patients taking the diabetes medication Actos for more than one year. This FDA warning was based on the agency’s five-year review of an ongoing, ten-year epidemiological study conducted by Actos maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals. According to the FDA’s review, an increased risk of bladder cancer was noted among patients with the longest exposure to pioglitazone (Actos), and patients exposed to the highest cumulative dose of the diabetes drug. Compared to never being exposed to Actos, a duration of Actos use longer than one year was linked to an alarming 40% increased risk of bladder cancer. Another epidemiological study was conducted in France recently, which led to France suspending the use of Actos, and Germany recommending that physicians avoid starting Actos therapy in new patients.
Bladder cancer affects approximately twenty out of 100,000 people in the United States each year, and this risk is believed to be higher in patients with diabetes. If you or a loved one has suffered from a bladder cancer side effect and you believe the diabetes drug Actos to be the cause, contact an Actos attorney for legal help. You may have grounds to file an Actos lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug. Drug companies like Takeda are responsible for the safety of their medications, even after they enter the market, and should be held accountable for any side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Only by hiring an experienced Actos lawyer can victims of potential Actos side effects protect themselves and collect the compensation they deserve.