The Canadian government health agency has issued a bladder cancer warning for the diabetes medication Actos. Health Canada ordered the drug’s manufacturer to add the cancer warning after researchers found that patients who use the drug for more than one year have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
The agency said that Takeda Pharmaceuticals was conducting a 10-year study of the type II diabetes drug, but that clear indications of increased cancer risks were already evident at the half-way point of the study. Researchers found that patients who used Actos were more than 40% more likely to develop bladder cancer than patients not using the drug.
The Canadian Actos warning follows the United States, which had already issued a bladder cancer warning for Actos. France and Germany suspended sales of the drug in 2011 after a French study found that patients who use Actos are more likely to develop bladder cancer compared to other diabetes medication, regardless of how long it’s used.