According to Consumer Reports, Actos (pioglitazone), the oral diabetes medication intended for controlling the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetics, should only be taken as a last resort and should be otherwise avoided at all costs.
The same month Actos was put on the market, Consumer Reports recommended avoiding Actos as a “generic and brand-name medication” unless there is no other available option for treatment that is producing health-benefiting results (and it has also lead to many Actos lawsuits).
After 10,000 types 2 diabetics were treated with Actos in clinical trials, it was discovered that many patients are at risk for experiencing mild to severe side effects such as headaches, sore throats, and congestive heart failure. In more severe cases Actos has even been linked as the impetus for bladder cancer, as seen in a large number of aftermarket studies.
Women with type 2 diabetes should be aware that through taking Actos they are more at risk for experiencing these side effects than men. It is thought that pregnant and nursing women also risk the possibility of harming their babies while taking Actos, though no official studies have been conducted. To be safe, it is best that pregnant or nursing women avoid Actos unless consulted otherwise by their doctor. It is unknown whether or not Actos is safe for children under the age of 18.
If you take or plan on taking Actos as a last resort, it is vital to know the many other possible dangerous side effects that are likely to occur such as heart failure, liver failure, macular edema, and bone fractures. Signs to watch for include severe weight gain; water retention; blurred vision or decreased visual acuity; fractures in the hands, upper arms, and feet; and jaundice- the yellowing of the eyes and skin.
Because of the imposed danger of Actos on patients who take it, two countries, Germany and France, have already stripped the drug from their medical markets. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scrutinizing the safety concerns of Actos in order to find a conclusion regarding whether or not to continue the drug’s existence in the market.
The costs of taking Actos could prove to be fatal at worst but otherwise could force patients to take time off from work and hinder their everyday lives due to crippling side effects. Before using this drug, consult your doctor and take time to seriously consider the costs of taking Actos; your health and potentially your life could very well be in serious danger.