Actos Side Effects
Actos (pioglitazone) is part of a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones, introduced in the late 1990’s and used to treat diabetes mellitus type 2, or type 2 diabetes. It is one of the most popular and widely prescribed medications in the world used to treat this ailment. Actos, like other drugs in it’s class, works by hypoglycemic action, meaning that it lowers glucose in the blood.
It is important that you are aware of Actos side effects. These include:
- Muscle pain or weakness, pain in the arms or legs
- Sore throat, and
- Gastrointestinal discomfort.
Some Actos side effects are much more serious and require immediate medical attention. These are:
- Changes in vision
- Vision loss
- Frequent, painful, or difficult urination
- Bloody or discolored urine; and back or abdominal pain.
- Actos has also been shown to cause an increase in bone fractures among women involved in Actos side effects studies and is contraindicated in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Actos side effects also involve problems with hepatic (liver) function. There have been instances in which the consumption of Actos has had a possible link to liver ailments such as hepatic inflammation—commonly called hapatitis—as well as liver enzyme elevation. In fact, another drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, Rezulin, was pulled off of the market by the FDA due to similar hepatic impairments. This liver damage has the possibility of resulting in the need for a transplant or even death.
The French Medicines Agency banned the use of Actos in France after a study found that the drug, as well as others containing Actos, increased the risk for the development of bladder cancer. Germany enacted a similar ban after reviewing the information in the French report, which tracked people using Actos from 2006 to 2009. In 2010 the FDA (U.S.) called for further investigation into the drug after its own findings indicated an increase in the risk of bladder cancer, which eventually led to a call by the agency for an increased warning on the drug.
In a study released by the FDA, it was found that Actos heart complications were disproportionately greater than those found in other drugs that treated type 2 diabetes. Due to the Actos heart complications that were studied, the FDA issued Actos a black box warning, the most stringent drug warning available. Actos heart difficulties include congestive heart failure symptoms such as rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, edema (fluid retention), and heart attack. Those who have a personal or family history of heart problems may see exacerbated symptoms. Actos is also contraindicated to those who have experienced congestive heart failure. If you have experienced any of these Actos heart side-effects, it is important that you seek a medical professional immediately in order to prevent serious, and sometimes fatal complications.