I used to take Avandia, should I stop taking it?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Maybe I’m too suspicious in nature, but I noticed you said that you “used to take” Avandia but want to know if you should stop. That makes me suspect that you’ve stopped taking it due to all the scary stuff in the press about this med, but haven’t told your doctor yet.

So here’s the thing, there is not 100% agreement in the medical community on the safety, or lack thereof, of Avandia. If you are not comfortable with it because of what you have read, I promise you, we have many more options. There are lots, and lots, and lots of medications available to treat your diabetes.

What is really important, however, is that you be sure to tell your doctor if you are contemplating stopping it, or want to stop it, or have already stopped it. Look, if your doc had you on Avandia it was for a good reason, and the reason is almost certainly because your blood sugar levels are dangerously high with no medication. My concern is that you might stop your medication, out of fear of a side effect, and instead cause yourself damage to your body from your diabetes.

I also want to point out that Avandia is one of those meds that responds very poorly to starting and stopping and starting again. Avandia can take up to 8 weeks to get to full working strength in your body again after you’ve stopped taking it for a week or so.

Bottom line: if you are uncomfortable with Avandia, by all means talk to your doctor about alternatives, but don’t stop it cold Turkey. If you already have stopped it, there’s probably not much point in restarting. Call you doctor’s office and tell them you’ve stopped your medications and need the next available appointment to discuss the options going forwards.

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