What Is Actos?
Actos is a type 2 diabetes drug that is taken orally in tablet form. It is not to be used for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. The prescribed dosage of Actos is determined by a doctor and this can range from 15mg to 45mg per day.
The drug claims to have the following benefits:
- Helps the body to better dispose of excessive blood sugar
- Improve the body’s cells to be more sensitive to insulin
- Aids insulin resistance and decreases the amount of glucose made in the liver
- Can be taken alone or with other type 2 Diabetes drugs
Actos Bladder Cancer And Actos Heart Failure
Actos which is also known as pioglitazone hydrochloride, belongs to the thiazolidinediones class of drugs. This class of drugs have links to cardiovascular problems, diseases of the liver and bladder cancer. An increased risk of CHF (cardiovascular heart failure), rare liver diseases, bladder cancer and fractures are all Actos side effects. Warnings already exist about Actos and heart failure with suggested links to Actos heart attacks.
A warning had been issued by the FDA about an increased risk of Actos causing bladder cancer with the risk being higher for people that had taken the drug for over a year. Initial findings from a long term study determined that where people had taken the drug for a long time and had consumed the highest dosages, the risk of bladder cancer was increased. The FDA warned that people with bladder should not take the drug and that those with a prior history of the disease should use the medication with extreme caution.
Sales of the drug were suspended in France and Germany in 2011. It came under scrutiny in Europe where it was observed that diabetes sufferers who were taking the drug were exposed to an increased risk of bladder cancer. This affected a large number of Actos users in both countries who were now being advised to change to an alternative diabetes drug.
Actos lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer, claiming that people who took the medication have gone on to develop bladder cancer. The Washington Post reported that the first of potentially many Actos lawsuits were filed in August 2011 with the link to bladder cancer as the main claim.
Actos Heart Attack
An Actos whistleblower lawsuit had heightened the focus on the drug. A former doctor had alleged that the manufacturer downplayed her concerns about an Actos link with heart attacks and had failed to properly report this to the FDA as the legal requirements dictate.
This is of particular interest as the black bow warning that was included with Actos in 2007 was only related to congestive heart failure and not to heart attacks. If the manufacturer was found not to have reported this fully then the threat of more Actos litigation was very likely from users of the drug that had suffered heart attacks.
Actos And Heart Failure
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care funded a study that was published in the British Medical Journal August 19, 2009 which found that people taking Actos were less at risk of heart failure or death than those taking a competing drug called Avandia. The prescription data of around forthy thousand patients over the age of 66 who took either of the drugs was analyzed starting in April 2002 and concluding in March 2008. Even though the study proved that the risk was less, the experts still concluded that people suffering from any degree of heart failure should stop taking the Actos medication because it had been linked previously to the risk of CHF. Although this study found that Actos presented a lower risk to CHF than Avandia it also found no significant difference between the two medications when it came to the risk of having a heart attack.
A safety study was also conducted to compare Actos with Glyburide which is also used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. The study was conducted with uncontrolled patients with diabetes. The study revealed that 9.9% of the people taking Actos were taken to hospital for CHF compared to only 4.7% of Glyburide users.
In 2005 The Lancet published a study of patients in the high risk group that were taking Actos had side effects such as heart failure, hypoglycemia (not serious), edema and weight gain. It was called the PROactive study.
FDA Warnings About Actos
The Actos package label was changed in 2002 to include a warning from the FDA about the side effects of Actos. It stated “In insulin combination studies, a small number of patients with a history of previously existing cardiac disease developed congestive heart failure when treated with ACTOS in combination with insulin.” The label was further changed in 2004 to add the precautions of “Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility”.
Actos Lawsuits And Attorneys
If you, or one of your loved ones have taken Actos and have suffered from bladder cancer, heart failure, heart attacks, liver damage or any other side effects of Actos help from Actos lawyers is available. You may be entitled to compensation for this.