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.
Avandia® (rosiglitazone maleate) is an oral medication that can be used by itself or in combination with other medications to treat type 2 diabetes.
As a thiazolidinedione (sometimes called "glitazones"), Avandia works by improving insulin sensitivity. This means that this medication helps your body use its natural insulin better, which, in turn, helps to lower blood sugar and keep it under better control.
This prescription medication comes in the form of tablets and is typically taken once or twice a day. Avandia oral tablets are available in the following strengths:
- Avandia 2 mg
- Avandia 4 mg
- Avandia 8 mg.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Avandia. If such problems do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Common side effects of this diabetes medication include headaches, back pain, and upper respiratory infections.
(Click Avandia for more information on when and how to take oral Avandia tablets, warnings and precautions associated with this drug, and what you should discuss with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment.)