Actos Linked to Bladder Cancer
Posted on January 6th, 2011 by Zane Cagle
The FDA is issuing new warnings for the diabetes drug Actos, warning potential users of a higher risk of developing bladder cancer associated with prolonged use of this drug. Bloomberg News is reporting that the manufacturer of the drug may face as many as 10,000 lawsuits in the United States over the increased cancer risk. The FDA amended the “Warnings and Precautions” of the drug in June after researchers found that use of Actos for more than a year increases the risk of cancer of the bladder. The drug has been pulled from usage in France and Germany, but remains available in the United States for doctors to prescribe.
Actos is a drug in the thiazolidinediones (TDZ) category of fighting type-2 diabetes. These drugs work by targeting specific receptor cells in the body to help the body better regulate blood sugar. Widespread use of Actos began in 2007 when Avandia, another TDZ, was shown to greatly increase the risk of heart attack. It has also been linked to stroke, bone fractures, and eye damage, amongst other issues. It is now only available for prescription by doctors in very limited circumstances, with the FDA seriously considering pulling it from the market. Actos was the replacement for this drug, as it was through to be a safer alternative.
Currently, the FDA has discouraged use of Actos by those currently with bladder cancer or those at a higher risk of developing the cancer. The FDA also cautions that use of the drug should be weighed with its current benefits versus an uncertain future risk of bladder cancer. Some doctors have taken the step of only using Actos to fight particularly aggressive forms of diabetes. Patients currently using Actos should talk to their doctor about trying a different drug regimen. It may be that another drug manages the diabetes effectively without the risk of developing another serious disease in the future.
If you talk to your doctor and he/she feels it is in your best interest to continue taking Actos, it is important to remain diligent in monitoring your health situation. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, Actos is one of the most common drugs taken by those seeking emergency treatment at hospital ERs. Make sure you are communicating with your doctor to get specific reasons as to why this doctor thinks Actos is the best course of action for the treatment of your diabetes. Also, make sure your doctor fully discusses the risks with your so you can make sure you have a full understanding of the drug you are taking.
Bladder cancer can lead to the following: blood in the urine; painful urination; frequent urination; and the feeling of needing to urinate but having no success. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately. They can make the professional opinion as to whether or not you should continue taking the drug, and whether or not your symptoms need further examination.
If you or a loved one has taken Actos and is now experiencing adverse reactions to it, you will need an experienced, capable attorney to represent your needs. You may have what is called a product liability case. If you live anywhere in the Missouri, Illinois or Kentucky areas, Zane T. Cagle may be able to assist you. If you have questions whether the diabetes medication you are taking has been linked to health problems in the past, it is a good idea to contact an attorney to get those answers. Contact Zane T. Cagle of The Cagle Law Firm today to discuss your legal options at (314) 276-1681.