The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US has announced that it is examining the link between the diabetes drug Actos and increased risk of bladder cancer among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus .
Although results from an FDA analysis of an ongoing observational study of Actos, also known as pioglitazone, and which is taken to control blood sugar levels, showed there was no significant association between using Actos and a heightened risk of bladder cancer among diabetes patients, it did show that those who used Actos were 20 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with the cancer.
The risk of bladder cancer was revealed to be significantly higher for those who had been taking Actos for more than a couple of years or who had a highest accumulative dose of the drug. However, the FDA recommended that doctors continue following the current recommendations to prescribe Actos and patients should take the drug as prescribed.
So far, the FDA have not been able to prove that Actos is causing these increases in the risk of bladder cancer, and will report back again in three months on its findings.
The FDA have included data from pre-clinical carcinogenicity studies on the Actos label as a precaution, although it stated that this does not mean that Actos is the cause of the rise in the risk of this cancer.

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