Actos May Raise Risk of Eye Disease

Bladder cancer is a disease that forms in the tissue of the organ and can be extremely dangerous to the individual who contracts the illness.Takeda Pharmerceutical Company's Actos, the best-selling diabetes treatment, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc.'s Avandia have been targeted as two drugs that raise the risk of an eye disease that can eventually lead to blindness, Bloomberg reported.

A study of more than 100,000 people that was presented at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in San Diego, California, outlined the negative effects of the two drugs, according to the news source.

The study findings detailed that people taking the drugs have a three-to-six-times increased risk of developing a condition called diabetic macular edema (DME), which leads to a thickening and swelling of the retina, reported Bloomberg.

National Eye Institute officials noted that diabetic eye disease is listed as the most common cause of blindness in Americans that are of working age. This is caused by the damaging effects of macular edema and the weakening of the retina that occurs, the news source reported.

Researchers led by Richard Donnelly, a professor at the University of Nottingham, produced a study abstract that noted, "patients at high risk of sight-threatening DME should avoid the class of drugs that includes Actos and Avandia", according to Bloomberg.

Donnelly and his team noted that high-risk patients included individuals who have poor control of their blood sugar and have a history of macular edema, reported the news source.

While the damage that may be caused to the retina may be severe, there are several other significant side effects that are associated with Actos. Actos and Avandia are also known to increase the likelihood of fluid in the lungs, known as pulmonary edema and swelling due to fluid in the legs, Bloomberg reported.

In addition to the other side effects, patients taking Actos for more than one year may be at an increased risk of bladder cancer. This announcement was made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and may cause a significant hit to the sales of the drug, which makes $4.8 billion in a fiscal year, according to the news source.

Bladder cancer is a disease that forms in the tissue of the organ and can be extremely dangerous to the individual who contracts the illness. A total of 69,250 cases were reported in 2011 in the U.S., along with more than 14,990 deaths, reported the National Cancer Institute.