Diabetes Drug Actos Double the Risk of Cancer

Diabetes Drug Doubles Cancer RiskIt is used for type 2 diabetes but has been linked to causing bladder cancer in patients. Medications can have side effects but with the chance of developing cancer, it has become a growing concern in the medical community. In fact, Actos has been found to actually double the risk a patient has of developing this form of cancer.

Existing Health Conditions to Consider

 As with any medication that a doctor may prescribe for you, it is important to take into consideration the existing medical conditions that you may have. You should also discuss your family medical history as well. Specific things to look for are:

  • Heart attacks and strokes
  • Heart disease or congestive heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Poor fluid retention
  • Existing or a history of bladder cancer

If you have never taken this type of drug in the past, it will be important to look for allergic side effects as well. You will also need to make sure that you follow the doctor’s instructions such as eating correctly in order to avoid drops in blood sugar and other effects such as headaches and tremors.

The Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer

Studies have shown that there is a 40 percent increase in risk of bladder cancer in patients that have taken Actos for a one year period or more. Often, Actos is taken with its sister medication known as Avandia, a member of the Thiazolidinediones family, which helps patients reduce their resistance to taking insulin.

Both of these medications are monitored closely and it has been shown that the increase in bladder cancer as well as cardiovascular disease had brought concern to the medical community.

Although there is a serious risk if taken for at least a year, the longer the medication is given the higher the risk of bladder cancer. The risk percentage for a year is 83 percent, but those who have taken the drug for a two-year period or longer have an even higher risk. The research shows that even if bladder cancer does not run in the family there is still a risk.

Discussions with Your Doctor

For someone that has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a frank and truthful conversation with their doctor is necessary. Not only should the information about current medical conditions be given but about family history as well.

The more your doctor knows the better they will be able to prescribe the right medication for you. Always be sure to ask about side effects of any medication they are considering giving you. It can help you to better prepare and take any necessary precautions that may be needed. This can help you to keep from getting sick and know what to look for in case you have a reaction of any kind and when to report it to your physician.

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