EMA: "small increased risk of bladder cancer" with pioglitazone

In patients who respond to pioglitazone, the CHMP concluded that the benefits outweigh the risks | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
In patients who respond to pioglitazone, the CHMP concluded that the benefits outweigh the risks | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A review into the possible increased risk of bladder cancer with pioglitazone has been completed by the MHRA. The results indicated that there is a small increase in risk associated with pioglitazone use.

As a result, pioglitazone is contraindicated in patients with active or historical bladder cancer, or uninvestigated haematuria and all patients should be assessed for risk factors. These include:

  • age
  • current or history of smoking
  • previous pelvic irradiation
  • exposure to certain occupational or chemotherapy agents, for example cyclophosphamide.

Additionally, treatment in the elderly should be carefully considered due to their increased risk of bladder cancer.

In patients who are prescribed pioglitazone, the risk-benefit should be considered after 3–6 months and patients swapped to other treatment (if appropriate).

Two pioglitazone-containing products are available in the UK: pioglitazone alone (Actos) and pioglitazone plus metformin (Competact).

Want news like this straight to your inbox?
Sign up for our bulletins

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Register or Subscribe to MIMS

GPs can get MIMS print & online and GPonline for free when they register online – take 2 minutes, and make sure you get your free MIMS access! If you're not a GP, you can subscribe to MIMS for full access.

Register or subscribe

MIMS Dermatology

Read the latest issue online exclusively on MIMS Learning.

Read MIMS Dermatology

MIMS Adviser

Especially created for prescribing influencers.

Request free copy

Mobile apps

MIMS: access the full drug database and quick-reference tables on the go

MIMS Diagnosis and Management: concise information on signs and symptoms, investigations and diseases