Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Actos Litigation & the Drug’s Link to Bladder Cancer

Lawsuits have been filed in California and around the country by patients diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking the prescription drug Actos to treat type 2 diabetes. Most claims assert that Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals failed to warn patients that the drug could significantly increase their risk of developing bladder cancer, especially after taking the drug for a year or longer.

The FDA Warns against the Dangers of Actos, but Drug is Still on the Market

Actos was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999 to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the drug works by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which thereby improves the body’s ability to control the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. As reported by the Huffington Post, Actos became the world’s best selling diabetes drug in 2007 after Avandia, its only real competitor, was found to increase risk of heart attacks.

By 2007, however, there was already strong evidence that Actos could also be dangerous to patients. According to one 2005 study, lab rats developed drug-induced tumors after being exposed to Actos, and a French study conducted between 2006 and 2009 found a higher hazard ratio for bladder tumors in people taking Actos than in diabetics not taking Actos. As a result of the study, both France and Germany ordered doctors to stop prescribing Actos.

In June 2011, the FDA issued a safety announcement that Actos use for more than one year may be associated with increased risk of bladder cancer. The FDA based its warning on the interim results of a 10-year American study. In only five years, the study already showed that long-term Actos users had 40% more bladder cancers than people taking other diabetes medications. Despite these findings Actos is still on the market in the U.S., but with clear warning labels. For who have already developed bladder cancer, however, these warnings come too late.

Additional Diseases & Side Effects Associated with Actos Use

In addition to bladder tumors and cancer, some studies (such as this one reported by the L.A. Times) have linked Actos to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and congestive heart failure. Kidney and liver damage and bone fractures in women have also been attributed to Actos, and patients often report potentially dangerous side effects from taking Actos, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, stomach pain, urinary problems, chest pain, and blurred vision. These issues could give rise to Actos litigation as well.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury & Products Liability Attorney in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with bladder cancer while or after taking Actos, please contact Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy to speak with an experienced personal injury and products liability lawyer in Los Angeles. You may be entitled to compensation from the drug company that manufactures Actos.

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