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How Does Avandia Work?

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 licensed to treat type 2 diabetes. It can be used by itself or in combination with other medications to help treat the symptoms of diabetes. But how does Avandia work?
 
As part of a group of diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (or 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.
 
Studies have shown that by getting blood sugar levels under control with Avandia, it may be possible to decrease the chances for developing diabetes complications, such as heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic nephropathy.
 
(For more information on how Avandia works, click Avandia. This article provides a complete overview of this prescription drug, including information on its effectiveness, general dosing guidelines, and safety concerns to be aware of before starting treatment.)
 
Type 2 Diabetes: Fact or Fiction
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