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pioglitazone Images

Generic Name: pioglitazone

Brand Names: Actos

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 09/17/2010] ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that the Agency is reviewing data from an ongoing, ten-year epidemiological study designed to evaluate whether pioglitazone (Actos) is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Findings from studies in animals and humans suggest this is a potential safety risk that needs further study. At this time, FDA has not concluded that pioglitazone increases the risk of bladder cancer. Its review is ongoing, and the Agency will update the public when it has additional information.

BACKGROUND: The drug manufacturer, Takeda, conducted a planned analysis of the study data at the five-year mark, and submitted their results to FDA. Overall, there was no statistically significant association between pioglitazone exposure and bladder cancer risk. However, further analyses were also performed looking at how long patients were on pioglitazone and the total amount of the drug they received during that time. An increased risk of bladder cancer was observed among patients with the longest exposure to pioglitazone, as well as in those exposed to the highest cumulative dose of pioglitazone.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Healthcare professionals should continue to follow the recommendations in the drug label when prescribing pioglitazone. Patients should continue taking pioglitazone unless told otherwise by their healthcare professional. Patients who are concerned about the possible risks associated with using pioglitazone should talk to their healthcare professional.

Additional Information for Patients, Information for Healthcare Professionals, and a Data Summary are provided in the Drug Safety Communication. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

[Posted 08/14/2007] After a review of postmarketing adverse event reports, FDA determined that an updated label with a boxed warning on the risks of heart failure was needed for the entire thiazolidinedione class of antidiabetic drugs. These drugs are used in conjunction with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Manufacturers of certain drugs have agreed to the upgraded warning.

The strengthened warning advises healthcare professionals to observe patients carefully for the signs and symptoms of heart failure, including excessive, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, and edema after starting drug therapy. Patients with these symptoms who then develop heart failure should receive appropriate management of the heart failure and use of the drug should be reconsidered. People who have questions should contact their healthcare providers to discuss alternative treatments. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web], [Web], and [Web].

[Posted 03/09/2007] Takeda and FDA notified healthcare professionals of recent safety data concerning pioglitazone-containing products. The results of an analysis of the manufacturer’s clinical trial database of pioglitazone showed more reports of fractures in female patients taking pioglitazone than those taking a comparator (either placebo or active). The majority of fractures observed in female patients were in the distal upper limb (forearm, hand and wrist) or distal lower limb (foot, ankle, fibula and tibia). There were more than 8100 patients in the pioglitazone-treated groups and over 7400 patients in the comparator-treated groups. The duration of pioglitazone treatment was up to 3.5 years. Healthcare professionals should consider the risk of fracture when initiating or treating female patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with pioglitazone-containing products. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].


FDA approved a REMS for pioglitazone to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. The REMS may apply to one or more preparations of pioglitazone and consists of the following: medication guide. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]) or the ASHP REMS Resource Center ([Web]).

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