May 26, 2011

What are the problems with Avandia / Rosiglitazone

Avandia is an controversial anti-diabetic drug in thiazolidinedione family. It is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. Its generic name is Rosiglitazone. Avanidia is prescribed in combination with diet and exercise program and sometimes with other medications to control blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. What are the main problems associated with this drug?

This drug is currently under review by the FDA, due to reports of causing heart attacks and aggravating heart failure. Some reviewers argue that this medication causes more deaths. In addition, European Medicines Agency has suspended the use of this drug in September 2010.

This drug causes fluid retention in some individuals, especially patients with congestive cardiac failure. If you are taking this drug and experiencing chest pain or swelling in ankles, legs, or buttocks then inform your doctor immediately.

What are the dangerous side effects that need emergency medical attention?

. * Allergic reactions to this medication can occur rarely and they can progress into anaphylactic reaction. widespread hives, shortness of breath, chest tightness and pallor are the common features.

* Since this medication is taken by patients with diabetes, it is important to identify features of increased and decreased blood sugar.

* Heart attacks and aggravation of heart failure (mentioned above)

Features of decreased blood sugar are shakiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, sweating, sudden behavior change, headache, weakness, hunger and clumsy or jerky movements. Features of increased blood sugar are extreme thirst, confusion, frequent urination and blurred vision. If you get these features, get emergency medical help or call your doctor.

What are the common side effects that are not dangerous?

Avandia may cause runny nose, nausea, vomiting and headache. In addition some patients may complain of muscle pain, tooth pain or sore throat. Few patients may get tiredness, loss of appetite and dark urine.

What the doctor should know before prescribing?

If you have liver disease, heart attacks, heart failure, diabetes eye disease or kidney diseases then you should inform it to the doctor before taking Avandia. In addition, the doctor should know about over the counter medications and herbal medications you are taking.

If you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breast feeding then inform your doctor. Avandia should not be used by nursing mothers.

What you should know before getting the treatment?

If you have a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome and irregular periods then your chances of being pregnant may increase with this drug.

If you are undergoing surgery or dental procedures, inform your surgeon/anesthetic that you are taking Avandia. In addition if you become sick or got any infection while on Avandia, inform your doctor right away. It is because dose of Avandia may need to be increased during an infection.

Finally, if you get any other problem or effect you think is due to this drug then you must inform that to your doctor. Most of the above side effects are in fact reported by various patients.

How it acts?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by in which body cannot use insulin properly. Insulin is a natural substance found in body that is used to utilize sugar by the cells. Avandia increases the body’s ability to use insulin, by way of reducing peripheral insulin resistance. So this medication sensitizes your body to insulin.

Photo: Miguel Jara
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