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 many people do not experience any problems while taking Avandia® (rosiglitazone maleate), this medication is not free of problems. Some of the most common risks with Avandia 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
If any 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 Avandia risks that require immediate medical attention. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience problems such as:
- Trouble breathing (it may be a sign of new or worsening congestive heart failure)
- Swelling, especially in the legs or ankles
- Rapid increase in weight (three to five pounds in less than one week)
(Click Avandia Side Effects for more information on possible risks of Avandia that can occur while taking this medication, including potentially serious reactions that may require immediate medical care.)