Digital News Report – The US Food and Drug Administartion (FDA) announced this week that using Actos (pioglitazone) longer than one year could increase a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer. The prescription medication is used to help manage blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Overall, there was not an increased risk of bladder cancer; however, the FDA saw an increased risk for those that had taken the medication the longest time and at the highest dosage.
The FDA said that they will be adding bladder cancer risk to the Warnings and Precautions portions of the label on pioglitazone containing medications. The government agency also said for doctors to “use pioglitazone with caution in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer.”
The American Heart Association said that the optimal medication to use for obese, type 2 diabetes patients is Metformin. They say that if this medication does not reduce to the desired HbA1c levels, then other medications could be used. They also recommend doctors be careful to prescribe pioglitazone or rosiglitazone to their patients. Additionally, if a patient has been taking pioglitazone over 12 months alternatives treatments should be considered.
Pioglitazone is the main ingredient in the brand-name Actos medication. There is also pioglitazone combined with metformin in the brand names of Actoplus Met, and Actoplus Met XR. Pioglitazone is also combined with glimepiride, with the brand name medication Duetact.
Approximately 2.3 million patients had filled prescription from January 2010 through October 2010 for medication containing pioglitazone.
By: Jason Chang