Many respected studies have linked the Type 2 diabetes medication, Actos (pioglitazone HCI), to increased risks of developing bladder cancer. The Actos lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP are investigating a growing range of Actos side effects in addition to increased bladder cancer risks, such as colon cancer, liver cancer, prostate cancer, and kidney cancer risks; increased risks for heart attack, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and death; increased risks for fracture; and increased cataract risks
Actos, one of the top-selling Type 2 diabetes medications, worldwide, has recently become available generically, which raises concerns that increased Actos availability might result in more patients suffering from Actos-associated side effects. Specifically, the Actos Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP are aggressively investigating possible associations between Actos and colon cancer.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Colon cancer, one of the key causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States can sometimes be completely cured with early diagnosis, which can be accomplished through screenings, such as colonoscopies. Recovery from colon cancer is dependent on a number of variables.
In addition to the patient’s general health, recovery from colon cancer depends on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed (in the colon, or spread to other body parts); if the cancer has either blocked or created a hole in the colon; if, after surgery, cancer cells remain; if blood levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a substance found in the blood that may increase with the presence of cancer, is present before treatment; and if the colon cancer has returned.
A wide array of factors can be linked to colon cancer however, in nearly every case, the cancer begins with benign polyps, which are detectable in early screening tests. Age—being over 50 years of age; race or ethnicity—being African-Americans or of Eastern European descent; having colon polyps; having a history of prior cancer or a family history of colon cancer; and consuming a diet high in red meats or processed meats can all increase risks for colon cancer.
Cancer Institute says that the symptoms of colon cancer can include:
- A change in bowel habits
- Bright red or very dark blood in the stool
- Diarrhea, constipation, or a feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
- Narrower than usual stools
- Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
- Weight loss for no known reason, such as dieting, increased exercise
Treatment, which is dependent on the stage of the cancer, can include various types of surgery, drug therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and options available in clinical trials.
Actos and Increasing Adverse Effects
Last June, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Safety Communication stating that use of Actos for more than one year may be connected to increased risks of developing bladder cancer. Also in June, French and German governments suspended sales of Actos in their countries following release of a different study commissioned by French regulators. That research found that an increased risk of bladder cancer was linked to people who took Actos for the longest periods and at the highest cumulative doses.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Actos, has officially recalled the Type 2 diabetes drug from the French market; Actos also bears a Black Box Warning—the FDA’s most urgent safety notice—indicating that the drug may cause or worsen congestive heart failure in some patients. Actos is not recommended for patients diagnosed with symptomatic heart failure.
The FDA has not yet issued a warning about some of the other risks we have been observing, such as the increased risk for colon cancer Actos patients; however, Parker Waichman LLP believes that an association may exist between this dangerous cancer and Actos and also believes that Takeda Pharmaceuticals has neither fully researched nor issued warnings about this potential and dangerous health link. As part of our ongoing investigation into Actos side effects, we are now reviewing if Actos patients who were diagnosed with colon cancer are entitled to compensation.