The Link Between Actos Diabetes Medication And Bladder Cancer

2012-07-12 | |
Last updated: 2012-07-12

Although diabetes drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are designed and tested to be safe for use, some medications can still cause complications. One example that has received a great amount of recent press is the diabetes drug known as Actos. Actos is a common medication that is used to improve the control of blood sugar that was introduced in 1999.

In June 2011, the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) released information stating that using the branded drug Actos, containing the medication pioglitazone, over a period of longer than one year increases the risk of bladder cancer. Because this risk has been identified, investigative studies are now underway to better understand how Actos and other medications containing the active ingredient can lead to cancer of the bladder.

It is important to note that Actos is not the only diabetes drug that contains the medicinal ingredient pioglitazone. The ingredient is also found in combination with another medication known as metformin. The most common trade names for the metformin and pioglitazone combination are Actoplus Met XR and Actoplus Met. Duetact is another medication containing pioglitazone in combination with another medication called glimepiride. The FDA has also recently approved a generic pill containing the ingredient.

Research is currently underway to understand how the medication contributes to the risk of developing bladder cancer. Researchers currently believe that taking the drug over a long period of time causes crystal formation in the bladder and that the chronic irritation caused by these crystals leads to bladder cancer. Further research will be needed to determine whether or not the link to cancer is caused by development of these crystals.

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Category: Health Risks, Medical Treatment

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