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Actos and Bladder Cancer

Actos and Bladder Cancer

The diabetes drug Actos has been linked to bladder cancer. The drug, when taken regularly for periods of more than one year, has been shown to cause as much as a 22% increase in risk of bladder cancer. If you've been taking Actos, it's important to know the facts.

Actos is the brand name of pioglitazone and is intended to control blood sugar in those with Type II diabetes. Actos was first introduced to the market in 1999, and evidence linking Actos to bladder cancer began appearing soon after the drug was introduced, so much so that in 2002, the FDA ordered a 10-year study of the drug and its risks.

In June of 2011, before the study was even complete, the FDA had enough evidence to order that Actos carry a Black-Box warning, the strongest warning that a drug can have in the USA, stating that there was an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who had used the drug for more than a year. France and Germany have already suspended sales of Actos, and in the United States multiple lawsuits have been filed by those affected by the drug.

Bladder cancer is a particularly dangerous form of cancer. Invasive bladder cancers have a high mortality rate and many cases are incurable.

A History of Actos

Actos was introduced to the market in 1999 by Eli Lilly and Takeda North America. Both countries developed and jointly sold the product unti 2006.

Actos is a member of the drug class known as thiazolidinediones, or TZDs. Other tZD-class drugs have also come under scrutiny and been withdrawn because of serious side effects. Rezulin was withdrawn from the market in 2000 after it was shown to cause liver failure, and use of Avandia has been severely restricted after it was shown to cause serious heart problems. Actos was marketed agressively in the United States by Takeda as being a safer alternative to other TZD-group diabetes drugs. However, while Actos did not cause some of the same conditions as other TZD drugs, it soon became evident that it brought with it its own deeply troubling and potentially lethal set of side effects. 

Shortly after its release, the FDA began investigating reports that patients taking Actos were developing bladder cancer at higher than normal rates.

In 2002, the FDA began a long term 10-year study to determine the role that Actos might play in causing bladder cancer. The study found that patients who had taken Actos for more than a year had as much as a 22% greater risk of developing bladder cancer.

Even before the FDA made this announcement, several countries in the European Union ordered the drug withdrawn from the market.

Now, diabetes patients who have taken Actos and who are facing the irreparable damage and trauma caused by bladder cancer and finding that their best recourse is to file an Actos lawsuit and seek compensation for their costs and suffering.

Actos Lawsuits

If you or a loved have developed bladder cancer after taking Actos, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. For more than 25 years, the pharmaceutical attorneys at Blizzard & Nabers have successfully represented our clients and stood up for the rights of people harmed by pharmaceutical companies and dangerous drugs. We are a nationwide law firm serving clients from all over the country. We handle all Actos bladder cancer cases on a contingency basis.

To learn more, or for a free case review from an experienced pharmaceutical attorney, please contact us by email or call us at 1-800-349-0127.