Actos (pioglitazone) is a drug that is used by many patients in Atlanta to treat Type 2 diabetes. Individuals who use the drug are put at a greater risk of experiencing a heart attack, congestive heart failure, heart disease, and death. Actos use has also has been associated with a greater chance of developing bladder cancer, kidney damage, liver damage, and bone fractures.
Actos is usually prescribed as a substitute for Avandia because it was once thought that Actos was much safer. In 2010, a study confirmed that both Actos and Avandia put patients at the same risk of experiencing heart problems and death. Following those findings, the FDA imposed stricter constraints on Avandia use, but ignored Actos use.
In August of 2011, the FDA approved more up to date drug labels for Actos. The newer labels informed users of the bladder cancer risks associated with Actos use. An increased risk of bladder cancer was seen among patients who used Actos the longest, as well as in patients who were prescribed the largest dosages.
The black-box warning is the result of data that was collected over the first five years of 10-year study. The study showed that patients who take Actos for a year or more are 40 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer. More information is expected be released in future moths as the FDA continues reviewing Actos.