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Actos® is a medication prescribed along with a healthy diet and exercise to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. Its generic name is pioglitazone. It is used to treat type 2 diabetes but will not cure it.

It also is prescribed in two combination forms. When pioglitazone is combined with metformin, it is called Actosplus Met®. When combined with glimepiride, the pioglitazone compound is called Duetact®.

The drug helps to control the amount of sugar in the blood by making the body more sensitive to insulin, a naturally occurring material that helps control blood sugar levels.

Actos® Bladder Cancer Warning

On Aug. 5, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning that patients who currently have bladder cancer should not be prescribed Actos®. For those with a history of the disease, doctors are advised to prescribe the drug with caution.

A five-year interim report of a 10-year study was published in Diabetes Care. The study showed an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients taking Actos®. Those who had taken Actos® for a year or longer, the study results indicated, had a 40 percent increased risk of getting the disease. The new information was added to a warning label on the medication.

Last June, France removed Actos® from the market. The European Medicines Agency, while not pulling the drug off the market, did change the label to warn of the possibility of bladder cancer and advised doctors to be aware of the risk to benefit ratio in their patients when prescribing the medication.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

The medication label warns patients to call their doctors if they observe the following symptoms:

  • Any sign of blood or blood clots in their urine (hematuria, as this is called, occurs in 80 to 90 percent of people with bladder cancer; usually there is no pain)
  • A red color to the urine
  • Urinating small amounts often
  • Frequent infections of the urinary tract
  • Lower back pain in the area of the kidneys
  • Swelling in the calves
  • Weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Pain in the area of the rectum, anus, or pelvis
  • Anemia

Some of the latter symptoms may occur when the bladder cancer has spread or they may be typical of a number of other conditions.

Contact an Actos® Bladder Cancer Lawyer

If you have taken Actos® and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you should speak with an attorney about the possibility of pursuing damages for your injury with an Actos® Bladder Cancer Lawsuit. To speak with a Connecticut drug injury lawyer, contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today.