Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Canada News on Actos (April 2012)

Health Canada, the nation’s public health department, officially warned diabetes patients of the increased risk of bladder cancer that is possible for those taking Actos.  The labeling on this medication in Canada will also receive changes to reflect that cancer warning.  Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride) is authorized for use by Canadian patients with Type 2 diabetes who cannot control their blood sugar with just diet and exercise. From HC:

 CTOS (pioglitazone hydrochloride) is an antidiabetic medication authorized in Canada to control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar levels have not been controlled by diet and exercise. ACTOS may be used alone or in combination with other diabetes drugs (sulfonylurea or metformin).
  • New findings reveal that there is a potential increased risk of bladder cancer in patients treated with ACTOS.
  • ACTOS should not be used if patients:
    • have or have had bladder cancer
    • have blood or a red colour in their urine
  • Blood or a red colour in urine should be investigated before starting pioglitazone therapy. Patients prescribed pioglitazone are also advised to seek medical attention if during treatment, they have blood or a red colour in their urine, an increased need to urinate, or pain while they urinate, as these may be symptoms of bladder cancer.
  • Risk factors for bladder cancer should be assessed before starting pioglitazone (risks include age, smoking, family history of bladder cancer, exposure to chemicals in the workplace, to certain cancer treatments and radiation therapy).