Actos, an oral medication dispensed in capsule form, is prescribed in conjunction with diet and exercise to Type II diabetes patients who are not insulin dependent.  Manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Actos was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 1999.  Most patients found significant help in treating Type 2 diabetes and experienced minor, if any, side effects, but many have suffered serious, life-threatening conditions due to Takeda’s unwillingness to update doctors and patients on the repercussions of long-term use.

Minor Side Effects Associated with Actos Use:

  1. Stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat or any other cold-like symptoms or upper respiratory infections.  Approximately 13% of patients have complained of this problem.
  2. Headaches or pain in any other parts of the body.  Approximately 9.1% of patients have reported this problem.
  3. Steady weight gain or water weight gain (edema).  Approximately 4.8% of patients have complained of this problem.
  4. Pain or stiffness of muscles and back.  Approximately 5.4% of patients have complained of this problem.
  5. Sinus irritation or infection.  Approximately 6.3% of patients have complained of this problem.
  6. Tooth disorders. Approximately 5.33% of patients have complained of this problem.

Major Side Effects Associated with Actos Use:

If you have suffered any of the major side effects associated with Actos, you should request a free case evaluation immediately.

  1. Pain in the stomach especially on the upper side
  2. Allergic reactions such as hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
  3. Blood in urine or dark urine or increase in the frequency of urination
  4. Breathlessness even due to mild exertion
  5. Chest pain or feeling of being unwell
  6. Nausea accompanied with loss of appetite, clay colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  7. Change in vision, mainly blurred or hazy vision
  8. Paleness of skin
  9. Easy bruising or bleeding
  10. Weakness
  11. Unexplained weight gain

Clinical studies performed on patients taking Actos showed an average weight gain of two to six pounds within 16- 26 weeks of drug administration. The largest weight gains, on average, came in those patients on higher doses. Weight gain of more than three to five pounds in a week is a possible symptom of congestive heart failure. This was another reason why the drug was also associated with congestive heart failure. Weight gain happened mainly because of the high probability of fluid retention in the body. Fluid retention can be a fatal complication for patients suffering from any kind of heart related problems.

Weight gain, while taking Actos, can be kept under control by following a strict dietary regime, which includes:

  • Ample fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk & milk products that are either fat- free or low- fat.
  • Lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
  • Minimal and fixed amounts of saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, sodium salt and added sugars.

12. Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer manifests itself in three ways: cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. Numerous studies have determined a statistically significant increased risk of Actos long-term use (more than one year) and bladder cancer and an increased risk of higher cumulative dosing of Actos (28,000 mg or greater) and bladder cancer.

If you have developed bladder cancer and are taking or have taken Actos, there is a high likelihood that the cancer is a result of Actos consumption.   Any Actos user who has been diagnosed with bladder cancer (including transitional cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma) should contact attorneys at once.  Even if a healthcare professional has not mentioned a possible link between Actos and the bladder cancer, patients may still have a valid claim for compensation against Takeda, the drug’s manufacturer.  Many treating physicians, especially those who treat cancer, are more focused on treatments, cures, and prognosis for the future then on causes.  The patient’s historical exposure to potential carcinogens is typically of more interest to epidemiologists, the scientists who focus on causation.

Though not an exhaustive list of all the side effects that Actos may cause, persons taking Actos should carefully review any warnings provided and discuss the risks and benefits of the medication with their doctor.