Actos (pioglitazone) is a medication used to treat diabetes patients. While it has been on the market for several years, in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that Actos had been linked to a 40 percent chance of bladder cancer – particularly if the medication is used for more than one year.
From January to October 2010, about 2.3 million patients in the U.S. had an active Actos prescription. Actos is used to control the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in adults, including high blood sugar.
In 2011, the FDA released the warning about the risk of bladder cancer, based on the results of a five-year study of Actos-using patients. The study found that the risk of bladder cancer continued to climb the longer a patient took Actos, and that the patients with the highest doses of the medication also faced a high risk. The FDA also examined a study conducted in France that showed similar links between Actos use and bladder cancer.