Actos Bladder Cancer

Actos Bladder Cancer
Using the Type 2 diabetes medication, Actos, for a year or more has been linked to a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer. Thousands of patients have filed suit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals and have accused the pharmaceutical company of concealing this danger for years.

Actos Legal Investigation

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now investigating potential Actos lawsuits on behalf of patients who were diagnosed with bladder cancer after using this Type 2 diabetes drug for a year or more. To discuss your case with a member of our legal staff, please call (888) 994-5118.

Actos: What’s the Problem?

The first hint that Actos might increase the risk for bladder cancer occurred during its clinical trials, when drug-induced tumors were found in the bladders of male and female rats during a two-year study. Since Actos was approved in 1999, the evidence of a potential association has only grown.

  • February 2016: A study conducted by researchers at Canada’s McGill University suggests that Actos may increase a patient’s overall risk for bladder cancer by as much as 63%. The study followed 145,806 patients newly treated with diabetes drugs between 2000 and 2013 for a mean of 4.7 years. The risk increased with higher doses and length of time on the Actos. Read More
  • May 2012: A study published in the British Medical Journal involving 15,727 suggested that Actos use increased the risk of bladder cancer by 83 percent. The research also revealed that the risk increases with long-term use of Actos.
  • June 2011: A study conducted by the French Medicines Agency from 2006 to 2009 involving 1.5 million patients found that those taking pioglitazone, the active ingredient in Actos, were at a statistically-significant increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Shortly after the study’s release, the agency announced that it had suspended the use of Actos in France. Germany quickly followed suit. Takeda formally withdrew Actos from both markets in August 2011.
  • June 2011: The  Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert to warn of a potential association between long-term use of Actos and bladder cancer. The alert followed the release of five-year interim results from 10-year study conducted by Takeda indicating that extended use of the drug doubled the risk of developing the disease. The FDA alert noted that new information regarding a possible increased risk of bladder cancer would be added to the “Warning and Precautions” section of the Actos label, as well as other diabetes medications that contain pioglitazone.
  • December 2016: The  FDA announced that a new review had failed to rule out an association between Actos and an increased risk of bladder cancer.  The agency indicated that it was updating the labels for Actos and related medications once again to describe the additional studies covered by this latest review. Read More

What is Bladder Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 74,000 people received a bladder cancer diagnose in 2015, and another 16,000 patients died from the disease. More than 500,000 Americans are bladder cancer survivors. Risk factors for the disease include:

  • Sex: Men are three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women
  • Age: 72% of people who are diagnosed with bladder cancer are older than 65
  • Obesity: 59% of Actos users who developed bladder cancer were also obese
  • Smoking increases the risk of bladder cancer by 50%
  • High glycated hemoglobin levels:52% of Actos users who developed bladder cancer had a glycated hemoglobin percentage greater than 7.4%

Bladder Cancer Symptoms include:

  • Hematuria (bloody urine)
  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Frequent urination
  • Back pain
  • Painful urination

Diagnosed with Bladder Cancer After Taking Actos? Get the Legal Help You Need Today.

Legal help is now available to patients who were diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos, as well as their families. For a free, no-obligation legal consultation with a qualified attorney, please call (888) 994-5118.

  1. CBS News (2011) “Actos banned in Europe after diabetes drug tied to cancer”
  2. FDA (2011) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: Update to ongoing safety review of Actos (pioglitazone) and increased risk of bladder cancer”
  3. BMJ (2012)
    “The use of pioglitazone and the risk of bladder cancer in people with type 2 diabetes: nested case-control study”
  4. American Cancer Society (2015) “Bladder Cancer”


Last Modified: December 14, 2016

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