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Researchers: Actos Linked to Bladder Cancer

Actos is a medication used to treat patients with type II diabetes by keeping their blood glucose levels down. The medication is a member of a class of drugs, but only Actos seems to be linked to an increased risk for developing bladder cancer according to a recent news feature form UPI.  There is another drug in the same class of medications known as Avandia (brand name for rosigilatazone), but that drug, while chemically similar, does not appear to cause any increased risk of bladder cancer, as is the case with Actos.  While it is normally an entire class of medications that has the common trait which causes a disease or other adverse health event, it is not unheard of for the problem to be drug specific, as is the case with Actos.

pillsAn example of an entire class of drugs that has been shown to cause serious health consequences is known as New Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs) like Eliquis, Xarelto, Savaysa, and Pradaxa. 

These drugs were all shown to cause a serious internal bleeding disorder that resulted in severe personal injury and death and have been the basis for many Boston defective products lawsuits.

As for Actos, the new evidence that it can cause bladder cancer comes from a recently completed study that examined nearly 150,000 patients who took the drug between 2000 and 2013. Aside from more evidence of a link between Actos and bladder cancer, the study also revealed a link between the amount of Actos ingested over time and the rate of bladder cancer occurring.  Some drugs are dangerous when taken a single time, and others can build up in a patient’s system over time and cause harm.  In the study, researchers found that when patients were using Actos for more than two years or had otherwise taken more than 28,000 milligrams of the drug, there was a significant increase in the risk of developing bladder cancer.

However, while it should be noted that the researchers have said the overall risk of getting bladder cancer is relatively small and increases with the amount of Actos taken, this is of little comfort to the victims who have developed bladder cancer as a result of taking Actos as part of their diabetes control regimen.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Actos, on the other hand, disagree with the link between their popular diabetes medication and bladder cancer and cite their own study data, which does not show such a causal link.  In their study conducted over ten years, there is no increased risk demonstrated. They also contend that any risk is far outweighed by the benefit of keeping one’s diabetes in check.

If you have taken Actos in the past and have developed bladder cancer, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.  There is currently litigation in the court system involving this dangerous product, and what happens in these cases may affect your chances of future compensation.  The longer you wait to report a claim, the more difficult it may to be obtain a full and appropriate financial compensation.

If you are the victim of Massachusetts product liability, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

More evidence diabetes drug Actos raises bladder cancer risk, March 31, 2016, UPI

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