We are going to focus on Avandia (rosiglitazone) for treatment of Type 2 diabetes. What is Avandia? It is an oral diabetes medication that acts as an insulin sensitizer to help control blood sugar levels. Avandia works by attaching itself to receptors in fat cells to make them more responsive to insulin. It is a great attempt to treat the disease but it has serious side effects.
Avandia Side Effects
There were three main glitazones created for treatment. You had Avandia (rosiglitazone), Rezulin (troglitazone) and Actos (pioglitazone). All three drugs have had serious side effects associated with its use. Rezulin was recalled in 2000, after it was shown to cause liver damage. Actos is still around but has been shown to have an increased risk of heart failure and bladder cancer. Avandia, was initially approved by the FDA in 1999 but as new information came out on its use, there was a strong link to heart attacks, strokes and heart failures. There are the milder side effects for Avandia which include headache, back pain, flu like symptoms, nausea, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding and loss of appetite.
Avandia was created by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with a good intention of helping treat diabetes. Along the way information was found from the company’s clinical trials of Avandia that revealed only mild side effects, including upper respiratory tract infection, headache, back pain, hyperglycemia, fatigue and sinusitis. In those clinical trials, there also was a significant increase in the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack). They failed to notify doctors of the increased risks and put their patients at risk.
Once word got out, guess who came to the table? The lawyers lined up and sued GSK. There was an Avandia settlement provided back in 2011 for failure to inform patients about potentially life-threatening symptoms, including stroke, heart failure, heart attack, bone fractures, vision loss and death. It was so bad that in 2010, regulators stopped Avandia sales in Europe because of the increased heart risks and a black box warning was issued for use of Avandia in the US. They paid $3 billion dollar penalty to the justice department and $6.4 billion was set aside for the more than 50,000 lawsuits filed.
Have you suffered from using Avandia?