There are many different medications available to treat the symptoms of type-2 diabetes, and all carry varying degrees of risks to patients. But one medication in particular can cause a disease that is much more dangerous than diabetes itself—and patients worldwide are filing claims against the drugmaker after a potentially fatal diagnosis.
Patients Taking Actos® More Likely to Develop Cancer and Other Life-Threatening Side Effects
Actos (pioglitazone) has made billions of dollars for drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceuticals since it was released over a decade ago. Despite the drug’s ability to control blood sugar levels, it also caused a noticeable increase in cancer, kidney problems, and heart failure among users.
Some of the most harmful side effects of Actos have included:
- Bladder cancer. The FDA began receiving reports of bladder cancer in Actos users shortly after the drug was released. In 2012, researchers found that patients taking Actos long-term were at 83 percent higher risk of developing bladder tumors than those taking other medications.
- Bladder cancer recurrence. Studies have shown that patients taking Actos for over a year are twice as likely to develop cancer as other patients, and are especially at risk of recurrence of past bladder cancer that had gone into remission.
- Edema. Patients on Actos are more likely to retain water and suffer from swelling in the tissues in the body (edema) due to an inability to release excess fluids.
- Weight gain. Edema may cause patients to become less active, but Actos may also cause excessive or rapid weight gain, making it more difficult for patients to walk or move without suffering shortness of breath.
- Congestive heart failure. The combination of extreme weight gain and water retention places Actos users at significant risk of developing congestive heart failure. In fact, the FDA has issued a black-box warning for Actos alerting doctors and patients to the known risk of heart failure—even in patients who have no previous heart conditions or cardiovascular symptoms.
- Kidney disease. Patients taking Actos even for a short time have been known to suffer permanent effects, including kidney problems. In 2014, researchers discovered that 8 percent of diabetes patients showed evidence of chronic kidney disease after taking Actos, even those who had taken very low doses.
- Impaired kidney function. Patients can suffer kidney problems while taking Actos even if they do not develop kidney disease. Commonly reported issues include increased thirst, painful or more frequent urination, blood in the urine, stomach pain and back pain, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
- Bone fractures. Some patients who have taken Actos have suffered decreased bone density and sudden bone fractures, especially in the arms, wrists, hands, and feet. The group most at risk is women, who sustained two or three times more fractures than women taking other diabetes medications.
- Cold or flu symptoms. Patients have been known to develop myalgia, a condition of feeling persistently ill that carries many symptoms of the flu or a common cold. Patients may suffer nausea, pale skin, muscle weakness, aches and pains, stuffy noses, cough, sore throat, headaches, blurry vision, tooth problems, and increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections.
Drugmaker Sets Up Settlement Fund for Cancer Patients Who Have Taken Actos
In 2015, Takeda Pharmaceuticals set aside over $2 billion to settle patient lawsuits claiming that Actos resulted in bladder cancer. Some claims alleged that the drugmaker knew of the medication’s tendency to cause cancer, but hid the risks from patients and failed to adequately warn consumers in order to reap profits.
If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Actos, you could be entitled to a substantial recovery. We can help you recover the costs of your medical treatments, hospitalization, surgeries, pain and suffering, and more. Best of all, we take cases on a contingency-fee basis, allowing you to get the quality legal representation you need without risking your financial future. Call the McGartland Law Firm to speak with a member of our legal team today.