Actos (pioglitazone) has been linked to bladder cancer, which can be fatal if not diagnosed early enough. Even at its earliest stages, bladder cancer must be treated with surgery plus chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation.
A clinical trial showed that humans who took Actos developed bladder cancer at a rate 2.5 times greater than patients given a placebo.
In 2011, the FDA said complaints to its Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) demonstrated “a definite signal for bladder cancer associated with [Actos] use” after 6 to 24 months of use.
Elsewhere, the French National Health Insurance Plan followed diabetes patients for up to four years and found a statistically significant increase in the risk for bladder cancer in patients using pioglitazone when compared to patients who took different diabetes medications, the FDA reports.