Risk of bladder cancer from diabetes drugs

Several studies have shown a link between the increased risk of bladder cancer and taking the diabetes medication pioglitazone for an extended period of time. But what does this mean for type 2 diabetes sufferers taking this drug?

Findings of a study published recently in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) have mirrored the 2011 announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that taking pioglitazone for more than 12 months can increase the risk of bladder cancer. The study found that with type 2 diabetes taking the drug had a 40 per cent increased risk of developing bladder cancer.

Although the risk is small, there may be other drugs which are equally effective and do not carry a risk of bladder cancer. If you are taking medication, which contains pioglitazone, then you should continue to do so. If you are concerned, you should consult your GP or specialist.

For more information, the release from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which was issued in July 2011, remains relevant. Read it here

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