Although most people have no problems when taking Avandia, side effects are possible, such as upper respiratory infections, headaches, or back pain. In most cases, side effects are minor and can be easily treated. However, there are several less common (but more serious) side effects that you should report to your healthcare provider, such as trouble breathing, a rapid increase in weight, or vision changes.
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.
Side Effects With Avandia: An Introduction
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Avandia® (rosiglitazone maleate). However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can be easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Avandia. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Avandia side effects with you.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Avandia [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2011 February.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires removal of some prescribing and dispensing restrictions for rosiglitazone-containing diabetes medicines (November 25, 2013). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm376389.htm. Accessed December 20, 2013.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Avandia (rosiglitazone): REMS - risk of cardiovascular events (9/23/2010). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm226994.htm. Accessed October 1, 2010.
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