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The Webster Law Firm is currently pursuing potential lawsuits regarding those who have used Actos for diabetes and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer.


Oral diabetes medication Actos® (generic name pioglitazone) is made by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and co-marketed in the United States by Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals. Actos® and related drugs are used to control type-2 diabetes in patients whose condition is not adequately controlled by diet and exercise alone.

 Actos® belongs to a class of drugs which help to treat Type-2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. This drug may be prescribed alone (as Actos®) or in combination with other active ingredients such as metformin (sold as Actoplus met) or glimepiride (sold as duetact). Actos® may be only part of a patient’s treatment which may include insulin or other drugs.

In June 2011, the FDA announced that, on the basis of the five-year interim review of the ten-year study begun in 2003, it had concluded that “the use of diabetes medication Actos for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.”The FDA said in an ongoing study involving more than 193,000 people 40 or older with type 2 that those who took Actos for more than a year had a 40% chance of developing bladder cancer.

 We are now taking the fight to Takeda pharmaceuticals for their failure to adequately warn regarding the risks of bladder cancer from Actos and other potential problems with the drug.

 Possible signs of Actos bladder cancer may include blood in the urine, frequent urination, and the need to urinate without results. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently required the manufacturer to warn of the increased risk of bladder cancer if taken for a year or longer. The new warning was issued on June 17, 2011. The warning applies to all drugs containing pioglitazone, including Actoplus MET, Actoplus MET XR, and Duetact. 

The FDA found in June 2011 after a study that included 1.5 million people with diabetes using Actos that an increased risk of bladder cancer was found, particularly in men.

As a result, the FDA in discussing its “review of data from a 5 year interim analysis of an ongoing, ten-year epidemiological study,” stated that “compared to never being exposed to pioglitazone (ACTOS), a duration of pioglitazone therapy longer than 12 months was associated with a 40% increase in risk.” See http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm25910.htm.

Additional information About Actos®

  • There may be an increased chance of having bladder cancer when you take pioglitazone.
  • You should not take pioglitazone if you are receiving treatment for bladder cancer.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of bladder cancer: blood or red color in urine; urgent need to urinate or pain while urinating; pain in back or lower abdomen.
  • Read the Medication Guide you get along with your pioglitazone medicine. It explains the risks associated with the use of pioglitazone.
  • Talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns about pioglitazone medicines.

The Webster Law Firm has on staff a mayo clinic trained urologist who is reviewing these cases on a routine basis.

Please contact us if you or a loved one are taking one of the forms of Actos and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer.