The American Association of Retired Persons has released a newsletter in which a segment called “Ask the Pharmacist” questions the safety of diabetes drug Actos. Dr. Armon B. Neel Jr. highlighted the risks of taking the drug, which have recently been at the center of Actos lawsuits.
The newsletter warns patients who have had heart failure or have risk factors for heart failure, such as irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure, against using the drug. The Food and Drug Administration put a black box safety warning on Actos after the drug was found to increase the risks of congestive heart failure.
Actos has also been directly linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Several studies have found that patients who use Actos for more than one year are 40% more likely to develop bladder cancer. The studies led to several countries restricting sales of the type II diabetes drug.