Taking medication often involves a balance between the benefits and the drawbacks. Most diabetes medication options do not come with a lot of serious side effects, but others turn out to have potential side effects or complications that need to be seriously considered. One example of this is the diabetes drug Actos. Although Actos has been used successfully for many years by patients with diabetes, it has recently come to light that this diabetes medication causes an increase in the risk of bladder cancer.
Actos is the brand name for pioglitazone, a medication intended for type 2 diabetes. This thiazolidinedione medication is designed to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin in order to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Recently, a generic version of this diabetes medication became available. The drug is still under close scrutiny, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awaits further study results on the link between Actos and bladder cancer.
Patients who have type 2 diabetes need to consider the following when it comes to Actos:
a) Any patient who has a history of bladder cancer or increased risk factors associated with bladder cancer should not take Actos, or should speak to a physician prior to taking Actos to make sure that it is safe to take.
b) The increased risk factors for bladder cancer development when taking Actos seem to appear after the drug has been taken for longer than one year. While some patients are able to continue using Actos for longer than one year, this is not advisable.
c) Patients who are taking this diabetes medication should be vigilant about watching for symptoms that are associated with bladder cancer. Watching for these symptoms is essential so that the patient can talk to their doctor about any symptoms they see. Some of the symptoms associated with bladder cancer include painful urination, increased urgency to urinate, red coloration in the urine or blood in the urine. If a patient experiences any of these symptoms while taking Actos, he or she should consult a physician as soon as possible to rule out bladder cancer.
It is essential that patients explore both the benefits and the risks when taking a diabetes medication such as Actos. While Actos can help to regulate blood sugar by making it easier for the body to process insulin, the long-term potential side effects must also be considered. Thousands of people affected by these complications have sought the help of an Actos lawyer to get justice against the drug manufacturer. There might be a better medication that can be taken to deliver similar results as Actos, especially in situations where a patient is already susceptible to bladder cancer or similar diseases. Make sure to keep an open dialog with an endocrinologist or a general physician when taking diabetes drugs to ensure that none is causing harmful or undesirable reactions over time.
Elizabeth Carrollton writes to inform the general public about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com. For more information on the diabetes drug Actos, please visit http://www.drugwatch.com/actos/.