FDA: Actos May Increase Bladder Cancer Risk

The FDA announced the medication Actos may increase the risk for bladder cancer in users.The U.S. Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) has warned consumers that Actos, a popular diabetes medication, may increase the risk for bladder cancer when used for more than a year, according to published reports.

The warning is based off an FDA review of data from an ongoing study that found the medication was connected to a higher risk for bladder cancer among patients taking the drug at high doses over an extended period of time. One study of more than 193,000 patients with diabetes found that patients on the drug – generically known as pioglitazone – for more than 12 months had a 40 percent increased risk for bladder cancer compared with those who had never been exposed to the drug.

As of now, the agency is advising doctors to not use Actos in patients with bladder cancer and to use it cautiously with those who have suffered from the cancer in the past.

The FDA warning comes days after both Germany and France pulled Actos from the market for similar reasons.

Actos is part of a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones, which are used to treat type 2 diabetes. Avandia, a similar medication, was pulled from the U.S. in May after researchers found it was connected to an increased risk of heart attacks.