Study Suggests Link Between Actos and Kidney Disease, According to Cancer Monthly

An increased risk of bladder cancer may not be the only disease risk for people treated with the diabetes drug Actos.

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New Risk from Actos Use?

There was an association with an increased risk of newly developed kidney disease.

Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) March 21, 2014

Cancer Monthly is reporting on new research published by PLoS One suggesting that the diabetes drug Actos, which is already associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, may also increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

Actos (pioglitazone) is in a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones and has been administered either by itself or in combination with another type of diabetes treatment like metformin or insulin to help diabetics control their blood sugar. Several studies have shown an increased risk of bladder cancer among Type 2 diabetics who have taken Actos and the drug is no longer prescribed in some countries.

Now, a new study of nearly 35,000 diabetics at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan found that Actos may also carry an increased risk of newly developed chronic kidney disease. Study subjects were identified from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan in 2003 and were followed from 2005 to 2009.

The researchers divided the diabetic patients by gender, age, duration of their disease, whether or not they had bladder cancer, whether or not they had ever used the diabetes drug Actos, and, if so, how long they were on Actos.

Among the 3,497 diabetes patients who had ever been on Actos, 245 (8.1%) developed chronic kidney disease. In contrast, the rate of kidney disease among the diabetics who had never used Actos was just 2.3%. The study found that the risk of developing chronic kidney disease from Actos existed even among people who had a cumulative dose of less than 10,500 mg and had taken Actos for their diabetes for less than a year.

Based on this data, the Taiwanese researchers conclude that “there was an association with an increased risk of newly developed kidney disease” with Actos use. In 2011, the FDA required the makers of Actos, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, to include a warning about the increased risk of bladder cancer in their packaging. (FDA Drug Safety Communication, Update to ongoing safety review of Actos, http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm259150.htm) The original study linking Actos and chronic kidney disease was published by the open-access online medical journal, PLoS One. (Lee, MY, et al, “The association of pioglitazone and urinary tract disease in type2 diabetic Taiwanese: bladder cancer and chronic kidney disease”, January 2014, PLoS One. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24427312)

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