The FDA is informing the public that using the diabetic medication Actos for more than 1 year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Information about this risk will be added to the “Warnings and Precautions” section of the label for Actos. The patient medication guide for these medicines will also be revised to include information on the risk of bladder cancer.

According to the FDA the risk of bladder cancer with Actos use was noted among patients with the longest exposure to Actos and in those exposed to the highest dose of the drug.

The FDA recommends that doctors should not use Actos in patients with active bladder cancer and use it with caution in patients with a history of bladder cancer.

Bottom Line: There is a slight increased risk of bladder cancer in patients using Actos for long periods of time.  If you are on this medication, I suggest that you speak to your doctor and arrange for a urine cytology test and possibly for a cystoscopy on a yearly basis.

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