Do you know what is Actos ? It is a prescription drug of the class thiazolidinedione(TZD) with hypoglycemic(antihyperglycemic antidiabetic) action to treat diabetes. (Wikipedia)
Risks Associated with the Use of Actos
It’s common knowledge that every prescription drug, including type 2 diabetes drugs, entails some risks. What is unknown is the extent of these risks.
Usually only when a statistically verifiable count of Americans have suffered or died due to these risky medications is the public given an idea of how hazardous they can be.
When they launched in the late 1990s, thiazolidinediones (TZDs) were believed to be risky due to their targeting of a group of nuclear receptors that play an essential role in the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. The process may modify fat tissues, contributing to weight gain and fluid retention.
In spite of the risks, TZDs earned high confidence from medical practitioners because of their capacity to address insulin resistance, a fundamental issue in diabetes.
Weight gain is considered the most visible of all Actos side effects. Actos users gain an average of two to 12 pounds.
Succeeding studies, however, revealed that TZDs risks were not limited to weight gain and fluid retention. They also increase the risk for heart failure and death.
In 2007, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) gave Actos and another TZD, Avandia (rosiglitazone), a black-box warning for their heart risks.
The FDA has also severely restricted the use of Avandia due to its association with a 43 percent increased risk for heart attacks and 64 percent increased risk of death due to cardiovascular problems.
In June 2011, three comprehensive studies revealed yet another health risk for Actos: a 40 percent increased risk for bladder cancer.
While Actos is still enjoying an unrestricted status and the FDA is awaiting results of ongoing clinical trials, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published its own study, raising the risk of Actos bladder cancer to 83 percent.
A couple of weeks later, the Archives of Internal Medicine published a new study linking Actos and Avandia to increased risk for macular edema (eye disease). The study found that people using one of the TZDs have three times higher risk for macular edema than those who were not using Actos or Avandia.
With these developments, many are wondering, what unknown risks of TZDs are awaiting discovery?
Nobody knows, and nobody will until the risks translate to a substantial number of suffering Americans. That is how the system works.
Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.