Actoplus Met XR (pioglitazone / metformin) is an extended-release prescription medication used in conjunction with diet and exercise to control Type-2 Diabetes. It is a combination of pioglitazone plus metformin. In conjunction, these medications reduce the amount of sugar released by the liver, and also reduce the body’s resistance to insulin. Unfortunately, pioglitazone (an ingredient also found in Actos, Actoplus Met, and Duetact) has been linked to severe, life-threatening side effects, including bladder cancer, cardiovascular problems, bone fractures, edema, and more.
What You Can Do & How an Actoplus Met XR Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Actoplus Met XR induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Actoplus Met XR, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Actoplus Met XR Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
$9 Billion Award in Louisiana Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit
April 8, 2014 – In the seventh-largest jury verdict in U.S. history, Takeda and Eli Lilly have been ordered to pay $9 billion in punitive damages for failing to warn about the risk of bladder cancer. Judge Rebecca Doherty, who also oversees more than 2,700 Actos lawsuits, penalized the companies for destroying thousands of documents on over 40 employees involved in development and sales of Actos. Click here to read more.
Actoplus Met XR Overview
Actoplus Met XR (pioglitazone / metformin) is a once-daily pill taken to help adults with Type-2 Diabetes control their blood-sugar levels.
Actoplus Met XR is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and the largest drug company in Asia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Actoplus Met XR on May 13, 2009 for treatment of Type-2 Diabetes in adults.
Actoplus Met XR contains a combination of two anti-diabetic medications:
- Actos (pioglitazone) increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. It belongs to a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones (TZDs), which directly targets the body’s resistance to insulin.
- Metformin reduces the amount of sugar that the body can absorb from food, and also reduces the amount of sugar (glucose) released by the liver into the bloodstream.
Actoplus Met XR is different from Actoplus Met, because it contains extended-release metformin, developed by Watson Laboratories. It is typically used after people try Actos or metformin alone, and do not have good enough blood-sugar control.
Type-2 Diabetes is a chronic, progressive metabolic condition that occurs when the body becomes insulin-resistant. When a person eats food, the pancreas excretes a hormone called insulin, which tells the body to stop using fat as an energy source, and start taking up sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream. When a person has Type-2 Diabetes, the body is less sensitive to insulin, and the body does not take up enough sugar from the bloodstream. This causes blood-sugar levels to rise, sometimes to life-threatening levels. Almost half of people with Type-2 Diabetes must give themselves daily injections with insulin to control the disease. Many people also take a medication, such as Actoplus Met XR. In the U.S., almost 24 million people live with diabetes, and nearly 6 million are unaware that they have diabetes. In 2007, global spending to treat and prevent diabetes was at least $232 billion. This number is expected to rise.
Actoplus Met XR and Bladder Cancer
Actoplus Met XR contains Actos (pioglitazone), which several studies have linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. In June 2011, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication, stating:
“Compared to never being exposed to pioglitazone, a duration of pioglitazone therapy longer than 12 months was associated with a 40% increase in risk . . . Based upon this data, FDA calculated that duration of therapy longer than 12 months was associated with 27.5 excess cases of bladder cancer per 100,000 person-years follow-up, compared to never using pioglitazone.”
The FDA announcement was based on preliminary results from a safety study conducted by the drug’s manufacturer, Takeda. The company is currently in the midst of a 10-year safety study involving more than 200,000 people. At the half-way point, preliminary data shows that bladder cancer rates are increased for people who have been taking Actos for at least 12 months.
This result corroborates findings from a French study. The study compared bladder cancer rates among 155,000 Actos users, compared to 1.3 million people who were not taking Actos. The researchers found that people taking Actos were more likely to develop bladder cancer, and the risk increases with longer duration of Actos use. Overall, Actos users were 1.2-times more likely to develop bladder cancer. The risk increased to 1.4 when the sample was limited to people who had used Actos for at least two years. This data prompted French and German medical authorities to suspend sales of Actos and other products containing Actos, including Actoplus Met XR.
Bladder Cancer is a life-threatening side effect of Actoplus Met XR. It begins in the endothelial lining of the bladder, in “transitional cells.” Cancer begins when these cells begin dividing out of control. Most cases of bladder cancer are not diagnosed until the cancer extends to the muscular wall, causing symptoms such as blood in the urine and pain during urination. At this point, full recovery is possible. Treatment options include surgical removal of cancerous tissue, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy (injecting the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine directly into the bladder, which tells the immune system to attack cancerous cells). If the cancer extends beyond the muscle, into the surrounding tissue, or to other organs, survival and cure rates drop dramatically.
Actoplus Met XR Lawsuits
It is estimated that there are 30 extra cases of bladder cancer per 100,000 taking Actoplus Met XR. Because millions of people use this type of medication, there may be thousands of extra cases of potentially life-threatening bladder cancer. If you developed bladder cancer while taking Actoplus Met XR, you are not alone.
It is estimated that Takeda faces as many as 10,000 lawsuits brought by people who suffered severe side effects after taking Actos.
The litigation against Takeda is currently moving forward. In January 2012, a federal judicial panel decided to consolidate the massive litigation into one court, in the Western District of Louisiana, before U.S. Federal Judge Rebecca Doherty. If you suffered a severe side effect caused by Actoplus Met XR, you only have a limited amount of time to seek justice and compensation in a court of law. Contact a lawyer today regarding your Actoplus Met XR lawsuit.
Actoplus Met XR Side Effects
Serious Actoplus Met XR side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Bladder cancer
- Heart attack
- Bone fractures
- Liver problems
- Fluid retention
- Weight gain
- Macular Edema
- Congestive Heart failure
- Low red blood cell count (anemia)
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Do I have an Actoplus Met XR Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Actoplus Met XR induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Actoplus Met XR, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Actoplus Met XR Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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