Actos is a popular diabetes medication used in combination with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. Actos has been on the U.S. market since 1999 when it garnered FDA approval, and is commonly used to control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. The active ingredient in Actos is pioglitazone, and the drug belongs to a class of medications called thiazolidinediones. Actos works by increasing the sensitivity of muscle, fat and liver cells to insulin, allowing cells to remove glucose from the blood more effectively, and thereby lowering blood glucose levels. Actos is currently manufactured by pharmaceutical company Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc. Despite the fact that Actos has become a popular diabetes drug, the medication may no longer be considered safe in the treatment of some patients. Recent studies have identified Actos use as a possible risk factor for the development of major side effects among patients, particularly bladder cancer. If you took Actos to control your diabetes and have since suffered from a severe Actos side effect like bladder cancer, contact an Actos attorney to discuss your legal options.
Bladder cancer is characterized by a cancerous tumor in the bladder, which is located in the center of the lower abdomen. Common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
The appropriate bladder cancer treatment depends largely upon the stage of the cancer, the severity of the symptoms and the patient's overall health. For stage 0 and I bladder cancers, treatment includes surgery to remove the tumor without removing the rest of the bladder, and chemotherapy or immunotherapy directly into the bladder. For stage II and stage III bladder cancers, treatment typically involves surgery to remove the entire bladder, surgery to remove part of the bladder, chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before surgery, or a combination of radiation and chemotherapy in patients who choose not to or cannot have surgery.
The prognosis for patients with bladder cancer is determined by the initial stage of cancer and how well the patient responds to treatment. The outlook for stage 0 and stage I cancer is fairly good. Although the risk of the cancer returning is high, it can be surgically removed and cured in most cases. Unfortunately, the cure rate for patients with stage III bladder cancer is less than 50%, and patients with stage IV bladder cancer are rarely cured.
The FDA recently issued a safety announcement concerning the increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who use Actos for more than one year. This FDA notice was influenced by a five-year interim analysis of an ongoing ten-year epidemiological study designed to evaluate the potential connection between Actos and bladder cancer. According to the results of this analysis, an increased risk of bladder cancer was noted among patients with the longest duration of Actos treatment, and in those exposed to the highest cumulative dose of Actos. Compared to never being exposed to Actos, a duration of Actos therapy longer than one year was associated with a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer. Another Actos epidemiological study was conducted in France with similar results, which led to Actos being removed from the market in both France and Germany. The only other thiazolidinedione, Avandia, was removed from the U.S. market earlier this year due to the link between Avandia and an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects, including heart attacks and heart disease.
Approximately twenty out of 100,000 people suffer from bladder cancer in the United States each year, and this risk is believed to be higher in patients with diabetes. If you or a loved one has suffered from a bladder cancer side effect or heart failure, which you believe to be linked to Actos, contact an Actos attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file an Actos lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Drug companies like Takeda are responsible for producing and distributing safe medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies employ deceptive practices to avoid drug injury liability or to make their product more appealing to the public. The only way to protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve is to hire an Actos lawyer to represent your case.
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