For millions of individuals suffering from Type 2 diabetes, a pioglitazone provides assistance for those struggling to control high blood sugar. Among the common pioglitazones is Actos. After Actos was first approved by the FDA in 1999, the drug made billions for its manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Before they lost the patent in 2011, the sales for Actos in the United States were $3.58 billion in the year 2010. This Type 2 diabetes medication produced 27 percent of Takeda’s income. However, things took a turn after multiple reports were filed and the FDA required Takeda to update the Warnings and Precautions section on the Actos label to include that the drug may lead to bladder cancer.
What is Actos prescribed for?
The pioglitazone Actos is used to treat Type 2 diabetes. To be clear, it is not used to treat Type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. Actos works in four ways:
- Lowers insulin resistance and decreases glucose levels made in the liver
- Helps restore your body’s response to insulin, helping those who have grown less sensitive
- Helps the body better dispose of excess blood sugar
- Can be prescribed with another Type 2 diabetes medication such as metformin
When you have better control of your blood sugar, you can help prevent kidney damage, nerve problems, blindness, loss of limbs, and sexual function issues. Proper control of diabetes also helps to decrease the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The Side Effects of Actos
Common Actos side effects include:
- Cold or flu-like symptoms like stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, coughing, or sore throat
- Weight gain
- Muscle pain
- Back pain
- Tooth problems and mouth pain
Though those are less serious, Actos has been linked to more severe side effects like:
- Vision changes or loss of vision
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney disease
- Bladder cancer
In fact, a study released in 2012 revealed that patients who take Actos for an extended period of time have an 83 percent higher risk of developing bladder cancer. Prior to the study, records including Takeda’s own preclinical trials of Actos indicate a link between the medication and bladder cancer. Male rats in animal studies suffered from bladder tumors after receiving Actos. This means there was evidence of the link prior to the release of the medication.
The Actos Lawsuit
Thousands of victims are coming forward accusing Takeda Pharmaceuticals of selling the drug Actos with the knowledge that it may lead to the development of bladder cancer. In its first federal trial, a New York man was granted $9 billion in punitive damages and $1.5 million in compensatory damages after claims that Actos caused his bladder cancer by a Louisiana jury. The focal argument of the victim’s lawyers was that Takeda was more concerned about making a hefty profit than caring for or properly warning its users. Just recently in 2015, Takeda agreed to pay at least $2.37 billion in an effort to settle thousands of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits. This was one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in U.S. mass tort history.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, congestive heart failure, or kidney disease, you need The People’s Lawyer on your side. Contact Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman for a free Actos lawsuit consultation today. You may be entitled to substantial compensation so don’t wait. Call The People’s Lawyer first.
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