First approved by the Food and Drug Administration (œFDA) in 1999, Actos (pioglitazone) is a type-2 diabetes medication that, when paired with healthy eating and regular exercise, is effective at controlling blood sugar (glucose) levels. It works by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Produced by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eli Lily & Company, Actos is classified as a thiazolidinedione (œTZD) drug, and may be taken on its own or prescribed with insulin, metformin, or sulfonylurea medications. Actos is not indicated for the treatment of type-1 diabetes.
Despite its ability to improve blood glucose levels in type-2 diabetics, Actos, like other TZDs such as Avandia, has been reported to cause some serious, life-threatening Actos side effects.
Actos Side Effects Started with Heart Failure
In August 2007, the FDA mandated that all Actos products, packaging, and advertising include black-box warnings communicating the dangers of developing serious heart problems. Scientific studies found that those taking Actos experienced an increased risk of congestive heart failure, particularly if they had a history of cardiovascular disease.
Other Actos side effects include:
¢ Hyperglycemia”dangerously high blood glucose levels that, without prompt treatment, can progress into a potentially fatal condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis
¢ Hypoglycemia”dangerously low blood sugar levels
¢ Liver problems, such as severe jaundice
¢ Severe allergic reactions (marked by breathing problems, skin rashes, hives, and/or facial or tongue swelling)
According to the FDA, those who have the highest risk of developing serious Actos side effects include patients with a history of taking high doses or who have used Actos for extended periods of time. Additionally, those with a medical history of heart problems, stroke, blood clots, or liver disease will also have a higher risk of developing severe Actos side effects.
The Newest of Actos Side Effects: Bladder Cancer
Even when Actos was first approved by the FDA in 1999, there were indications that it may increase the risk of bladder cancer. Early animal studies found tumors, and in 2005, a three-year study found a statistically significant risk of Actos bladder cancer. In September 2010, the FDA announced it was looking into the issue, and in April 2011, the American Diabetes Association also found a link.
In the summer of 2011, the world exploded with new news about Actos bladder cancer. The French Medicines Agency, after reviewing data from the national insurance program, announced an Actos recall because of the risk of bladder cancer. Germany used the same data to recommend that physicians write no new prescriptions for the drug. And the FDA issued a public health communication warning that Actos may increase the risk of bladder cancer, particularly in those patients who take high doses, or who take the medication for over a year.
All these warnings increased public awareness, allowing victims of Actos side effects to seek legal recourse for their medical expenses.
Actos Lawsuits and Settlements
Type-2 diabetics who took Actos and have been diagnosed with serious health complications should seek emergency medical attention to stabilize their health and prevent further health problems from arising. Once their health is no longer in grave danger, injured Actos patients are encouraged to learn more about their legal rights and entitlements by attending a complimentary initial consult with a skilled Actos lawyer.
If you or a loved one have used Actos and suffered from Actos side effects including heart disease, congestive heart failure, or bladder cancer, contact us immediately for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to compensation, and we can help.