Additional Study Discusses Relationship Between ACTOS and Bladder Cancer

Laurent Azoulay, PhD, of McGill University in Montreal presented data linking ACTOS with the development of bladder cancer.  His research specifically implicated ACTOS rather than implicating the class of drugs ACTOS belongs to. His group specifically did not see this effect when looking at Avandia (rosiglitazone).  Avandia has been removed from the US market because of its cardiac toxic effects.

Azoulay and associates looked at 115,727 patients given prescriptions for these antidiabetic medicines in the United Kingdom primary care data base between 1988 and 2009.  The mean age of participants was 64 years old and they were followed for over 4 years.  Patients who had been given a prescription for the thiazolidinediones tended to be more obese, smoked and have worse control of their diabetes.  These are all risk factors for the development of bladder cancer.

ACTOS has been removed from the market in some European countries. The FDA did not restrict it in a recent review.

With the new data it will become necessary to suggest alternatives to ACTOS to my diabetic patients until the matter is completely clarified.