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Bladder Cancer Risk No Roadblock to Generic Actos

Filed August 20th, 2012 Laurie

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic version of the Type 2 diabetes drug Actos, making the drug cheaper for patients who have successfully been able to treat the disease with it.

Actos is part of a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones, along with Avandia and Rezulin. It is designed to enhance the body’s sensitivity to insulin. While the drug has worked wonders for many, it comes with a set of very serious possible side effects.

The Boxed Warning states that Actos can increase the risk of heart failure, bladder cancer, and fractures. The drug’s makers are facing thousands of lawsuits over the bladder cancer risk. Studies show that patients who take Actos for five years or more have a two- to three-fold increased chance of developing the disease.

Actos has also been found to cause or worsen congestive heart failure, and cause fractures in women. But on a more positive note, the drug may be helpful in treating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), also known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity.

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