On June 15, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert informing the public that using the diabetes medication Actos for more than one year may be associated with bladder cancer. Many people who rely on Actos are wondering “Is Actos still on the Market?”
The FDA’s Safety Alert was not a recall. So, Actos is still on the market. The FDA’s warning did prompt a label change which went into effect in August 4, 2011. The new label now warns Actos users of increased risk of bladder cancer. These warnings, though not to be taken lightly by anyone using Actos, are especially geared towards long term and high dose users of Actos. The new label also warns against prescribing Actos for anyone with active bladder cancer, and strongly cautions prescribing the drug to patients with a prior history of bladder cancer.
While, there are no definitive answers as to how much is too much, the FDA will continue to evaluate data from an ongoing ten-year epidemiological study as well as a French Study and will continue to update the public when more information is available.
Actos is still available, by prescription, to treat Type II Diabetes. Anyone who is currently taking Actos or considering taking Actos or similar drugs including Actoplus met, Actoplus met XR, and duetact, should consult with their physician regarding the safety of their dosage, and their long-term treatment options. Talk to your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms of bladder cancer such as blood in your urine, or pain during urination.