According to a new study published earlier this month in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, one of the major classes of diabetic drugs increases patients’ risk of bladder cancer.
The class of drugs under scrutiny, thiazolidinedione (TZD) drugs, accounts for nearly one out of every five drugs prescribed to diabetics in the United States. The researchers who performed the study at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school found that patients taking TZD drugs are two to three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who took another common class of medications for diabetes.
The two most common types of TZD drugs are marketed under the names Actos and Avandia.
These drugs are no new face to these sorts of alarming research results.
According to the study, patients treated with either Actos or Avandia for five or more years had a two-to-three-fold increase in risk of developing bladder cancer when compared to those who took another class of diabetes medications called sulfonylurea drugs.
The risks and dangers associated with Avandia and Actos continue to increase. In November of last year, Avandia was removed from retail pharmacies because of its links to severe cardiovascular problems. Earlier this year, an unsealed whistleblower lawsuit exposed the possibility that drug manufacturer Takeda downplayed the risks associated with Actos usage. Just this summer, research exposed the possibility of vision risks being associated with Actos and Avandia usage.
With over 285 million persons worldwide suffering from diabetes, physicians and patients are faced with a double edged sword: fight diabetes without the usage of medication or risk unforeseen risks when using diabetic medications.
The history of diabetic medications is one that causes pause. As details continue to emerge exposing the dangers these drugs bring, diabetics need to be informed and aware of the risks associated with the drugs they use and the remedial measures they can take to limit these risks.