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.