Actos Side Effects

Actos, or pioglitazone hydrochloride, is a prescription drug prescribed for the treatment of type II diabetes. Although it was FDA approved in 1999, since then patients have reported side effects that were not initially disclosed by the drug manufacturer. In recent years, the use of Actos has been linked with a number of serious side effects. Because of these serious potential risks, the FDA has recently required the makers of Actos to include additional safety warnings on drug packaging; the drug is no longer available for sale in several countries, including Germany and France.

While any medication has the potential for side effects, one of the most severe Actos side effects includes bladder cancer.

Actos Bladder Cancer Risk

Bladder cancer is among the most serious drug side effects linked to Actos. Symptoms of bladder cancer include frequent urinary tract infections, pain when urinating, or blood in the urine. This ailment affects the inner lining of the bladder. While it can be fatal, early detection improves the chances of a better prognosis. The life expectancy following the detection of bladder cancer depends on the stage, size, grade, and location of the tumor;

FDA Warns of Actos Side Effects and Bladder Cancer

In September 2010, the FDA ordered Actos to undergo a complete safety review. According to this review, patients who take relatively high doses of Actos (a cumulative dose of more than 28,000 mg) or who take Actos for longer than one year may have an elevated risk of bladder cancer. Taking Actos for longer than a year may be associated with as much as a 40% higher risk of bladder cancer when compared with patients who had never taken Actos. In June, 2011, the FDA released a warning to notify consumers of a possible increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who take Actos for more than a year.

Bladder cancer is not the only serious side effect that may result from taking Actos. Other Actos side effects may include:

  • Cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks, heart disease, and congestive heart failure (Shortness of breath, fluid retention, rapid weight gain, and fatigue may be signs of heart failure)
  • Liver problems (symptoms include stomach pain, unexplained nausea, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and dark urine)
  • Rhabdomyolysis and kidney failure (with symptoms including muscle pain and weakness, nausea, fever, and dark urine)
  • Bone fractures or unusual bone pain
  • Macular edema (an eye disease that can result in blindness)

Other less serious side effects include:

  • Weight gain. The average weight gain is believed to be two to 12 pounds; more rapid weight gain may be the result of fluid retention, a symptom of congestive heart failure.
  • Swelling (edema) due to fluid retention
  • Muscle aches or pain
  • Increased ovulation
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Sinus infection or sinus irritation
  • Sore throat
  • Tooth problems

This is not a complete list of the potential side effects that may occur. Check with your doctor if you experience any serious or unusual side effects while using Actos. Contact an Actos bladder cancer lawyer today to learn more about filing a lawsuit.

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