For consumers and patients who routinely spend vast amounts of money each month on necessary prescription medications, the development of cheaper generic versions are generally a welcomed occurrence. After all, consumers can usually save anywhere from 30 to 80 percent when buying the generic versions of brand name drugs, according to an article in the Boston Globe. However, not all generics are introduced with the same pomp and ceremony ― which has been the case with the recent FDA approval of a generic form of Actos.
Review of Actos ― Both Brand Name and Generic
Actos ― otherwise known as pioglitazone ― is used to treat to treat type 2 diabetes. However, even though this best-selling diabetes drug is used countless times every day, it has been marred with allegations of side effects for some time. In fact, the FDA notes that the label for Actos now references that the use of pioglitazone for more than one year may be linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer.
These concerns associated with Actos are also being tied to the recently approved generic versions. Consumer Reports, an independent consumer products review organization, recently recommended patients to steer clear of both the brand name and generic versions of Actos.
When discussing the generic form of Actos ― which Consumer Reports referenced as “one ‘bargain’ to avoid” ― the consumer watchdog organization noted that pioglitazone has been associated with very serious side effects such as bone fractures and heart failure, in addition to bladder cancer. Consumer Reports went as far to say that patients should only use Actos, or its generic versions, only after other options have failed to work.
The recommendations by Consumer Reports are not surprising, especially given the severity of potential Actos side effects. Patients taking Actos need to be on the look-out for symptoms of possible side effects, particularly the development of bladder cancer. One of the most common symptoms of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, which may only be visible under a microscope in some circumstances. Other common indicators of bladder cancer include:
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination
- Intense pain in lower abdomen
- Burning feeling during urination
It is important to discuss all possible side effects with your doctor before ever taking Actos. Consumers need to be fully aware of all potential problems so that they can make informed decisions concerning their health. However, if you have already developed bladder cancer and believe Actos may be to blame, it is important to contact an experienced defective drug litigation attorney to be advised of your rights and options.