Actos (generic name pioglitazone hydrochloride) is a drug in the class of thiazolidinedione (TZDs) and extensively used for treating Type 2 diabetes. The drug was introduced in the US market by Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the late 1990s and soon became top selling product of the company. In 2008 it was one of the top selling drugs in US.
Patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin required by their body to manage sugar levels of blood. Some patients become insulin resistant and their body cells are not sensitive to insulin. Actos is used for increasing sensitivity of body cells to insulin. Increased insulin sensitivity helps in controlling levels of sugar in blood and prevents it from rising at dangerous levels. The drug may be taken along with other medications for diabetes or alone. It is not used for Type 1 diabetes.
According to warnings issued by FDA, drugs like Actos containing thiazolidinedione may trigger or worsen cardiac failure (heart attack) and other cardiac events in some patients. Chances of fluid retention and congestive heart failure also increase with the use of Pioglitazone present in the drug.
In June 2011, the FDA also issued a warning for Actos’ link to bladder cancer. Due to the numerous reports from consumers taking Actos who had developed bladder cancer, the FDA conducted an investigation and their results were astounding. In an ongoing study of 193,000 people, the FDA discovered that those people with Type 2 Diabetes over the age of 40 who have taken Actos for over a year, are at a 40% higher risk for developing bladder cancer. Contact your doctor if you have taken Actos and developed bladder cancer, tumors, or have experienced any of the following symptoms:
Other than these serious side effects, patients using Actos may suffer from some common side effects. Muscle pain, tooth pain, gradual weight gain and symptoms of upper respiratory infections like running nose and sneezing are some of them. Clinical studies revealed that women using this drug were more prone to bone fractures.
The toxic side effects of Actos have impelled many affected patients or families of the deceased to file lawsuits for recovering compensation of the injuries. Such lawsuits can be filed against manufacturer as well as against healthcare service provider. In 2007, Takeda Pharmaceuticals was subjected to the first class action lawsuit for subjecting the users of this drug to potential increased risk of cardiac failure and similar cardiac events. If you have been injured by Actos contact a law firm that has experience in handling defective drug cases.