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What is rosiglitazone (Avandia) and is it safe to treat diabetes?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinologist

Avandia, as of today, remains on the US market. However, it has been “banned” in Europe due to concerns over possible side effects. So if you are here in the States, and your doctor agrees it is the best choice for you, it remains available.

It is a highly effective medication when it comes to lowering blood sugar, but it does have a black cloud over its head when it comes to possible side effects, mainly heart-related stuff. That being the case some questions to mull over:

  • Is there any history of heart disease in my family?
  • Do I have heart disease?
  • Other than diabetes, do I have other risk factors? (overweight, high cholesterol, etc.)
  • Am I over the age of 55?

Not to pass the buck here, but only your doctor really knows your medical history and medications well enough to help you with this decision. Staying on Avandia may be the best bet for you. But the good news is that there are lots of options, lots of choices, for ways to keep your diabetes in control. If you doc feels that maybe Avandia is no longer the best choice for you.

Rosiglitazone (Avandia) is an oral medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. It helps insulin take glucose from the blood into the cells for energy by making cells more sensitive to insulin. It belongs to the class of medicines called thiazolidinediones.

Avandia improves how insulin is used in your body. It also decreases the amount of sugar released by the liver. Avandia does not cause the body to make more insulin; therefore, it will not cause low blood sugars to occur on its own. Ultimately, Avandia makes your body more sensitive to insulin, improving how it is used in the body and helping to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

A drug called Avandia is widely used to treat diabetes. But is it safe? Watch as Drs. Oz, Steven Nissen and Rita Kalyani discuss rosiglitazone (Avandia) and its risks in this video.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.