Approved on July 15, 1999 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Actos was initially touted as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. It works by making the body’s cells more sensitive to insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. It is the insulin which the body uses to regulate the use and level of glucose within the body. By making cells more sensitive to insulin, blood is able to travel more efficiently into cells, enabling patients to better control levels in the body.
Actos Allegedly Linked to Complications
Clinical trials have concluded that extended use of the medication has been linked to a high risk of developing bladder cancer. Patients currently filing lawsuits with the help of an Oklahoma Actos attorney allege that they were diagnosed with the condition as evident by the following symptoms:
- Unusual back pain
- Increased urge to urinate
- Pain when urinating
- Blood-filled urine
Plaintiffs Filing Lawsuits
Former patients taking the medication are working with an Oklahoma Actos attorney to seek compensation for their injuries. Allegations include often fatal complications such as heart conditions and bladder cancer during or after ceasing treatment. At the heart of these lawsuits lie claims that the manufacturer did not warn the FDA or the general public about the potentially serious complications and risks associated with the medication.
Oklahoma Actos attorneys note that in 2011, Takeda acknowledged that it had been named a defendant in 54 lawsuits related to the medication and were facing more. Currently, the total number of lawsuits has exceeded 3,000. However, Takeda is not the only defendant; the manufacturer is joined by Eli Lilly, a U.S.-based drugmaker that was responsible for marketing the medication between 1999 and 2006.
Actos and Bladder Cancer
The FDA issued a warning in August 2011 concerning the medication and the potentially increased risk of developing bladder cancer. The FDA’s warning acknowledges that patients currently living with bladder cancer or those with a family history of the condition should not use the drug. Results of a 10-year-long study concluded that patients taking the medication for longer than one year may be at a 40 percent higher risk of developing bladder cancer at any time.
Health officials in Germany and France suspended its use in June 2011, citing the increased risk of bladder cancer as the reason. The combination of the FDA’s warning in 2011 along with the drug’s suspended use in other countries have prompted more plaintiffs to seek legal counsel, including from Oklahoma Actos attorneys, to learn more about their rights. While each plaintiff’s case may vary, the majority of the lawsuits allege that the manufacturer knew of the drug’s link to bladder cancer but failed to notify the public of such risks.
Along with bladder cancer, the drug has been labeled with a black-box warning that acknowledges that it may cause or exacerbate congestive heart failure. Side effects such as water retention and weight gain can place unnecessary stress on the respiratory system and heart which, in severe cases, can lead to congestive heart failure. According to one study, patients with kidney problems or mild heart disease may also be at an increased risk of developing the condition. Many plaintiffs who had been struggling with their weight and overall health prior to taking Actos are working with an Oklahoma Actos attorney to seek compensation for their injuries.
Actos may also cause lactic acidosis, a potentially fatal condition in which patients suffer from sleepiness, muscle cramping or pain, shallow breathing, diarrhea, decreased appetite and stomach discomfort. Additionally, women who take the medication may be at a greater risk of developing bone fractures, particularly in the ankles, lower legs, feet and hands.
There is currently a multidistrict litigation underway in Louisiana as well as cases pending in California and Illinois. While these cases are proceeding as expected, Actos is continually available to patients across the country. Some speculate that, because the drug is still being sold, Takeda could face as many as 10,000 Actos lawsuits in the United States alone because of the number of patients filling the medication and the increasing number of plaintiffs alleging injuries.
Have Questions? An Oklahoma Actos Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, congestive heart failure or other serious health condition while taking Actos, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced Oklahoma Actos attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your rights. At Attorney Group for Oklahoma, we can work to answer questions you may have and help you to determine if you have a claim. Should we feel that you may be entitled to receive compensation, we will connect you with an experienced Oklahoma Actos attorney who will assist you further. So contact Attorney Group for Oklahoma today for your free consultation.