Actos & Bone Fractures

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The prescription diabetes drug Actos was linked to several cases of bone fracture in a number of scientific studies. Women are particularly affected by the medication. Evidence shows that women are three times more likely to suffer an Actos bone fracture compared to other diabetes medications. According to additional research, Actos bone fracture is a likely problem for patients because drugs from the thiazolidinedione (TZD) family cause bone loss.

TZDs are specifically used for controlling type 2 diabetes. Since they effectively improve insulin sensitivity, they are widely prescribed to diabetes patients. Actos (pioglitazone) has been used for several years for treating type 2 diabetes. Other TZDs were taken off the pharmaceutical market for reasons such as liver toxicity. Likewise, Actos bone fracture is only one of the risks associated with Actos use.

Actos first became popular as a result of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) warning about the risks associated with the diabetes medication Avandia. However, a number of reports were filed about other risks that are associated with Actos. Actos bone fractures were first noted in the early 2000s. In 2007, a warning was issued to doctors about Actos bone fracture risks from the manufacturers, Takeda.

Bone Fracture Research Studies

Numerous studies from around the world have uncovered Actos bone fracture risks in patients. In a 2008 study from Switzerland, 12 years of data from diabetic patients showed that TZDs, like Actos, increase the risk of bone fracture by two to three times.  Another study in Canada noted that 1 out of twenty female patients in their 70s who took Actos for at least a year had a risk of Actos bone fracture. It was further noted that 1 out of 55 female patients in their 50s had a risk of Actos bone fracture.

Researchers also discovered that fractures mostly tend to occur in lower arm, leg, and hip areas. These breaks usually occur after at least one year of Actos treatment. Some researchers speculate that Actos bone fractures are caused by the activation of certain receptors called PPAR-gamma receptors produced by and located in fat cells. The effect on these receptors is harmful because it slows to production of bone formation. Another harmful effect is increased bone degradation.

Actos Bone Fracture Risks

Since women are particularly at risk for Actos bone fracture, doctors recommend taking extra measure to keep bones healthy and strong. Some of the risks that increase the chances of Actos bone fracture are history of bone fracture, inadequate calcium intake, and osteoporosis or weakened bone strength. Doctors also recommend a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D, to help avoid Actos bone fracture.

Actos Lawsuits

Actos side effects can include bladder cancer and cardiovascular health risks, such as heart attacks. Prostate, liver, and kidney cancer were also noted from various reports. These side effects, along with Actos bone fracture, were seen as concerns during lawsuits that were filed against the Actos manufacturers.

While Actos bone fractures are a concern for lawsuits regarding the drug, complaints like bladder cancer are more common in courtrooms. Takeda allegedly hid information regarding the risk of cancer from the use of Actos. Takeda had apparently known about the risk of cancer as early as 2004 but U.S. regulators were not informed until seven years later.

In a recent trial, jurors were told that Takeda hid these risks in order to protect profits worth 1.6 billion a year. However, in most court cases it is agreed that Takeda should be held liable for withholding important information regarding patient safety. Since this is a dangerous offense, patients that were harmed by Actos may qualify for financial compensation from the company.

View Sources

  1. “Diabetes drugs double women’s fracture risk.” USA Today. N.p., 09 Dec 2008. Web. 22 Apr 2013.
  2. Reitman, Valerie, Phil Milford, and Jef Freeley. “Takeda’s Actos Diabetes Drug Tied to Cancer, Jury Is Told.”Bloomberg. N.p., 16 Apr 2013. Web. 22 Apr 2013.
  3. “Thiazolidinediones doubles risk of fractures in women.”News Medical. N.p., 10 Dec 2008. Web. 22 Apr 2013.
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