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What are thiazolidinediones?

Rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (ACTOS) are in a group of drugs called thiazolidinediones. These drugs help insulin work better in the muscle and fat and also reduce glucose production in the liver. The first drug in this group, troglitazone (Rezulin), was removed from the market because it caused serious liver problems in a small number of people. So far rosiglitazone and pioglitazone have not shown the same problems, but users are still monitored closely for liver problems as a precaution. Both drugs appear to increase the risk for heart failure in some individuals, and there is debate about whether rosiglitazone may contribute to an increased risk for heart attacks. Both drugs are effective at reducing A1C and generally have few side effects.
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) address the body’s inability to use insulin effectively to control blood sugar. Marketed under the brand names Actos and Avandia, TZDs temporarily increase cells’ insulin sensitivity, allowing them to process it more effectively. TZDs can only be used by people who produce at least some insulin and may increase the risk of heart attack in heart failure patients.

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