Risk of bladder cancer from diabetes drugs

What does this mean for type 2 diabetes suffers taking this drug?

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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    13th Jul 2012
    Can you tell me what pioglitazone is?
    my husband is taking metformin for diabetes 2
    is anything to do with pioglitazone?

    13th Jul 2012
    Lillian, Because I also take metformin for diabetes 2, I just checked wikipedia and it initially appeared to be marketed in other countries, Australia not mentioned. Reading further, quote 'Pioglitazone is used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 (previously known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM) in monotherapy and in combination with a sulfonylurea, metformin, or insulin.' unquote. Checking further.. I'll get back to you.
    13th Jul 2012
    Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes.
    I think we're ok with Diaformin/Metformin if we don't take it in combination with Pioglitazone.
    13th Jul 2012
    thanks pip,I was worrying, because a friend of mine got bladder cancer,but I dont know
    what sort of pills he is taking
    14th Jul 2012
    There are a number of diabetic tablets on the market The two I have to take are Diamicron-CMI / gliclazide and Diabex -CMI / Metformin hydrochloride The Information sheets supplied by the chemist indicate that neither of these drugs contain Pioglitazone
    16th Jul 2012
    Is Glucovance (Metformin hydrochloride/glibenclamide) at risk of being one of these at risk drugs. My intellectually disabled daughter has to take this and as the drugs that she has taken for Epilepsy (over the last 28 years) have had a terrible effect on her body and now caused Schizophrenia (which means more very harmful drugs, which have caused Diabetes), I would like to make sure she is taking something that is not going to cause even more issues. We are now dealing with Epilepsy, Schizophrenia, NIDDM, high cholesterol, and Metabolic Liver Disease. She doesn't need any more problems.
    16th Jul 2012
    Go to 'Mediguard.com' for information about what drugs go with what.. print it out and if you're concerned with findings of medicine combinations (about which the site advises you) take the lists to your daughter's specialists for further advice.

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