Avandia

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What is Avandia?

Answer

Avandia® (rosiglitazone) is a medicine used to treat people with type 2 diabetes. Avandia® improves your ability to control blood glucose by making your body more sensitive to insulin. It belongs to the same class of medicines as Actos® (pioglitazone). Doctors may prescribe Avandia® to take alone or in combination with other diabetes drugs that work differently. When used alone, Avandia® can lower hemoglobin A1C (a measure of blood glucose control) by 1 to 1.5%. But some people achieve greater control when combining Avandia® with other drugs that lower blood glucose. The dose of Avandia® ranges from 4 to 8 mg once or twice a day, with or without food.

Avandia® side effects

Avandia's most common side effects include headaches, mild to moderate swelling in the ankles and legs, fever, runny or stuffy nose, as well as anemia and increased blood cholesterol.

Women of childbearing age run the increased risk of pregnancy when taking Avandia®. It can stimulate ovulation, so women of childbearing age should consider birth control while taking the drug.

Similarities to Rezulin® and potential for liver damage

There have been reports of liver damage linked to usage of the type 2 diabetes drug Rezulin® (troglitazone). This drug is no longer marketed, but does bear similarities to Avandia®. While liver damage did not occur in Avandia® research tests in over 4,000 people, there have been two reports of liver problems from Avandia® after its U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. These two cases improved after the patients stopped using the drug. If you start taking Avandia®, the FDA recommends blood tests every two months to detect potential liver problems early.

Symptoms of liver problems include nausea and vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite and stomach pain, as well as dark urine and yellowing of the skin and eyes. If you do have any of these symptoms, report them to your doctor.

Get comprehensive diabetes information in our Diabetes Center.

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