The Nature of the Drug: Actos is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Japan) and marketed with Eli Lilly and Company (USA), and it is an oral treatment for Type II diabetes. The drug lowers glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity, and can be used alone or in conjunction with other Type-II-diabetes medicines, such as Metformin. The drug’s popularity was such that in 2010, its U.S. sales were $3.58 billion.

The Hazards of Actos: There is evidence that using Actos for over a year can cause bladder cancer. Takeda’s own preclinical trials linked the drug to bladder problems; and the drug caused bladder tumors in an animal study. A higher-than-normal incidence of bladder cancer was also noted in two three-year studies of Actos users. The symptoms of bladder cancer include bloody urine, pain when urinating, increased urge to urinate, and unusual back pain.

Actos can also cause or aggravate congestive heart failure. Patients with a history of heart failure should be monitored when taking the drug, or should not take it at all. Symptoms of congestive heart failure include rapid weight gain, difficulty breathing, and fluid retention or swelling.
Another dangerous side effect of Actos is chronic kidney disease: in one study, people who took the drug were four times more likely to develop kidney disease than non-users. Women who take Actos are susceptible to developing bone fractures, especially in the hands, fee, ankles, and lower legs. And Actos carries a warning for risk of developing lactic acidosis, whose symptoms include liver disease and fever.

A number of drugs may be substituted for Actos and may be safer than it, including Acarbose, Saxagliptin, and Anylin.

To Obtain Legal Relief: Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Eli Lilly for bladder cancer caused by Actos. Persons who have taken Actos who have suffered from bladder cancer, congestive hear failure, kidney disease, or other Actos-caused side effects may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.