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Consumer Reports Slams Generic Actos | cialis online

Consumer Reports Slams Generic Actos

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Consumer Reports has slammed the generic versions of the Type 2 diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone), recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Not only does Consumer Reports suggest skipping the two generics, but it also urges consumers against using the Actos brand unless other options have failed, it said. In fact, said the long-time product comparison expert, Actos/pioglitazone can lead to serious adverse events including heart attack, bone fractures, and bladder cancer. Other diabetes drugs are considered better first options.

For diabetes patients who must take Actos or its new generics, the three generics will be the only generic formulations available over the next six months. For now, said Consumer Reports, the price will most likely not change, versus the brand version—about $377 for a prescription at retail. When additional drug makers are approved to produce Actos generically, the cost of the generics will drop. According to the FDA, the generic Actos versions were approved for drug maker, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, located in Morgantown, West Virginia, for its 15 milligram, 30 mg, and 45 mg pioglitazone tablets.

Consumer Reports advises that its medical advisors say that Type 2 diabetics should only use Actos, or its generic versions, as a treatment of last resort; Actos patients should also speak to their physicians to determine if their drug protocols might be amended to a safer alternative.

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose—sugar—levels are too high. Glucose comes largely from consumed food and insulin is a hormone that helps move glucose into the body’s cells to help them produce energy. Type 2 diabetics neither make nor utilize insulin appropriately, explained the FDA. When insufficient insulin is produced, glucose remains in the bloodstream. Over time, too much glucose in the blood can lead to very serious health problems that include eye, kidney, and nerve damage; diabetes can also be a contributor to heart disease and stroke.

Pioglitazone is dispensed with a patient Medication Guide containing important instructions about its use and drug safety information. The drug has a Boxed Warning to emphasize that pioglitazone may cause or worsen heart failure, particularly in certain patient populations; careful monitoring of patients when starting the drug or increasing the dose is recommended. The product label also notes that the use of pioglitazone for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Common side effects reported by pioglitazone patients include cold-like symptoms, headache, sinus infection, muscle pain, and sore throat. Information on the availability of generic pioglitazone can be obtained from the manufacturer. FDA-approved generic drugs, said the agency, are of the same high quality and strength as brand-name drugs and generic manufacturing and packaging sites must pass the same quality standards as those for brand-name drugs.

NewsInferno recently wrote that, last June, the agency issued a safety communication about Actos’ links to bladder cancer when taken for more than one year. Also that month, the French and German governments suspended Actos sales following release of a separate study commissioned by French regulators, which revealed the increased cancer risk in people who took it the longest and at the highest cumulative dose. Drug maker, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, officially recalled Actos from the French market. Since, other studies have confirmed the Actos-bladder cancer risks.

Meanwhile, said NewsInferno, Takeda Pharmaceuticals has been named in numerous lawsuits in the United States. Most Actos bladder cancer lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana. NewsInferno noted that legal experts estimate that Takeda could face upwards of 10,000 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits in the U.S.

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