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Diabetes Drug Actos can Cause Bladder Cancer, Says FDA

The FDA has warned that the drug Actos (pioglitazone) used to treat diabetes can increase the risk of contracting bladder cancer if used for a year or more. Last week, France and Germany had banned Actos for similar concerns.

The FDA says a warning will be included on Actos labels. Some health experts say Actos’ health benefits outweigh the bladder cancer risk.

Last year, greater than two million patients used Actos alone or combined with other drugs. A research study has found that pioglitazone therapy for greater than a year increased the risk of bladder cancer by 40%.

A French study found that after one year of use, Actos’ risk of bladder cancer rose with time. The FDA has advised doctors to stop using Actos on current or previous bladder cancer patients.

Some doctors say Actos is the only drug left in the market that directly impacts insulin resistance. They say patients should not stop using the drug, but wait for more research results on Actos’ side effects.

3 responses to Diabetes Drug Actos can Cause Bladder Cancer, Says FDA

  1. I have been using Actos for over 15 years. I am a 65 year old female type 2 diabetic. I have been diagnosed with a malignant bladder tumor. I want to know your opinion whether it is safe to stop taking Actos “cold Turkey” or do I have to stop taking it gradually?
    Would some give me their opinion please.
    Thanking you in advance,
    I am sincerely grateful.
    Carol Hanson
    CarolReisHanson@gmail.com
    7222 N. Damen Ave.
    Apt #208
    Chicago, Illinois. 60645
    Cell #773-407-2891

  2. Sorry – typo
    Change word “some” to read someone

  3. Carol, I am so sorry that you have developed bladder cancer. I believe that the FDA has warned doctors not to continue with Actos in patients who have bladder cancer already or who had it in the past. Going cold turkey without consulting your doctor is probably not the safest route, however. Make sure that your diabetes does not spiral out of control. Definitely work with your doctor in replacing Actos with something else so that both of your conditions can be safely monitored and treated. You should also consult with an attorney regarding the bladder cancer.

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