Actos is a popular prescription drug for adults diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and gained FDA approval in 1999.
Classified as a thiazolidinedione, Actos is from the same family of drugs as Avandia – another controversial diabetic medication due to its negative side effects. In fact following an FDA study, a safety alert was released on Aug 14th, 2007 warning that pioglitazone (the generic name of Actos) may cause or increase the risk of heart failure in certain patient populations. Despite its history, Actos’ popularity has grown significantly among doctors and other medical practitioners when prescribing medication to their Type 2 diabetic patients.
The Different Varieties of Actos Drugs
As a medication that has been actively marketed to Type 2 diabetes patients (NOT for Type 1 “juvenile” diabetes), there is a variety of products that were created under the ACTOS brand. These varieties provide doctors and patients with options in dosage as well as combinations with other drugs.
- ACTOS Met
- ACTOS Met RX
- PIOGLITAZONE Hydrochloride & METFORMIN Hydrochloride
The FDA has recently requested that heart-health warnings on any Actos products be displayed in a black box warning (a black outline around the text containing the heart risk notice) – the toughest warning classification possible.
Actos Symptoms and Side Effects
While the side effects of Actos can vary from patient to patient, large numbers of users report many of the same warning signs, including (but not limited to):
- Blood in urine
- Back or lower abdominal pain
- Urgent need to urinate
- Pain during urination
Actos Use and Bladder Cancer
The FDA is currently in the process of conducting a ten-year study investigating the link between Actos usage and bladder cancer, and a mid-point analysis of the data revealed that individuals using Actos for longer than a year are approximately 40% more likely to develop bladder cancer. European studies delivered comparable results, leading to France suspending all use of pioglitazone (the active ingredient in Actos), and Germany no longer recommending pioglitazone to new patients.
In June of 2010, a former medical reviewer filed a lawsuit on the U.S Government’s behalf, alleging that the manufacturers of Actos – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company – failed to warn patients of the medication’s risks.