What are some of the side effects of taking glitazone for diabetes?

Brad Adkins
Administration Specialist

There are risks in taking glitazones in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Glitazones have been associated with increased risk for some serious conditions. These include: 

  • Liver damage. To check for liver damage, your doctor will give you regular blood tests. With good treatment, liver damage can usually be reversed.
  • Heart problems. Glitazones can cause or worsen heart failure, a condition in which your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
  • Bone fractures in women. Glitazones have not been shown to increase the risk of bone fractures in men.
  • Bladder cancer. Your doctor can discuss these risks with you, weighing them against the potential benefits of using a glitazone medication or a different medication.
Dr. Darria Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine Specialist

Side effects may include fluid retention, increased liver enzymes, hepatitis and liver failure. Other side effects may include headaches, fatigue, diarrhea, sinus and upper respiratory tract infections, muscle and back pain, bone loss and fractures. Glitazones can cause or worsen heart failure. Rosiglitazone may cause a return of ovulation in women who have not been ovulating. This may increase the chances of pregnancy.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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.