Actos is used to treat type II diabetes. It can be used with a proper diet and exercise in order to help control blood sugar levels. It can be used with medicines such as insulin, metformin, or sulfonylurea agents. This drug pairs with the insulin in order to help the body use insulin better. Only a doctor can prescribe this medication. This medicine might come with some unwanted effects. Some effects that may occur (or may not) include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irregular breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Problems with teeth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the face, finger, feet, or lower legs
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Trouble with breathing
  • Weight gain
  • Wheezing

Some of these side effects may require medical attention but not all. Your healthcare professional may be able to tell you ways in which you can reduce these side effects. Check with your doctor if these side effects continue or if you have any questions about them.

In 2011, 22,512 people reported a side effect when taking Actos. These effects include bladder cancer. Sales of this drug were suspended by medical regulators in France and Germany because of this risk. When French Medicines Agency did a study on the drug and found that people were more likely to develop a severe form of the cancer, the drug was banned. They found a 22 percent increase in bladder cancer compared to other diabetics taking another drug. The first trial of Jack Cooper vs. Takeda Pharmaceuticals for Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit began in February 2013.  Cooper is one of the first out of 3,000 people in the U.S to claim that the drug caused him to develop a life-threatening bladder cancer. He says he took it for two years to regulate his blood sugar levels before he was diagnosed. In the lawsuit he claims that the Japanese maker of the drug, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, concealed specific risks that should have been printed on the drug labels. Later Takeda was ordered by the FDA to include risk of bladder cancer warnings on the label. The agency by then determined that taking significant amount of doses for more than a year significantly increased the person’s risk. By that time, most European markets removed Actos.

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