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What should I know about Avandia before taking it?

Before you take Avandia, you should know about possible heart and circulatory problems it can cause, other possible complications and drug interactions, and how to recognize when your blood sugar is too low. If you are a woman, you should know how Avandia may affect your fertility.

Avandia can cause swelling and fluid retention which can lead to or aggravate congestive heart failure. Some studies suggest that Avandia may decrease blood flow to the heart, increasing the risk of heart attack, chest pain, and other heart problems. Your doctor will need to know if you have ever had congestive heart failure, stroke, heart attack, high cholesterol, heart defects, or any other heart problems before prescribing Avandia.

Your doctor will also need to know if you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis, or if you take insulin, because Avandia cannot be used in these situations. Also discuss with your doctor any liver problems or diabetes-related eye problems you may have. Keep a complete list of all medications, vitamins, and supplements you take regularly or even occasionally, including over-the-counter remedies and prescriptions, and discuss these with your doctor before taking Avandia.

You should know the early signs of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, so you can act quickly to bring your blood sugar back up if it drops too low. The earlier signs include confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, hunger, increased heart rate, irritability, sweating, tremors, and weakness. More severe signs are fainting, seizures, and loss of consciousness. Always have an emergency sugar source on hand, such as orange juice, milk, candy, or glucose gel. You can ask your doctor to prescribe a glucagon injection kit to have on hand in case of severe low blood sugar emergencies.

Women who take Avandia may experience renewed fertility and menstrual periods, even if they have not had periods for some time due to menopause or other conditions. Your doctor should discuss birth control options with you.

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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.