Diabetes drug Actos banned due to risk of bladder cancer

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The popular diabetes drug Actos has been pulled out of the European market after the drug was linked to increased risk of bladder cancer.

The French medicine agency pulled the medicine from the market after the study which was funded by the government, found that the drug increases the risk of bladder cancer. The medicine agency also told the French doctors to stop prescribing the drug. However, the agency said that the patients who are currently using the same should consult their doctors.

The German health officials soon after reviewing the French report followed suit and also pulled the drug from their markets. They tracked the diabetics from 2006-2009 periods.

Manufacturer of the drug medicine, Takeda’s vice president of medical and scientific affairs, Robert Spanheimer told that the company hasn’t had time to review the French reports, but he said that the two trials which are taking place in the U.S. are yet to show the risk of bladder cancer. The trials also includes a 10 year trial which was started in 2003.

Spanheimer told Reuters, “The FDA has had a look at all our data and has not given us an indication at that time.”

Since September 2010, FDA is reviewing Actos after the reports surfaced which said that the people who are using the drug for more than 2 years have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. According to WebMD, Actos is still much safer than the controversial pill of same drug class, Avandia.

Actos drug

Actos makes the body sensitive to insulin to control the sugar level in the blood. This drug is prescribed ‘for the patients who are suffering from diabetes type 2.

Diabetes type 2 is the most common form of diabetes and around 25 million Americans are affected by it. This type of diabetes can lead to kidney disease, blindness, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Cold & Allergy drugs Curbed by FDA:-

About the products:- Some of the drugs to be taken off the market, previously labeled as suitable for administration to infants, have now been found to contain ingredients which were covered by a 2008 FDA advisory, against over-the-counter prescriptions for infantsbelow 2 years of age.

Healthcare providers unaware:- Adding to the seriousness of the situation is the major fact that many healthcare providers are unaware, of their prescription of unapproved drugs to patients. The FDA advised such consumers to discuss alternatives with the healthcare providers. They said that consumers, though not complaining of severe side effects, did complain of drowsiness, irritability and sedation after consumption. However, a pharmacist reviewing the list of cough and cold drugs, said that many of the drugs were already off the market.

“A lot of these medications have been discontinued. They’re no longer available,” said Sophia DeMonte, speaking on behalf of the American Pharmacists Assn. The manufacturers of the listed drugs have been directed by the FDA to stop production within 90 days, and stop shipping of the drugs within 180 days.

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