Diabetes drug Actos is in the news after a study has again linked the medication to bladder cancer.
The diabetes drug, generic name pioglitazone, already carries a warning about bladder cancer risk, but a new study confirms that patients need to be aware of risk when it comes to the drug’s known issues. WebMD quotes researcher Laurent Azoulay, PhD, an epidemiologist at Lady Davis Institute of Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. Azoulay explains:
“Patients with type 2 diabetes and their physicians need to be fully aware of the potential association between Actos and bladder cancer… Certainly, this drug should not be used in patients with a history of bladder cancer and those with other bladder conditions.”
In the study, findings reflected that use of the diabetes drug Actos for more than two years doubles the risk of bladder cancer in people taking the medication. But it was also noted that overall risk of bladder cancer is small as the cancer is uncommon, and overall risk even while taking the diabetes drug was still very small.
Manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals released the following statement to WebMD about the diabetes drug:
“Takeda is confident in the therapeutic benefits of Actos and its importance as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. As a science and evidence-based company, Takeda firmly stands behind the substantial data available confirming the positive risk/benefit profile of Actos, which includes more than 12 years of clinical and patient experience with the product.”
No increased risk of bladder cancer was seen with the similar diabetes drug Avandia. The findings were published in the British Medical Journal.