Actos Lawsuits - Bladder Cancer Risks & Side Effects

Actos Lawsuits

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People with diabetes who take the controversial medication Actos may have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer, heart disease and other potentially life-threatening side effects.

actos bladder cancer lawsuitRecent studies have shown that the popular Type 2 diabetes drug Actos may be associated with an increased risk of life-threatening side effects, including bladder cancer and cardiovascular problems like heart failure and heart disease. Unfortunately, Takeda Pharmaceuticals may have concealed the more serious side effects of Actos in an attempt to protect its medication from regulatory action, and former Actos users across the country are now pursuing legal claims against Takeda for bladder cancer, heart disease and other alleged side effects of the diabetes drug. If you took Actos to treat your Type 2 diabetes, and you have since suffered from a serious side effect like bladder cancer, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by allegedly dangerous drugs, and can put you in touch with a product liability lawyer who has experience handling Actos bladder cancer claims.

Actos Alternatives for Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Research has shown that Actos treatment may be linked to an 83% higher risk of bladder cancer in patients, in addition to other serious side effects, like liver failure, heart disease and bone fractures. Rather than issuing an Actos recall over these devastating complications though, the FDA has said that it will continue to closely monitor ongoing Actos studies in the U.S. and abroad, in order to remain aware of these risks. In the meantime, people with Type 2 diabetes may be able to find safer alternatives to Actos for managing their diabetes, including the following natural remedies:

  • Acetyle L-Carnitine to improve nerve function
  • Chromium to improve glucose tolerance with lower levels of insulin
  • Aloe to lower blood sugar
  • Biotin to lower fasting glucose levels
  • Asian Ginseng to improve blood sugar levels
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid to improve insulin sensitivity and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy
  • Fish oil to improve glucose tolerance
  • Vitamin B1 to improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy
  • Coenzyme Q10 for normal blood sugar metabolism
  • Magnesium to improve insulin production in elderly patients


FDA, Actos and Bladder Cancer

August 2007 – The FDA upgrades the Actos label to its most serious “black box” warning, highlighting the risk of heart failure associated with the diabetes medication.

September 2010 – A drug safety communication issued by the FDA warns about a potential connection between bladder cancer side effects and the use of Actos for longer than two years.

June 2011 – The FDA issues an updated drug safety communication warning the public that use of Actos for longer than one year may increase the risk of bladder cancer by 40%.

June 2011Actos is banned in France and Germany, following a report issued by the French Medicines Agency, which highlights the risk of bladder cancer linked to the controversial diabetes drug.

August 2011 – The FDA informs the public in a safety alert that it has approved updated warning labels for pioglitazone-containing drugs to include information about an increased risk of bladder cancer with treatment that lasts longer than one year.

October 2012 – The Institute for Safe Medicine Practices (ISMP) identifies a “surge of reports” submitted to the FDA over adverse events, including at least 1,025 cases of bladder cancer from Actos since early 2011.

Actos Side Effect Studies

Prior to being approved by the FDA in 1999, premarket studies show that bladder tumors can develop in animals exposed to Actos.

September 2007 – A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association definitively links Actos treatment to an increased risk of heart failure and other cardiovascular events.

April 2008 – Research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine provides further evidence that people who take TZDs like Actos face an increased risk of bone fractures, particularly hip and wrist fractures, compared to people taking other diabetes drugs.

June 2011 – The French Medicines Agency conducts its own Actos study and finds that users of the Type 2 diabetes drug have a 22% higher risk of bladder cancer than patients taking other diabetes medications. French medical regulators issue a recall for Actos, due to a “statistically significant increase in the risk for bladder cancer in patients exposed to pioglitazone compared to patients exposed to other anti-diabetic agents.”

May 2012 – The British Medical Journal publishes a study indicating that diabetes patients taking Actos may have an 83% increased risk of bladder cancer.

June 2012 – The use of Actos more than doubles the risk of a serious eye disorder called macular edema, which can result in vision loss and blindness, according to a study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine.

June 2012 – A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that patients who take Actos for an extended period of time may face an 83% greater risk of developing bladder cancer.

June 2012 – Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute finds that long-term use of Actos, Avandia and other thiazolidinedione drugs (for five years or longer) is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

July 2012 – The Canadian Medical Association Journal publishes research linking the Type 2 diabetes drug Actos to a 22% increased risk of bladder cancer. The researchers also report that other medications in the thiazolidinedione class of diabetes drugs are tied to a 15% higher risk of bladder cancer.

January 2014 – In a study published in the journal PLoS One, researchers from the Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan find that Actos use is associated with a four-times increased risk of chronic kidney disease.

July 2015 – According to the findings of a 10-year study commissioned by the FDA and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Actos is tied to a 41% increased risk of pancreatic cancer and a 13% increased risk of prostate cancer.

Why We Think Takeda Pharmaceuticals Should Be Held Liable for Actos Side Effects

Federal regulators have seen a surge of adverse event reports involving Actos and bladder cancer since the connection first came to light years ago, and the FDA reportedly received 1,025 reports of Actos bladder cancer complications from the beginning of 2011 to late 2012 alone. According to lawyers representing victims of Actos bladder cancer side effects, Takeda knew as early as 2004 that Actos may increase the risk of bladder cancer in users, but waited for seven years to issue a warning about this risk, in order to protect billions of dollars in sales of the drug. Lawsuits filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals over Actos bladder cancer side effects accuse the company of:

  • Manufacturing and distributing a defective and unreasonably dangerous medication
  • Failing to research the long-term effects of Actos treatment
  • Marketing Actos as a safe and effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes
  • Failing to provide adequate warnings to the public about the risk of bladder cancer and other side effects from Actos
  • Downplaying the risk of Actos adverse events, and underreporting cases of Actos complications to the FDA

What should you do? If you have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, heart failure, or another serious injury, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss filing an Actos injury lawsuit.

An emerging body of research has suggested that Actos may no longer be safe in treating patients with type II diabetes. If you or a loved one has suffered from a major side effect and you believe Actos to be the cause, contact an Actos attorney to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, the medical cost of treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. The main goal of Actos attorneys is to help victims of potential Actos side effects protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve. Drug companies like Takeda Pharmaceuticals are expected to produce and distribute safe medications, and should be held liable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. By hiring an experienced Actos lawyer to represent your case, you may be able to hold Takeda Pharmaceuticals accountable for your injuries.

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