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Diabetes drugs taken by over 15 million Americans raises risk of bladder cancer
Date:8/13/2012

i, MD, an instructor in the division of Hematology-Oncology in Penn's Abramson Cancer Center. "Our study shows that doctors who care for patients with diabetes should be very aware of any bladder-related symptoms patients might be having, like blood in the urine, and take steps to further evaluate those issues."

Though most patients in the United States no longer take Avandia since it was linked to severe cardiovascular problems, Actos is the ninth most commonly prescribed drug in the nation, accounting for some 15 million prescriptions each year. The drug is a common choice when Type 2 diabetes patients' illnesses can no longer be controlled with the first-line diabetes drug Metformin.

Based on previous data examining safety risks among patients taking Actos, the FDA has already warned that it may be associated with a risk of bladder cancer, and France and Germany have removed the drug from their markets. The new findings add to mounting evidence against the entire class of TZDs, as one of the first studies examining this type of risk among people taking both types of TZDs and among those taking sulfonylurea drugs.

"The risk does seem to be common among both drugs in the TZD class, and the fact that we have compared bladder cancer risk among patients taking each of those drugs provides essential information, because a safety warning on a drug is only useful to a doctor when they have knowledge of the same risks for an alternative drug," Mamtani says. "We believe our study will help doctors and their patients weigh the potential benefits and risks when selecting between different diabetes medication."


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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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