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Personal injury attorneys are considering possible litigation after the FDA issued increased warnings about possible links between bladder cancer and prolonged use of Actos®.
The FDA Safety Announcement on June 15, 2011, states, “use of the diabetes medication Actos® (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.”
Side Effects from Actos®
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., the manufacturer of Actos® (pioglitazone), is five years into a ten-year epidemiological study of side effects associated with the drug. Over 193,000 patients with diabetes are being monitored in the study. Last September, the FDA announced it would be conducting a safety review of the preliminary findings. The analysis showed a 40 percent increase in risk for bladder cancer in patients taking the drug more than a year.
France conducted a similar study with corroborative results and recently suspended further use of Actos®. Germany published recommendations that no new patients be prescribed this drug due to dangerous side effects.
Actos® and other drugs containing the active ingredient pioglitazone have been prescribed to patients for the treatment of type 1 diabetes since 1999. Eight years later, the first preliminary reports from a 10-year study on Actos® and bladder cancer were released. When these reports were analyzed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a safety notice was issued relating Actos® use to an increased risk of bladder cancer for patients using the drug in high dosages and/or for over one year.
Shortly after the preliminary reports were released, a new study conducted in France was completed that corroborated the data from reports. In light of the evidence found in these peer-reviewed medical studies, France has banned the use of Actos®, and Germany has advised doctors against prescribing Actos®. In the United States, Actos® continues to be prescribed, but the FDA has issued an official warning that has been placed on the drug information labels for Actos® and other pioglitazone drugs.
About Bladder Cancer
In the United States, over 69,000 new cases of bladder cancer are reported each year, and nearly 15,000 deaths per year are due to complications directly related to bladder cancer. When bladder cancer is detected early, it is considered a highly treatable form of cancer. However, even if bladder cancer is in remission, probability is very high that it will become active again. This requires patients to undergo thorough examinations periodically throughout their life.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is associated with several symptoms, which may grow worse if left untreated. The most common symptoms of bladder cancer are as follows:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
- Discolored urine
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Feelings of urgent urination
- IncontinenceUrinary tract infection (UTI)
- Weight loss
Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is usually first detected after symptoms are reported to a physician. The physician will then order tests to determine the cause of the symptoms. Some of the tests used to confirm the presence of bladder cancer include the following:
- CT scan
- Biopsy of bladder tissue
- Cystoscopy, a visual inspection of the interior of the bladder with a camera
Treatment of Bladder Cancer
Treatment depends on how long the bladder cancer has been present and the severity of symptoms, but the primary treatment is always surgical. Attempts are made to remove the tumor surgically, and in some cases, a portion of the bladder may have to be removed. In some severe cases, the entire bladder must be surgically removed.
Surgery is usually followed by one or more therapies intended to kill cancer cells that may not have been removed through the surgery. Follow-up therapies may include biological therapy, also called immunotherapy, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos®? The Actos Lawyers at Goldberg & Osborne can help.
The law firm of Goldberg & Osborne is dedicated to helping injured people nationwide and is currently accepting cases for Actos® victims who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. For a FREE case evaluation, please call us toll-free at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245 ) or submit a short and simple online case form here. If you choose to submit a case inquiry through this website, a legal assistant will call you to obtain information from which our Actos attorneys will evaluate your potential claim.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos® you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer for your injuries. All states have time limits in which cases must be filed or they will be forever barred. Therefore, it is crucial you contact an Actos lawyer immediately.