Actos, generically known as pioglitazone, belongs to a class of medications called thiazolidinediones (TZD). This oral medication, in addition to ACTOplus met, ACTOplus met XR, and duetact, is taken in tablet form and is prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetic patients who are not dependent on insulin.  While Actos has helped many of its users, it is also associated with many serious, life-threatening side effects, and one ingredient, Metfromin, in its sister medication, ACTOplus, can be attributed to an often fatal condition, lactic acidosis.

Metformin, an oral antihyperglycemic drug, is used in the management of type 2 diabetes; it helps control the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the blood.  While Metformin successfully manages diabetes, it can cause metabolic complications. These complications, including lactic acidosis, are so deadly that Metfromin has received a black-box warning, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) most severe alert.

Dr. P. Pillans, former Medical Advisor for the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) in Dunedin, New Zealand, wrote, “Melformin is a useful anti-hyperglycaemic agent but significant mortality is associated with drug-induced lactic acidosis.” Lactic acidosis, the buildup of lactic acid in the blood, can occur naturally during intense exercise, but it is also induced by Metformin use. During metabolism, lactic acid exits the cells, is transported to the liver through the bloodstream, and then is oxidized back into glucose.  When oxygen levels drop, exacerbated by Metformin use, the result is a backup of lactic acid in the liver. While lactic acidosis can be treated at the hospital, this condition was fatal in 50% of reported cases.

Symptoms of Lactic Acidosis:

  1. Nausea and Vomiting
  2. Stomach Pains
  3. Weakness
  4. Rapid and Irregular Heartbeat
  5. Fatigue, Lethargy, or Daytime Sleepiness
  6. Change in Mental Status

Some users are more susceptible to lactic acidosis.  If you have one of the following conditions, you are at a higher risk of developing lactic acidosis:

  1. Kidney Insufficiency
  2. Congestive Heart Failure
  3. Liver Dysfunction
  4. Alcoholism

If you are experiencing any signs of lactic acidosis, call your doctor immediately.  Any individual or the relative of an individual who has suffered due to Actos’ side effects is permitted to file a lawsuit.  The lawyers can help you determine whether you are qualified to seek compensation.  You may be eligible to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and punitive damages (compensation granted for losses suffered).  If you need further information about the harmful side effects of Actos or legal advice concerning personal injury matters, we invite you to contact us or to fill out our form on this website for a free case evaluation.