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  • Drug Warning: Actos

    Generic name: pioglitazone hydrochloride (known as thiazolidinediones)
    Most common inhibitors: 
    Takeda Pharmaceutical

    Purpose: A drug prescribed to patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have an insulin deficiency as a result of an impaired production of insulin. Most individuals with type 2 diabetes also suffer from an insulin resistance, wherein their body does not use the insulin that is already produced by the body in an efficient manner.

    Side Effects Reported

    • Common side effects of Actos may include swelling of the face, feet, fingers, or lower legs; in addition to weight gain, inflammation of sinuses or throat, muscle pain, and tightness in the chest.
    • There have been reports that Actos may be linked to liver problems including inflammation of the liver, a condition also known as hepatitis, and elevation of liver enzymes.
    • The class of drugs that Actos belongs to, thiazolidinediones, is the same as the drug Rezulin, which was removed from the market due to its link to liver toxicity.
    • This liver toxicity/damage may have been the cause of many cases of liver failure. Liver failure has the possibility of leading to the need for a liver transplant and may also result in death.

    Industry Report

    Actos may also be linked to symptoms of congestive heart failure, including rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, and edema (fluid retention). Actos may exacerbate symptoms in those people who already have a history of heart problems or heart failure, and may lead to congestive heart failure in those who are at risk. There is also a risk of suffering from dangerously low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, when taking Actos in conjunction with insulin, metformin, sulfonylurea, or other oral diabetes medicines. People with active liver disease, edema, history of heart failure, or type 1 diabetes should not take Actos.

    Seeger Weiss is not currently pursuing lawsuits on this drug, but its drug warnings will remain on our radar.

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