A study by the researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has revealed that a widely used drug to treat diabetes has been found to increase the risk of bladder cancer in the patients. It was found that thiazolidinedione (TZDs) drugs that account for almost 1/5 part of the diabetes drugs prescribed to the patients increases the patients’ risk of developing bladder cancer by approximately 65 per cent compared with those who are being treated by another commonly used diabetes medication called sulfonylurea drug .
The researchers said that the findings of this study are crucial since diabetics already have slightly elevated risk of the formation of cancerous tumour in the bladder. The study analysed 60,000 type 2 diabetics from Health Improvement Network (THIN) database, U.K. The researchers found that patients, who had received TZD drugs pioglitazone (Actos) or rosiglitzaone (Avandia) for five or more years, had double the risk of contracting bladder cancer when compared with patients to whom sulfonylurea drugs were administered.
The study analysis showed that 170 patients per 100, 000 patients prescribed TZDs are likely to develop bladder cancer in the near future whereas only 60 per 100,000 patients prescribed sulfonylurea drugs had the risk of developing bladder cancer.
Lead author of the study, Ronac Mamtani, said that diabetes is a chronic condition that accounts for approximately 285 million people worldwide and the doctors must weigh the pros and cons of a drug before they prescribe it to a diabetic. He further added that the doctors should consider any bladder-related symptoms, such as blood in the urine, if the patient has any, before administering diabetes medications. Doctors may further evaluate the symptoms to discover an underlying medical condition, if there is any. [Read: The Truth about Urine]
The questioned drug ‘Actos’ is the ninth most commonly used diabetes drug, accounting for almost 15 million prescriptions per year in the U.S. alone. Moreover, it is the most preferred medication if the first-line diabetes drug, metaformin, fails to control the soaring blood sugar levels.
Apart from the medication, diabetics can reduce their high glucose levels by adhering to better lifestyle practices by way of managing weight and making some required dietary modifications.
The researchers said that the study will aid the doctors and the patients in figuring the potential risks of different diabetes medications before they adhere to one. The study was published in the online journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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