Actos has been used to treat Type 2 diabetes since 2000 and is sometimes prescribed in conjunction with other active ingredients such as insulin, metformin, or glimepiride. It is designed to lower blood glucose levels and thereby increase the patient’s sensitivity to insulin.
More than 2.3 million prescriptions for the drug were issued in the United States in 2010.
As of June 10, 2011, the drug Actos has been removed from shelves in France and German doctors have been instructed not to prescribe Actos to their patients. On June 15, 2011, the FDA issued an urgent health warning to users and prescribers of the drug Actos acknowledging the recent statistical data that shows up to a 40% increase in risk for bladder cancer. The studies further show that the risk of bladder cancer increases with higher dosages and longer courses of treatment with Actos.
The class action lawsuit against the makers of Actos declares that Actos induces the same type of side effects as those that have long been associated with Avandia. Both Avandia and Actos are products of the same drug class. All Thizolidinediones function in the same manner: They affect the body’s resistance to insulin, and they manipulate a patient’s cholesterol levels. The use of Actos, Actoplus, Actoplus met XT, and duetact can result in any of the following types of side effects:
· Risk of bladder cancer
· Increased risk of heart attack due to existing heart conditions or new cardiovascular related diseases
Symptoms include the following:
· Swelling related to fluid retention
· Shortness of breath
· Unusual and sudden gain in weight
· A slowed heartbeat
· Unusual tiredness
Updated drug labels for pioglitazone – containing medicines
Update to ongoing safety review of Actos and increased risk of bladder cancer
Potential Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer
FDA reviewing preliminary safety information on Actos (pioglitazone)