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Amber Scott
Amber Scott
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Actos linked to bladder cancer … again

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A new study affirms the linkage between Actos and bladder cancer in patients with type II diabetes.

According to the study, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on July 3, patients with type II diabetes face a 40 percent risk for bladder cancer and Actos raises this risk by 22 percent.

The results of this study come as no surprise since Actos has been linked to bladder cancer in the past. Most recently, a British study published May 31 in the British Medical Journal stated that a patient who takes Actos for two years doubles his risk of bladder cancer. HealthDay reported last week that, when combined, the other studies amounted to a 15 percent increased risk of the disease.

Senior author Jeffrey A. Johnson told reporters that bladder cancer is a “relatively rare cancer” and that, despite the numbers, one patient’s risk of getting the disease is “pretty small.”

“It is not clear yet how Actos might raise the risk of bladder cancer,” he said. But he did suggest, based on animal studies, that Actos causes bladder cancer because of crystals that form in and irritate the bladder.

Actos is included in a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones and works by helping the body to regulate insulin, a hormone that helps the body convert carbohydrates into sugar for energy. It was once considered a better option than its competition, Avandia. Last September, Reuters reported that both raised a patient’s heart failure risk but did not increase one’s risk of heart-related death.

Actos Lawsuits continue to mount against drug company Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The drug has been banned in both Germany and France, but, thus far, no recall has been issued here in the U.S.