The manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, is now facing hundreds of individual Actos lawsuit bladder cancer claims. The FDA recently performed an interim review of an ongoing 10-year study to assess the risk of bladder cancer in connection with the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone). Results of the study suggested an elevated risk among patients who had used the medication for longer than one year. The risk of developing Actos bladder cancer was also higher among those who had greater exposure to the drug.
When bladder cancer becomes invasive, treatment typically involves removal of the organ (i.e. cystectomy). This procedure is followed by reconstructive surgery to create a new way for the body to store and get rid of urine. One method is to direct urine out of the body via a stoma (urostomy). Another method is to store it in a pouch, and periodically empty the pouch with a catheter (called ileal conduit diversion). We’ll describe what to expect following both treatments below.
Coping After Receiving A Urostomy
Prior to a cystectomy, urine flows from the kidneys through ureters that attach to the bladder. Urine is stored in the bladder until the organ reaches approximately 25 percent of its capacity. The urge to urinate is followed by an emptying of the organ as urine flows through the urethra to exit the body.
After the bladder has been surgically removed, the surgeon will excise a small section of bowel. The ureters are attached to one end of the bowel while the other end is drawn through an artificial opening made in the abdomen (a stoma). Urine is thus able to flow from the kidneys through the ureters to exit the body.
The urine is collected in a urostomy bag worn over the stoma. The bag should be changed throughout the day. The area surrounding the stoma needs to be cleaned with warm water each time the bag is removed, after which a new bag can be placed. There are several types of urostomy bags that can be used. Your doctor or nurse will provide instructions for emptying and replacing the bag you choose.
Emptying A Continent Diversion Pouch
Many people who have been treated for Actos and bladder cancer opt to have an ileal conduit diversion performed rather than a urostomy. The procedures are similar. A section of bowel is used as a conduit for urine to exit the body via a stoma. The difference is that the bowel is also used to store urine rather than allowing it to pass continuously from the body.
A pouch is created in the bowel for storage, and the end opposite that to which the ureters have been attached is drawn through the stoma. A natural valve is present which prevents the free passage of urine. The pouch is emptied several times a day with a catheter, which is inserted through the stoma.
There are two concerns worth noting regarding the management of a continent diversion pouch. First, it is important to empty it several times a day. Neglecting to do so risks a leak in the pouch. Second, hygiene and cleanliness is critical lest an infection occur.
Sexual Activity After Actos And Bladder Cancer Surgery
Men and women usually experience sexual side effects following a cystectomy. With men, the prostate is removed during the surgery. Nerve damage can make it difficult to achieve an erection. The seminal glands are also removed, eliminating the ability to produce semen.
With women, a cystectomy usually involves the removal of a substantial portion of the vagina. Sexual intercourse may become uncomfortable, and nerve damage can impair the ability to have an orgasm.
Another complication of Actos bladder cancer side effects is that it is accompanied by a comparatively high recurrence rate (in relation to other types of cancer). Patients who have undergone successful treatment without removing the bladder are likely to develop the disease again down the road. For this reason, lifelong follow-up care is an important component of recovery.
If you are using the diabetes drug Actos and have noticed blood in your urine, or experienced abdominal pain or pain during urination, consult your doctor immediately. If you have already been diagnosed with bladder cancer, contact an Actos lawsuit bladder cancer lawyer to discuss your legal options.