The most commonly used diabetes drug, Pioglitazone has been reported to increase the risk of bladder cancer by 63 percent. Though there are various other anti-diabetic drugs, Pioglitazone has gained much popularity due to its low cost.
Millions of diabetics around the world are prescribed with this drug since 2000. Though there have been repeated studies on its safety and efficacy, different studies have reported contradictory findings.
‘Popularly used diabetes drug ‘pioglitazone’ can increase the risk of bladder cancer in diabetics by 63%.’
But a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
has found that this drug had a significant effect on the health of diabetics by increasing their risk of developing bladder cancer.
Researchers from the McGill University in Montreal analyzed 145,806 patients newly treated with diabetes drugs between 2000 and 2013 using data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Database. Of the patients, 622 were diagnosed with bladder cancer.
They found that compared to other anti-diabetic drugs, Pioglitazone was the only drug that increased bladder cancer by 63%. Another diabetic drug, rosiglitazone which was withdrawn from use in 2010 due to an increased risk of cardiovascular disorders, including heart attack and heart failure did not increase the possibility of bladder cancer.
The team wrote, "In this large study, with up to 14.5 years of follow-up, pioglitazone was associated with an overall 63 percent increased the risk of incident bladder cancer."