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Multiple agencies are reporting that Actos and bladder cancer are related. How are you affected?

Have you been diagnosed with bladder cancer?
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actos side effects bladder cancer


Actos is the brand name for a chemical called pioglitazone, and was designed to treat type 2 diabetes. Actos is manufactured and sold by Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., a subsidy of the Japanese company Takeda Limited.

The drug has been prescribed all over the world since 1999, when it was first approved by the FDA. In 2010 alone, two million prescriptions were written for patients with type 2 diabetes. However, studies have linked this drug to a serious risk: bladder cancer.

In June 2011, a French study indicated that long-term use of Actos could increase the risk for developing bladder cancer by 40 percent. Immediately after the study’s release, the FDA issued its own safety alert concerning bladder cancer risks. Not long afterward, Health Canada issued its own warning against Actos, while France and Germany banned the drug altogether. Then, the evidence against Actos continued to build. In May 2012, the British Medical Journal published research showing that extended use carried an 83% increased risk of bladder cancer.

In short:

  • There is no official recall on Actos

  • Bladder cancer has been linked to use of the drug

  • Attorneys have filed lawsuits on behalf of Actos patients

bladder cancer

Side Effects

Studies in the United States, Europe, and Canada now show more severe side effects with long-term use of Actos, including an 83 percent increase in  the risk of developing bladder cancer.

actos cancer

Legal Assistance

Defective drug attorneys are currently helping former Actos patients that have been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

So far, juries in the U.S. have awarded victims of Actos bladder cancer more than $40 million in damages.

actos latest news

Latest News

So far, juries in the U.S. have awarded victims of Actos bladder cancer more than $40 million in damages.

Assistance is available. Speak with a patient advocate today.


Side effects of Actos now include “a greater risk of bladder cancer with prolonged use of the drug.” The FDA has not recalled Actos, although it did issue a warning in the U.S. on June 15, 2011. Without an actual recall, experts suspect that users who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer may not know the cause. This may include an estimated 10,000 people.

Warnings about Actos began in June 2011 when the French Medicines Agency discovered a correlation between long-term Actos use and as much as a 40 percent increase in bladder cancer. At that point, France and Germany banned the drug. The U.S has not banned the drug, and short term use appears to be safe from serious side effects.




Researchers in Europe, Canada and the United States have conducted studies that show conclusive evidence of an increased risk for bladder cancer among patients who took Actos for more than one year. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal proposed that Actos could cause crystal formations in the bladder, cause chronic irritation and even cancer. Experts fear that up to 10,000 patients may be affected in this way.

Bladder cancer usually begins in the cells that line the bladder, causing them to grow abnormally. The cells can develop mutations that cause them to grow out of control and form a tumor. In early stages, a tumor can usually be removed. However, even early stage bladder cancer has to be monitored closely for recurring developments. Bladder cancer treatment may involve surgery, vaccine therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy.

While bladder cancer affects nearly 70,000 people each year, it is considered highly treatable if discovered early.

Common symptoms of bladder cancer:

  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Blood in urine or discoloration of urine
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain

If you have been taking Actos and have any of these symptoms, it is important to inform your doctor right away.

Actos Side Effects

Common side effects of Actos:
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Blurred vision/headaches
  • Sore throats
  • Pain in abdomen, muscles, joints, teeth, or mouth
  • Yellowing of the skin/eyes
  • Dark amber urine
  • Fatigue

Several health organizations have issued safety warnings, but the drug is still being prescribed.

actos abdomen pain

Pain In The Abdomen

actos cancer

Nausea & Vomiting

actos bladder cancer


bladder cancer side effects actos

Blurred Vision & Headaches


Due to the number of lawsuits filed against the manufacturer of Actos, claims have been consolidated in special federal and state courts around the country. The primary location for Actos litigation is in MDL # 2299, a federal multidistrict litigation court in the Western District of Louisiana. The first of these trials began in 2014, and resulted in an unprecedented jury award of $9 billion for the victim. Even with recent reductions by the judge, victims of Actos bladder cancer have been awarded damages of more than $40 million so far.

In late 2014, Taketa Pharmaceuticals was fined more than $150,000 for destroying evidence that would have helped another victim pursue a lawsuit over bladder cancer related to Actos.

With thousands more cases pending and awaiting trial, experts believe Taketa will try to settle the remaining cases rather than face ongoing litigation and the public attention of new verdicts. If you've been diagnosed with bladder cancer and have not yet filed a claim, a lawyer can talk about your case today and assist you with joining the current action.

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Injured by Actos?

Injured by Actos? Speak with a lawyer who specializes in the Actos litigation.

Thank you for contacting DrugNews. Your inquiry has been forwarded to one of our Patient Advocates. A representative should be in touch with you in less than 24 hours but hopefully much sooner. 

For immediate information, you can reach us on our 24/7 Defective Drug Hotline at 1-888-391-1315.

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