In September 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was severely restricting the use of Avandia, due to the risk of "cardiovascular events" such as heart attacks and strokes. Only individuals who could not control their diabetes on other medications (or those who were already taking the medication and doing well) would be able to take Avandia.
However, in November 2013, the FDA announced that a careful analysis of the research suggests that there is not, in fact, any increased risk, compared to treatment with standard diabetes medications and that the use of this medication will no longer be restricted.
Although most people have no problems with Avandia® (rosiglitazone maleate), it is not free of risks. Because this medication is not suitable for everyone, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider about possible dangers with Avandia that may apply to you.
For instance, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other medical condition you may have and any other medications you are taking, including nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements, before starting treatment with Avandia. Dangers of this medication include potential side effects. Some of the most commonly reported reactions include:
- Upper respiratory infections similar to the common cold
- Broken bones in women (especially in the arm, hand, or foot)
- Swelling or water weight gain (edema)
- Back pain
Other safety concerns apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as to people who have certain allergies (including to foods, dyes, or preservatives). In addition, you may not be able to take Avandia if you have certain medical conditions, such as heart problems, liver problems, or an upcoming surgery.
(Click Avandia Side Effects and Avandia Warnings and Precautions for more information on potential dangers of Avandia to be aware of before starting treatment. These articles explain what to tell your healthcare provider before using Avandia and who may not be able to safely use it.)