Why Has Actos Been Linked to Bladder Cancer?


     By Rudolph F.X. Migliore, PC

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The diabetes drug Actos has been linked to bladder cancer. Actos acts as a foreign agent that can lead to mutated cells and cause cancerous tumors.

A potential issue regarding Actos and bladder cancer was publicly identified by the Food and Drug Administration in September 2010, close to the time when restrictions were placed on a similar drug, Avandia. The FDA began looking into the link between Actos and bladder cancer when they were presented with evidence of the link. But why does Actos increase the risk of bladder cancer?

We can start by understanding how Actos is used to help with diabetes. It targets the three main PPAR receptors: Alpha, Gamma, and Delta. This helps patients better utilize their own insulin. Because of how the medicine interacts with the receptors, it can cause cells to mutate, especially along the urinary tract as it's passed out of the body. When these mutated cells replicate, they cause cancerous tumors in the bladder. In this case the foreign agent is Actos. It may mutate cells in the body and these mutated cells may form into a cancerous tumor. Hence, the foreign agent can increase the risk of bladder cancer. See WebMD for more information.

Actos now carries a warning label for an increased cancer risk and the FDA has warned about the bladder cancer risk. However, it remains on the market with the full support of the manufacturer. In 2010, more than 2 million patients were taking Actos. In one study done on the drug, out of 193,000 patients who were taking Actos for an average of 2 years, their risk of bladder cancer increased 40% compared to if they had never been exposed to the drug.

If you are taking Actos, talk to your doctor about your bladder cancer risk and concerns.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rudolph F.X. Migliore, P.C.
With over three decades of experience, the Law Firm of Rudolph F.X. Migliore, P.C. is well positioned to help those who have suffered because of the dangerous diabetes drug Actos. The firm works with nationally-recognized co-counsel to reach major verdicts while providing individual, personalized attention.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.