Actos and Bladder Cancer

Today I received a comment/question on our tumblr account about Actos:

-“Isn’t Actos the drug that caused bladder cancer in a lot of people, including my grandfather.”

Last week when I talked about Actos, I mentioned the possibility of a link between Actos and bladder cancer.  I didn’t elaborate too much, because the FDA has yet to make a decision on it.

Currently the FDA is doing a safety review on the medication because of a possible link to bladder cancer.  The FDA, or Food and Drug Administration, is the agency within the United States that is responsible for monitoring and ensuring the safety and effectiveness of all medications sold in the country.  When a company makes a new drug and wants to sell it, the FDA is the organization that has to approve it.  They also approve generics.  And when a drug is thought to be causing harm to patients, the FDA is the agency that investigates and decides whether or not a medication is recalled or withdrawn from the market.

At this time, Actos is still available and the FDA has advised us to tell patients to talk to their doctor about any concerns that they have.  As of now, Actos has not been removed from the market and the FDA has not officially linked Actos to bladder cancer, but it might happen in the future, depending upon what they discover in their study.  Preliminary studies by the manufacturer of the drug did show that patients on Actos long-term, and those on high doses, were at more risk of developing bladder cancer.   If you’d like to read the FDA’s current statement on Actos and bladder cancer, please visit their website:

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2010/ucm226244.htm

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