Popular Diabetes Drug Increases Risk of Bladder Cancer
Pioglitazone, a popular medication for treating diabetes can increase the risk of developing cancer of the bladder by up to 63 percent, latest medical report reveals.
A team of researchers have been undertaking a study on the possibility of developing cancer of the bladder due to using a common anti-diabetic drug known as Pioglitazone. The study focused on the effects the drug had in combating diabetes and probability of getting bladder cancer.
In England and Wales alone, more than 3.3 million people are affected by type II diabetes which currently has no cure. Complications that come with the disease include stroke, blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure, heart problems and more.
About 10,000 people are found to have developed bladder cancer annually and out this figure, at least 5,000 succumb to death.
Pioglitazone works by controlling the level of sugar in the blood and is mostly given to individuals suffering from type II diabetes. According to statistics got from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, about 1.18 million Pioglitazone hydrochloride prescriptions were given out in England as of 2014.
The study which was led by Dr Laurent Azoulay, the lead author at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Jewish General Hospital, Lady Davis Institute, Quebec, Canada, shows there was an increase in cases of cancer of the bladder especially in people who were taking Pioglitazone. The goal of the study was to ascertain whether the anti-diabetic drug increased the risk and by what percentage.
The study was based on data on 145,806 diabetic patients sourced from UK’s Clinical Practice Research Institute and goes back to 2000 which is the year Pioglitazone and another popular, rosiglitazone, started being used as treatment for diabetes. A comparison was done between the two drugs to see their effects especially in regard to raising the risk of developing bladder cancer.
In the report findings contained in the BMJ, patients using Pioglitazone had a 63 percent chance of getting bladder cancer while no risks were recorded in those using rosiglitazone. The risk was more for those who had used the drug for a longer period or in higher doses.
However, rosiglitazone was removed from circulation in 2010 after a reported increase in side effects such as heart attacks, cardiovascular disorder, liver and heart failure and more.
Victor Montori, Medicine Professor at Mayo Clinic, US, suggests that caregivers should inform patients of the likely risks before and while administering the drug. He further states that close cooperation between clinicians and patients is needed in order to identify the best agent based on personal and clinical aspect.