Actoplus Met is a prescription medication used to treat Type-2 diabetes by improving blood sugar (glucose) control. As the name suggests, it a combination of Actos (pioglitazone) plus metformin. Together, these medications help a person control their blood-sugar levels. Unfortunately, new evidence has found that people who take medications containing pioglitazone (including Actos, Actoplus Met XR, and Duetact) may be 40% more likely to develop bladder cancer. Other severe, life-threatening side effects include congestive heart failure, stroke, bone fractures, and more.
Do I Have an Actoplus Met Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has been injured after taking Actoplus Met, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Actoplus Met lawsuit.
UPDATE: $9 Billion Award in Louisiana Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit
April 8, 2014 – In the seventh-largest jury verdict in U.S. history, Takeda and Eli Lilly have been ordered to pay $9 billion in punitive damages for failing to warn about the risk of bladder cancer. Judge Rebecca Doherty, who also oversees more than 2,700 Actos lawsuits, penalized the companies for destroying thousands of documents on over 40 employees involved in development and sales of Actos. Click here to read more.
Actoplus Met Overview
Actoplus Met is a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of Type-2 Diabetes. It is an oral tablet created by Japanese drug-maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the largest pharmaceutical company in Asia. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005 for the treatment of Type-2 Diabetes. Actoplus Met belongs to a class of diabetes medications known as thiazolidinediones or TZDs, which work by decreasing a person’s resistance to insulin.
Type-2 Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) and insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas. When it circulates in the bloodstream, it tells the liver, muscle tissue, and fat cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream instead of using stored energy. When a person has Type-2 Diabetes, the cells are resistant to insulin, and they do not absorb enough glucose from the bloodstream. This causes high blood sugar levels, which can trigger life-threatening side effects. Around 40% of people who have Type-2 Diabetes must inject themselves with extra insulin to manage their disease.
Some people treat Type-2 Diabetes with a medication, such as Actoplus Met, which is actually a combination of two drugs: pioglitazone (sold under the brand-name Actos) plus metformin. Pioglitazone is a TZD medication that increases sensitivity to insulin. Metformin decreases the amount of glucose that can be absorbed from food, thereby decreasing glucose created by the liver. It helps prevent spikes of blood sugar.
Actoplus Met and Bladder Cancer
The controversy over Actoplus Met comes from pioglitazone, or Actos. Several new studies have found that people who take a medication containing pioglitazone, such as Actoplus Met, are 40% more likely to develop bladder cancer. In real numbers, this translates to around 30 extra cases of bladder cancer per 100,000 users of a medication containing pioglitazone.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the company responsible for injuries caused by its products, is in the process of conducting a 10-year safety study of more than 200,000 people who are using Actos. When the FDA reviewed preliminary results at the 5-year mark, they found that people who had been taking Actos for at least one year were more likely to develop bladder cancer.
A French study has also found a link between pioglitazone and bladder cancer. French medical researchers compared the rate of bladder cancer among 155,000 pioglitazone patients versus 1.3 million non-pioglitazone users. They found that, among pioglitazone-users, bladder cancer was 1.2-times more likely. The risk was even higher among patients who using a medication containing pioglitazone for more than two years — bladder cancer was 1.4-times more likely. This safety data prompted medical health authorities in France and Germany to ban sales of Actos, Actoplus Met, and other medications containing pioglitazone.
The FDA also decided to act. The administration issued a Drug Safety Communication in June 2011, stating:
“Compared to never being exposed to pioglitazone, a duration of pioglitazone therapy longer than 12 months was associated with a 40% increase in risk . . . Based upon this data, FDA calculated that duration of therapy longer than 12 months was associated with 27.5 excess cases of bladder cancer per 100,000 person-years follow-up, compared to never using pioglitazone.”
Bladder cancer is one of several potentially life-threatening side effects of Actoplus Met. Bladder cancer is commonly caused by toxins found in the workplace, cigarettes, or medications. The cancer begins in the “transitional cells” that make up the lining of the bladder. It is not usually diagnosed until it moves into the muscle surrounding the bladder. At this point, a person has hope of full recovery, through surgical removal of cancerous tissue, chemotherapy, or immuno-therapy. Bladder cancer is one of a handful of cancers that can be treated in early stages with a vaccine, called the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine, which is injected into the bladder and causes the immune system to kill cancer cells. If bladder cancer extends beyond the muscle, into the surrounding tissue or other organs, it has “metastasized” and the cancer is rarely cured.
Actoplus Met and Heart Problems
Actoplus Met contains a “boxed” warning (the FDA’s strongest form of a warning) regarding the link between pioglitazone and congestive heart failure. In 2007, after reviewing post-marketing safety studies, the FDA found that they needed to update the safety information for all medications in the TZD class of anti-diabetic medications (Actos, Avandia, Duetact, and more). Pioglitazone can cause or exacerbate heart failure.
Actoplus Met Side Effects
Serious Actoplus Met side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Bladder cancer
- Heart attack
- Bone fractures
- Liver problems
- Fluid retention
- Weight gain
- Macular Edema
- Congestive Heart failure
Some people who take a medication containing metformin also suffer a potentially life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. This occurs when lactic acid accumulates in a person’s blood faster than the body can get rid of it. Because it can cause death, doctors recommend that new Actoplus Met patients have a blood-electrolyte test between 1-2 weeks after starting treatment with Actoplus Met.
Do I have an Actoplus Met Lawsuit?
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