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.
For people who have type 2 diabetes, a healthcare provider may prescribe Avandia® (rosiglitazone maleate). This prescription medication is typically taken once or twice a day, and comes in the form of tablets.
As part of a group of diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (or sometimes called "glitazones"), Avandia helps to improve insulin sensitivity, which means it helps your body use its natural insulin better. This helps to lower blood sugar and keep it under better control.
While most people do not experience problems with these tablets, Avandia is not suitable for everyone. For example, you may not be able to take it if you have certain medical conditions, such as heart problems, liver problems, or an upcoming surgery. Before using this medication, talk to your healthcare provider about any other medical conditions you have and any other medications you are taking.
The tablet form of Avandia is available in three strengths:
- Avandia 2 mg
- Avandia 4 mg
- Avandia 8 mg.
(Click Avandia and Avandia Dosage for a more in-depth look at how Avandia tablets work to treat type 2 diabetes. These articles also discuss potential side effects, general dosing guidelines, and important information to be aware of before beginning treatment.)