One of the top selling Type 2 diabetes medications in the world, Actos (pioglitazone) recently went generic, raising concerns that its expanded availability could lead to more people suffering from Actos side effects.
A growing number of adverse side effects have been linked to Actos based on a variety of respected studies. Now, emerging research is discussing ocular complications, injuries, and adverse reactions to the eyes that are linked to Actos use. Some experts are concerned that Actos presents an increased risk of developing cataracts.
Diabetic macular edema is an Actos side effect that can develop following surgery, though the condition can occur in the absence of such surgery. We recently wrote that the national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, warned users of Actos or Avandia (rosiglitazone) that they may face an increased risk of developing diabetic macular edema. Diabetic macular edema can sometimes develop following cataract surgery.
According to a study published in the June 11 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, patients who take thiazolidinediones, a class of Type 2 diabetes medications that includes Actos and Avandia, have a two-to-three-fold increased risk of developing the eye disorder.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the U.K. collected data on more than 100,000 people with type 2 diabetes included in the British Health Improvement Network database. The study authors suggested that routine screening for visual acuity should be performed during routine diabetes reviews, especially for patients who take thiazolidinediones.
Last June, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Safety Communication stating that use of Actos for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. That same month, the French and German governments decided to suspend sales of Actos in those countries after a separate study commissioned by French regulators demonstrated an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with Actos in people who took it the longest and at the highest cumulative dose. Takeda Pharmaceuticals has officially recalled Actos from the market in France.
Adverse ocular events and bladder cancer are not the only side effects associated with use of Actos. The drug already bears a Black Box Warning, the FDA’s most urgent safety notice, stating that it may cause or worsen congestive heart failure in some patients. In fact, Actos is not recommended for anyone diagnosed with symptomatic heart failure. Studies have also linked Actos to fractures.