As an Actos Bladder Cancer attorney I have written extensively of the alleged injuries of bladder cancer with the use of the newer diabetic drug, Actos. A recent Canadian mega study has linked the dangerous life threatening side effects of Actos to an increased risk of bladder cancer. According to medical researchers there is an association between the Actos and bladder cancer. This research was published in this month issue of the Canadian Medical Journal.
Thiazolidinediones, especially Actos (pioglitazone), may increase the risk of bladder cancer. The researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the risk of bladder cancer among adults with type 2 diabetes taking thiazolidinediones.The study found that there is a 22% increased risk of bladder cancer among patients with type 2 diabetes using Actos or another drug belonging to the same class of medications, known as thiazolidinediones.
Other Studies Confirming Link between Actos and Bladder Cancer
In April, Health Canada modified the warning label on Actos to include the possible increased risk of bladder cancer with continual exposure. Late last month, a Canadian study published in the British Medical Journal found a two-fold increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who took the drug for at least two years.
Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer
People with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of several types of cancer, including a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer, compared with those without diabetes. The strong association of diabetes with bladder cancer is thought to be a result of hyperinsulinemia, where increased insulin levels in type 2 diabetes stimulate insulin receptors on cancer cells, promoting cancer growth and division. Additional risk factors for bladder cancer include increased age, male sex, smoking, occupational and environmental exposures and urinary tract disease. Exogenous insulin (injected) and other glucose lowering medications such as sulfonylureas, metformin and thiazolidinediones, may further modify the risk of bladder cancer.
The FDA has been studying potential links between Actos and bladder cancer since September 2010. Actos was pulled from the market in France and Germany last June; medical data from the French Medicines Agency indicated an increased risk of bladder cancer in male patients who took the drug for at least a year. The response by the FDA was to increase warning labels on Actos, but to keep the drugs on the market.
What is Actos?
It is a once-daily pill that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Actos is a type 2 diabetes medication that has been on the US market since 1999. It is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Actos is one of Takeda’s top-selling drugs with global sales of $4.8 billion last year; in 2008, Actos was the 10th best -selling medication in the United States.
There are many folks who are filing Actos lawsuits against Takeda after developing bladder cancer, alleging that the drug maker failed to adequately research the side effects of the medication or warn about the link.