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What is Actos?

Actos is an oral medication which is used for treatment of Type 2 diabetes. It is part of the same class of drugs as Avandia (rosiglitazone), which has been the focus of concern in the medical community since reports found that Avandia may increase the risk of heart attacks and heart related death. In addition to bladder cancer, Actos side effects include congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke, liver problems, and bone fractures.

Actos and Bladder Cancer

Concerns about the potential risk of Actos cancer side effects first surfaced when it was discovered that rats given the drug had a higher rate of bladder tumors. Recent results from an on-going 10 year study, involving nearly 200,000 patients with diabetes, suggests that there may be a risk of bladder cancer from Actos the longer the medication is taken.

The FDA announced in September 2010 that Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos, provided interim data after five years that suggests there may be a risk of bladder cancer from Actos side effects the longer the medication is used. After 24 months, the rate of exposure and the increased Actos cancer risk reached statistical significance.

In June 2011, an Actos recall was issued in France after health authorities ordered doctors to stop prescribing the drug due to the possible risk of bladder cancer. A French study of public insurance data confirmed that there is a slight increase in the risk of bladder cancer with Actos use, adding to the prior concerns about long-term use of the medication.

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