New FDA warnings and side effect studies have suggested that the diabetes medication Actos may be linked to the development of severe side effects, like heart failure, among patients. Actos (pioglitazone) is manufactured by drug maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and belongs to a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones, along with the diabetes drug Avandia. Actos is commonly used in combination with diet and exercise to held lower blood glucose levels in patients with type II diabetes. Actos functions by increasing the sensitivity of liver, fat and muscle cells to insulin, thereby allowing these cells to remove glucose from the blood more effectively. Despite the popularity of the diabetes medication, serious concerns have been raised about the safety of Actos, due to new information concerning possible Actos side effects, like heart failure. If you took Actos to control your type II diabetes, and you have since suffered from heart failure, contact an experienced Actos attorney for legal help.
Heart failure is a serious condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. In most cases, heart failure is a chronic, or long-term, condition, although it can sometimes develop suddenly. Systolic heart failure occurs when the heart muscle cannot pump blood out of the heart very well, and diastolic heart failure occurs when the heart muscles are stiff and do not fill up with blood easily. As the heart’s pumping action is diminished, blood may back up in other areas of the body, causing fluid to gather in the lungs, GI tract, liver, and the arms and legs (congestive heart failure). Common symptoms of heart failure include:
Heart failure requires close monitoring to check heart function and to prevent further complications from occurring. Lifestyle changes are extremely important for patients with heart failure, and may include staying active, losing weight, lowering cholesterol, getting enough rest, and reducing alcohol consumption. Drug therapy may be beneficial in order to treat symptoms of heart failure, to prevent heart failure from getting worse, and to help the patient live longer. In some cases, patients with heart failure may require coronary bypass surgery, heart valve surgery, a defibrillator, or a pacemaker. Victims of heart failure may suffer from life-threatening complications like irregular heart rhythms, pulmonary edema, and total heart failure.
In 2007, the journal Lancet published a study in which researchers indicated that the risk of heart failure was significantly higher in patients taking Actos, particularly in those patients with a history of heart failure or heart disease. Actos currently carries a “black box” warning notifying the public about the potential for Actos to cause or worsen congestive heart failure. The FDA made an announcement earlier this year indicating that another thiazolidinedione diabetes 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, including heart failure and heart disease. In June 2011, the FDA issued a safety announcement warning patients and physicians about the increased risk of bladder cancer in patients taking Actos for more than one year. Actos has been removed from the market in France due to serious Actos side effects, and officials in Germany have advised against using Actos in new patients for the same reasons.
Heart failure is a serious, chronic condition, which may worsen over time. Some people develop severe heart failure, in which medicines and surgery are no longer effective. If you or a loved one has suffered from a heart failure side effect and you believe Actos to be the cause, contact an experienced Actos attorney to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing an Actos lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The main goal of Actos attorneys is to help injured victims protect their rights and hold the allegedly negligent drug company liable for their injuries. With the help of a qualified Actos lawyer, victims of potential Actos side effects can collect the compensation they deserve and protect themselves and their family from further harm.