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ActoPlus Met FDA Alerts

The FDA Alert(s) below may be specifically about ActoPlus Met or relate to a group or class of drugs which include ActoPlus Met (metformin/pioglitazone).

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Drugs.com. Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings. For the latest FDA MedWatch alerts, go here.

Recent FDA Alert(s) for metformin/pioglitazone

Pioglitazone-containing Medicines: Drug Safety Communication - Updated FDA Review, Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer

Dec 12, 2016

Audience: Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Urology

ISSUE: As a result of an updated review, the FDA has concluded that use of the type 2 diabetes medicine pioglitazone (Actos, Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR, Duetact, Oseni) may be linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. The labels of pioglitazone-containing medicines already contain warnings about this risk, and FDA has approved label updates to describe the additional studies reviewed. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for more details, including a data summary.

BACKGROUND: FDA alerted the public about the possible risk of bladder cancer in September 2010 and June 2011 based on interim results from a 10-year epidemiologic study. FDA changed the labels of pioglitazone-containing medicines in August 2011 to include warnings about this risk, and required the manufacturer to modify and continue the 10-year study.

Pioglitazone is approved to improve blood sugar control, along with diet and exercise, in adults with type 2 diabetes. Pioglitazone works by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin, a natural hormone that helps control blood sugar levels. Untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious problems, including blindness, nerve and kidney damage, and heart disease.

RECOMMENDATION: Health care professionals should not use pioglitazone in patients with active bladder cancer, and should carefully consider the benefits and risks before using pioglitazone in patients with a history of bladder cancer.

Patients should contact their health care professionals if they experience any of the following signs or symptoms after starting pioglitazone, as these may be due to bladder cancer:

  • Blood or a red color in the urine
  • New or worsening urge to urinate
  • Pain when urinating

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[12/12/2016 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

Metformin-containing Drugs: Drug Safety Communication - Revised Warnings for Certain Patients With Reduced Kidney Function

Apr 8, 2016

Audience: Pharmacy, Nephrology, Internal Medicine, Patient

ISSUE: FDA is requiring labeling changes regarding the recommendations for metformin-containing medicines for diabetes to expand metformin’s use in certain patients with reduced kidney function. The current labeling strongly recommends against use of metformin in some patients whose kidneys do not work normally. FDA was asked to review numerous medical studies regarding the safety of metformin use in patients with mild to moderate impairment in kidney function, and to change the measure of kidney function in the metformin drug labeling that is used to determine whether a patient can receive metformin.

FDA concluded, from the review of studies published in the medical literature, that metformin can be used safely in patients with mild impairment in kidney function and in some patients with moderate impairment in kidney function. FDA is requiring changes to the metformin labeling to reflect this new information and provide specific recommendations on the drug’s use in patients with mild to moderate kidney impairment.

FDA is also requiring manufacturers to revise the labeling to recommend that the measure of kidney function used to determine whether a patient can receive metformin be changed from one based on a single laboratory parameter (blood creatinine concentration) to one that provides a better estimate of renal function (i.e., glomerular filtration rate estimating equation (eGFR)). This is because in addition to blood creatinine concentration, the glomerular filtration rate takes into account additional parameters that are important, such as the patient’s age, gender, race and/or weight. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for additional information, including a data summary and a list of metformin-containing drugs.

BACKGROUND: Metformin-containing medicines are available by prescription only and are used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. When untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious problems, including blindness, nerve and kidney damage, and heart disease. Metformin-containing medicines are available as single-ingredient products and also in combination with other drugs used to treat diabetes. The current drug labeling strongly recommends against metformin use in some patients whose kidneys do not work normally because use of metformin in these patients can increase the risk of developing a serious and potentially deadly condition called lactic acidosis, in which too much lactic acid builds up in the blood.

RECOMMENDATION: Healthcare professionals should follow the latest recommendations when prescribing metformin-containing medicines to patients with impaired kidney function. Patients should talk to their health care professionals if they have any questions or concerns about taking metformin.

The labeling recommendations on how and when kidney function is measured in patients receiving metformin will include the following information: 

  • Before starting metformin, obtain the patient’s eGFR.
  • Metformin is contraindicated in patients with an eGFR below 30 mL/minute/1.73 m2.
  • Starting metformin in patients with an eGFR between 30-45 mL/minute/1.73 m2 is not recommended.
  • Obtain an eGFR at least annually in all patients taking metformin. In patients at increased risk for the development of renal impairment such as the elderly, renal function should be assessed more frequently.
  • In patients taking metformin whose eGFR later falls below 45 mL/minute/1.73 m2, assess the benefits and risks of continuing treatment.  Discontinue metformin if the patient’s eGFR later falls below 30 mL/minute/1.73 m2.
  • Discontinue metformin at the time of or before an iodinated contrast imaging procedure in patients with an eGFR between 30 and 60 mL/minute/1.73 m2; in patients with a history of liver disease, alcoholism, or heart failure; or in patients who will be administered intra-arterial iodinated contrast.  Re-evaluate eGFR 48 hours after the imaging procedure; restart metformin if renal function is stable. 

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[04/08/2016 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]
 

Actos (pioglitazone): Ongoing Safety Review - Potential Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer

Jun 15, 2011

Audience: Endocrinology, Family Practice, Urology

[UPDATED 06/15/2011] Use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Information about this risk will be added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the label for pioglitazone-containing medicines. The patient Medication Guide for these medicines will also be revised to include information on the risk of bladder cancer.

This safety information is based on FDA's review of data from a five-year interim analysis of an ongoing, ten-year epidemiological study. The five-year results showed that although there was no overall increased risk of bladder cancer with pioglitazone use, an increased risk of bladder cancer was noted among patients with the longest exposure to pioglitazone, and in those exposed to the highest cumulative dose of pioglitazone.

FDA is also aware of a recent epidemiological study conducted in France which suggests an increased risk of bladder cancer with pioglitazone. Based on the results of this study, France has suspended the use of pioglitazone and Germany has recommended not to start pioglitazone in new patients.

Additional Information for Patients, Information for Healthcare Professionals, and a Data Summary are provided in the Drug Safety Communication.

FDA recommends that healthcare professionals should:

  • Not use pioglitazone in patients with active bladder cancer.
  • Use pioglitazone with caution in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer. The benefits of blood sugar control with pioglitazone should be weighed against the unknown risks for cancer recurrence.

FDA will continue to evaluate data from the ongoing ten-year epidemiological study. The Agency will also conduct a comprehensive review of the results from the French study. FDA will update the public when more information becomes available.

 

[Posted 09/17/2010]

ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that the Agency is reviewing data from an ongoing, ten-year epidemiological study designed to evaluate whether Actos (pioglitazone) is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Findings from studies in animals and humans suggest this is a potential safety risk that needs further study. At this time, FDA has not concluded that Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer. Its review is ongoing, and the Agency will update the public when it has additional information.

BACKGROUND: The drug manufacturer, Takeda, conducted a planned analysis of the study data at the five-year mark, and submitted their results to FDA. Overall, there was no statistically significant association between Actos exposure and bladder cancer risk. However, further analyses were also performed looking at how long patients were on Actos and the total amount of the drug they received during that time. An increased risk of bladder cancer was observed among patients with the longest exposure to Actos, as well as in those exposed to the highest cumulative dose of Actos.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Healthcare professionals should continue to follow the recommendations in the drug label when prescribing Actos. Patients should continue taking Actos unless told otherwise by their healthcare professional. Patients who are concerned about the possible risks associated with using Actos should talk to their healthcare professional.

Additional Information for Patients, Information for Healthcare Professionals, and a Data Summary are provided in the Drug Safety Communication.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

 

[06/15/2011 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

[09/22/2010 - Podcast - FDA]
[09/17/2010 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]
[09/17/2010 - Note To Correspondents - FDA]

 

 

 

Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride) Tablets

Aug 14, 2007

Audience: Endocrinologists, other healthcare professionals, consumers

[Posted 08/14/2007] After a review of postmarketing adverse event reports, FDA determined that an updated label with a boxed warning on the risks of heart failure was needed for the entire thiazolidinedione class of antidiabetic drugs. These drugs are used in conjunction with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Manufacturers of certain drugs have agreed to the upgraded warning.

The strengthened warning advises healthcare professionals to observe patients carefully for the signs and symptoms of heart failure, including excessive, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, and edema after starting drug therapy. Patients with these symptoms who then develop heart failure should receive appropriate management of the heart failure and use of the drug should be reconsidered. People who have questions should contact their healthcare providers to discuss alternative treatments.

ACTOplus met (pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride

Mar 9, 2007

Audience: Endocrinologists, other healthcare professionals, consumers

[Posted 03/09/2007] Takeda and FDA notified healthcare professionals of recent safety data concerning pioglitazone-containing products. The results of an analysis of the manufacturer's clinical trial database of pioglitazone showed more reports of fractures in female patients taking pioglitazone than those taking a comparator (either placebo or active). The majority of fractures observed in female patients were in the distal upper limb (forearm, hand and wrist) or distal lower limb (foot, ankle, fibula and tibia). There were more than 8100 patients in the pioglitazone-treated groups and over 7400 patients in the comparator-treated groups. The duration of pioglitazone treatment was up to 3.5 years. Healthcare professionals should consider the risk of fracture when initiating or treating female patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with pioglitazone-containing products.

[March 2007 - Letter - Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.]

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