The Gallagher Law Firm is currently investigating cases where harm may have been caused due to the use of Actos, a drug developed to treat diabetes. If you think you may have been injured by taking Actos and need an Actos Lawyer, call The Gallagher Law Firm at (713) 238-7705 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Actos, whose acting chemical is known as Pioglitazone Hydrochloride, is ingested orally to treat type 2 diabetes. The drug, developed by the Japanese Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, was released as a safer alternative to Avandia, also in the thiazolidinedione class, due to the lack of more serious side effects.
FDA Approved Actos 1999
In 1999 the FDA approved the use of Actos as an addition to a diet and exercise program to help treat type 2 diabetes. In 2008, Actos was the tenth highest selling medication in the US. Because it has been in the market for more than 12 years, the FDA has inducted 5 and 10 year analyses to study the affects of prolonged use in long-term patients.
While Actos is still being distributed in the United States, the drug has ceased administration in France and Germany after research linked prolonged use of Pioglitazone to bladder cancer.
Primary Benefits of Actos
Actos’ function is to help control the amount of sugar in the blood by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. It also regulates the amount of sugar the liver produces to ensure that the amount doesn’t rise unnecessarily. Actos is also recommended to be taken with other medications such as metformin or insulin to help lower blood sugar levels while raising levels of good cholesterol and blood fats in the body.
Actos Side Effects
Side effects experienced in some patients while taking Actos include:
- Muscle Pain
- Sore Throat
- Arm or Leg Pain
More serious side effects are also noted, and they include:
- Changes in Vision
- Vision Loss
- Frequent, Painful, or Difficult Urination
- Cloudy, Discolored, or Bloody Urine
- Back or Abdominal Pain
There have also been clinical studies where women who took pioglitazone were more likely to develop fractures primarily in the upper arms, hands and feet than women who did not take pioglitazone.
If you take Actos and are experiencing any of the previously mentioned side effects, please be sure to contact your doctor at the next possible opportunity.
Major Concerns About Actos
Congestive Heart Failure
A thirty four and a half month study found that the percentage of patients taking Actos experienced a higher rate of heart failure versus those taking placebos. The FDA now requires that Actos display their black box label to notify health professionals and patients about the risk of increased or worsening conditions of congestive heart failure. Like all other drugs in the thiazolidinedione class, Actos can cause fluid retention, causing build up which may lead to or exacerbate heart failure. Taking pioglitazone if you are at risk or already have experienced heart failure symptoms could endanger your life and is not recommended.
Cancer — Increases Risk by 40%
After a planned 5 year clinical study of the affects of Actos, the FDA found an increased incidence of bladder cancer in patients that were exposed to pioglitazone over a longer period of time. The FDA has calculated that patients undergoing pioglitazone therapy for longer than a 12 month period are at a 40% higher risk of developing bladder cancer than those who had never been exposed. 2011 marked the first lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals for Actos’ increased risk of bladder cancer. Since then, hundreds more have been filed and the number only increases as the awareness spreads.
Actos lawsuits have been filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals for their failure to identify and communicate the dangers mentioned above to doctors and patients whose lives have been put at risk.
If you feel you or a loved one has been hurt by Actos, call The Gallagher Law Firm at (713) 238-7705 or contact us online for a free consultation. You can speak to an Actos Lawyer for free to learn about your options and rights.