Diabetes Drugs Containing Pioglitazone

Pioglitazone is a prescription drug used to improve glucose control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Pioglitazone is often referred to as an “insulin sensitizer” because it attaches to the insulin receptors on cells throughout the body causing the cells to become more responsive to insulin.

Pioglitazone can cause serious side effects, including:

Bladder Cancer – A Canadian team of researchers investigated pioglitazone’s link to bladder cancer after obtaining data from the GPRD (General Practice Research Database).  They evaluated 115,727 patients who initiated diabetes therapy from 1988 to 2009.  Results showed that from 376 cases that were matched against 6,699 controls, 470 patients were diagnosed with bladder cancer during the average 4.6 years of follow-up.  This translates to a rate of 89 per 100,000 persons.  The rate of bladder cancer in the general UK population aged 65 years and above, is 73 per 100,000 per year. Patients taking pioglitazone were found to have an 83% higher risk of bladder cancer, which translates to 74 per 100,000.  For those taking the drug for two years or longer the risk for bladder cancer rises to 88 per 100,000.

Heart Failure – The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) warns that pioglitazone may cause or worsen a certain heart problem known as “congestive heart failure”.  Symptoms of which include, swelling of the hands and feet, sudden weight gain, trouble breathing, or unusual tiredness.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals manufacturers several type 2 diabetes medications that contain pioglitazone including:

  • Actos – sold in the USA, Canada, the UK and Germany
  • Glustin – sold in Europe
  • Glizone and Pioz – sold in India by Zydus Cadila and USV limited
  • Zactos – sold in Mexico

Recently the FDA approved three new type 2 diabetes medications, all of which are manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, but only one contains pioglitazone:

  • Nesina (Alogliptin) – Demonstrated to be safe and effective in 14 clinical trials involving 8,500 patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Kazano (Alogliptin and Metformin Hydrochloride) – Demonstrated to be safe in 4 clinical trials involving more than 2,500 patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Oseni (Alogliptin and Pioglitazone) - Demonstrated to be safe and effective in 4 clinical trials involving more than 1,500 patients with type 2 diabetes.

Oseni contains pioglitazone and carries a “Boxed Warning” for heart failure associated with pioglitazone use and has an increased risk of bladder cancer.  According to Oseni’s “Warnings and Precautions” for health care professionals:

“Data suggests an increased risk of bladder cancer in pioglitazone users.  Data also suggest that the risk increases with duration of use.  Do not use Oseni in patients with active bladder cancer.  Use caution when using in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer.  Tell patients to promptly report any sign of hematuria or other symptoms such as dysuria or urinary urgency as these may be due to bladder cancer.”


Contact a Pioglitazone Attorney

As a consumer and a patient, you have the right to trust your medication is safe. Tragically, this is not always the case. When a pharmaceutical company acts negligently, its actions can result in serious side effects. Victims however, may recoup damages through a successful product liability claim against the drug’s maker.

At RxRecall.com, our dangerous drug lawyers are investigating claims involving Pioglitazone. Well-versed in the product liability laws that protect consumers, our attorneys can help you obtain fair compensation for your suffering.  Contact an experienced  RxRecall Lawyer today. Call 1-888-884-1507 to schedule a free consultation.


Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.