Avandia and Weight Gain
Avandia and Weight Gain: How Common Is It?Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and are then compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
People taking Avandia alone gained about four to six pounds (on average) over a year, while people not taking Avandia lost about two pounds during the year. When Avandia was combined with insulin or certain other oral diabetes medications, the amount of weight gain increased up to about 12 pounds.
In these studies, people who were taking higher doses of Avandia (8 mg) gained more weight than people taking lower doses of Avandia (4 mg). Also, taking Avandia with metformin (Glucophage®) seemed to slightly decrease the amount of weight gained.
There have been reports of people rapidly gaining large amounts of weight while taking Avandia, probably due to fluid retention. Fluid retention can be dangerous (especially in people with heart problems), so be sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if you are rapidly gaining weight.
Rapid Weight Gain With AvandiaOne very important point to keep in mind related to Avandia and weight gain is that Avandia may worsen congestive heart failure or, in some cases, even cause heart failure. One of the main symptoms of heart failure is unexplained weight gain. In fact, people with symptoms of congestive heart failure can often have rapid weight gain (three to five pounds) over several days. This weight gain is often combined with other symptoms, such as a cough and/or swelling in the ankles, feet, or legs. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider if you notice unexplained weight gain or swelling (see Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure for more information on heart failure symptoms).