The risk of bladder cancer for individuals taking type 2 diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) is greater than previously believed. This according to a recent study published by the BMJ Group. In June of 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a “FDA Drug Safety Communication” that updated an ongoing review of Actos’ risk to bladder cancer. That study indicated that patients who used Actos for more than 1 year had forty percent increased risk of bladder cancer. According to the study published in BMJ, patients with type 2 diabetes who took pioglitazone, the active ingredient in Actos, had an 83% higher risk for bladder than those who had never taken the drug. The study was based on 115,727 patients who had taken some sort of anti-diabetic drug between 1998 and 2009. Furthermore, the study showed that the rate of bladder cancer increased significantly with prolonged use of the drug. There was also a correlation between the risk of bladder cancer and the dosage level. A 10-year study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Northern California KPNC, which was supported by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos, and required by the FDA was the first to find the link between Actos and bladder cancer. That study suggested only a 40 percent increase in the risk of bladder cancer for Actos users taking the drug for a period greater than . It also indicated that the risk was greater in males than in females.
Bladder CancerBladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute statistics report there will be an estimated 73,510 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed in the United States in 2012, and roughly 14,880 people will die from bladder cancer in 2012. If treated in the early stages, bladder cancer is highly treatable. Typical symptoms of bladder cancer are:
- Blood in the urine
- Tenderness during urination
- Problems urinating