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.
Just like many other medications, Avandia® (rosiglitazone maleate) can cause negative reactions. Some of the most common problems with Avandia include side effects such as:
- 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
If such problems do occur, they tend to be minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. However, there are some potentially serious reactions that require immediate medical attention. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience vision changes, difficulty breathing, or seizures.
Other safety concerns with Avandia apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as to people who have certain allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives. Also, you may not be able to take Avandia if you have certain medical conditions, such as heart or liver problems.
(Click Avandia Side Effects and Avandia Warnings and Precautions for more information on possible Avandia problems that may occur during treatment, including potentially serious reactions that should be reported to a healthcare provider.)