People who have been treated with the type 2 diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than six months may be at greater risk of developing bladder cancer, even if they were on a low dose, according to a new study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science and reported by Cancer Monthly.
In 2011, studies showed long-term use (12 months or greater) of Actos increased the risk for bladder cancer. As a result, some countries banned the drug. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered that Actos and its generic equivalents include a warning on their safety labels for bladder cancer.
The new study suggests that shorter use and lower doses of Actos might also put users at risk.
The study involved more than 112,000 diabetics, including 11,240 who had used Actos, and 30 of them developed bladder cancer. Among the remaining 101,953 diabetics who had never used Actos, 237 developed bladder cancer.
After researchers adjusted numbers to account for other risk factors for the disease, they found that patients who had been on a low (15mg) dose of Actos for more than six months had a higher risk of bladder cancer than those who did not use the drug. They were also more likely to have bladder cancer that those who used a low-dose of Actos for less than six months.
Actos was once the 10th most popular drug in the U.S., but it has fallen out of favor after news of increased bladder cancer risks. Several personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, maker of the diabetes drug.
Source: PR Web