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China warns against use of a diabetes drug in light of bladder cancer risks


BEIJING, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) on Tuesday warned doctors and patients of increased bladder cancer risks related to the use of the diabetes drug pioglitazone.

The SFDA advised bladder cancer patients to avoid using pioglitazone or to use it in the smallest dose possible, and asked medical experts to weigh pros and cons before prescribing the medication and to work out rational, safe treatment plans for patients.

The warning came after statements made by drug safety watchdogs in the United States and Europe said patients treated with drugs containing pioglitazone were more likely to develop bladder cancer.

Pioglitazone was first used by the United States and Japan for treating type-II diabetes mellitus in 1999, and was approved for use in China in 2004. It has been sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The SFDA said that it and relevant departments are conducting analysis and assessment to the safety of pioglitazone.

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