Available only by prescription, Actos (pioglitazone) is in a class of medications called thiazolidinediones. Patients may have taken this drug under the brand name Actos or under the brand names Actoplus Met (pioglitazone and Metformin) or Duetact (pioglitazone and glimepiride) for combination products.
More than two million Americans take Actos and many are increasingly concerned about Actos side effects. It is the most prescribed medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes generating $3.4 billion in sales in 2009. However, recent studies show a link between Actos and bladder cancer.
If you took Actos for a year or more and you were later diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may have cause to file an Actos complaint.
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People taking this medication more than one year should be aware that they are at higher risk for developing serious Actos side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first issued a warning in September 2010 about Actos and bladder cancer after reviewing data from a ten-year study conducted by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, the drug manufacturer. Data showed a link between Actos and bladder cancer. People taking the highest doses of the drug, or who had taken the drug for a year or more, were the most at risk for bladder cancer.
When results of an Actos study by the French government also found a link between Actos and bladder cancer in June 2011, regulators in France and Germany issued an Actos recall, pulling the drug off the market.
In response, the FDA required a change in the Actos side effects labeling to warn people taking the drug for their type 2 diabetes of the risk. The FDA did not issue an Actos recall in the United States.
Inform your doctor immediately if you take or took Actos and suffer bladder cancer symptoms such as: