What Is Avandia?

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Avandia (Rosiglitazone)

Avandia is a medication used to help treat diabetes. Avandia is a brand name for the drug rosiglitazone, which helps to control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. The medication, combined with a good regiment of daily exercise, will help ensure that you are doing everything that you can to control your blood sugar levels.

Alternate Brands

There are not a lot of different forms of rosiglitazone. In the United States, people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes can buy the brand name Avandia or they have the choice of buying the generic form rosiglitazone. There may be other names for this drug in other countries, but this is the only name that offers and identical formula to Avandia.

Drug Clinical Uses

The drug rosiglitazone is classified as an anti-diabetic medication. That means that it is used to treat symptoms of diabetes. Most patients who suffer with diabetes have fluctuating blood sugar levels, mainly after eating. Avandia works to maintain those blood sugar levels so patients do not feel faint, emotional, weak, or overly energetic.

It is advised that you not start a regiment unless other type 2 diabetes medicines have failed for you. Avandia is used on non-insulin dependent patients. You should not use this medication if you are trying to control type 1 diabetes as this may cause conflict. Avandia is not recommended to be taken with insulin as Avandia attempts to restore the body’s natural response to insulin.1

To avoid complications with this medication, you should read the medicine guide given to you by your pharmacist before you ingest this drug. Rosiglitazone is an oral medication. This means that you should take Avandia by mouth once or twice daily. It is not important whether the medication is taking with or without food.

You should continue to take the drug Avandia as long as it is working for your condition. Your dosage is dependent on what other diabetic medications you are taking at the time. If you start to develop any side effects from the medication, you should stop using it and speak with your local physician right away. You should be aware that Avandia does not work overnight. It may take anywhere from two to three months for this drug to build up in your system.

There may be other uses of Avandia to keep in mind, so you can talk to your doctor to see if this drug would be able to help you out in any other way. He or she may be able to get rid of other medications you are taking based on the effectiveness of Avandia alone.

How It Works

Rosiglitazone is a fairly simple medication. It is effective in controlling the blood sugar level in your body. Rosiglitazone is a thiazolidinedione based medication used to help treat type 2 diabetes. It regulates blood sugar levels by monitoring insulin production and other factors that may not be normal in the body.

Avandia is not meant to be used alone. You should also incorporate the usage of this medication with proper exercise and diet to achieve the best results. You may be able to take other medications on top of Avandia as well, depending on what your doctor recommends. You can look to your healthcare adviser to see if you can come up with a comprehensive solution to your diabetic problems.

Avandia helps to restore the proper response system in your body to insulin. It does this by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Rosiglitazone also improves the natural production of your body’s insulin, lowering type 2 diabetic patients' blood sugar levels. Avandia reduces developing complications such as diabetic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy and even heart disease. This can help a diabetic person live a longer, healthier life, and it will also prevent conditions from worsening in the near future.

Side Effects

There are a number of side effects that you could experience while taking the drug Avandia. If you develop any of the following complications, you should stop taking the medication and consult with your doctor immediately. Continuing to ingest Avandia after developing side effects may cause serious health related complications and even permanent damage. Talk with your doctor prior to using rosiglitazone to see if this is the right medication for you.

Cough and headache are among the most common side effects. However, you may also develop conditions like bone fractures, fast heartbeat, and even changes in your menstrual cycle. If these develop, you should notify your doctor promptly. There is always a risk that you could develop serious and potentially life threatening allergic reactions whenever you start taking a new medication. If you are allergic to any of the active ingredients in Avandia, you should not ingest this drug. You should speak with a doctor if you experience dizziness, swelling, itching, trouble breathing, or rash.

You can usually avoid side effects through a thorough consultation with your doctor prior to taking a medication. Ask your doctor if this drug is going to impact any other medical conditions you have, and discuss your drug allergies with him or her to see how safe Avandia may be for you. You could bypass the experience of side effects entirely if you have the right drug on hand.

Serious Side Effects

There are a number of serious side effects that one could develop while taking Avandia. If you have contracted any of the following side effects, stop using this drug right away and seek medication attention. Serious side effects include vision changes, dark urine, nausea, yellowing of the skin, vomiting, and abdominal or stomach aches. These symptoms may not go away, so it is best for you to find ways around them instead of assuming they will get better.

There is a risk that the drug Avandia could cause low blood sugar levels. This may arise if a type 2 diabetes patient doesn’t consume enough calories. Side effects for this include shakiness, chills, tingling in the feet or hands, rapid heart rate, dizziness, rapid heart rate, weakness, fainting, headache, cold sweat, and drowsiness. Eating a glucose pill or some kind of sugar should help. However, if you are still suffering any of the above side effects, you should contact your local doctor immediately. He or she will be able to adjust your dosing or find an entirely different drug to treat your condition.

Contraindicated Medications

There are a number of conflicting medications that a patient looking to take Avandia should be aware of. Mixing medications could result in medical complications and even death. It is important to speak with your doctor regarding any current medication you are taking. This could include but is not limited to prescribed drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal medicines, and even vitamins. You should never underestimate the potential conflicts that your drugs can cause.

Diabetic users should avoid using Avandia with contraindicated medications like other anti-diabetic drugs (this includes medications like metformin, insulin, and sulfonylureas), nitrates, gemfibrozil, quinolone antibiotics, natural herbal products, and beta-blockers (this should include timolol, metoprolol, and propranolol).

Legal Activity

There have been several studies in the last couple of years showing that Avandia has had negative effects on some type 2 diabetic patients. These studies are ongoing as new side effects are being discovered. On December 7, 2006, a study was conducted showing that women who took Avandia had an increased risk of bone fractures. Then on May 21, 2007, a study of this medication showed that patients with type 2 diabetes were at higher risk of heart attacks while taking Avandia. Moreover, on July 18, 2007, a study found that using Avandia could result in an increased risk of these serious side effects, such as:

  • Edema
  • Weight Gain
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Bone Fractures

References

Avandia News

FDA Lifts Restrictions on Avandia

November 26, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is waiving safety restrictions on Avandia use after discovering that the drug’s heart risks aren’t much different from other diabetes drugs on the market. According to FDA center director Dr. Janet Woodcock, the agency’s concern has been reduced … Full Story

New Lawsuits Filed in Ongoing Cases Against Avandia Maker

July 22, 2013

Six new lawsuits involving nearly 500 people from across the country have been filed against pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline for allegedly selling the diabetes drug Avandia without warning of the serious and potentially fatal side effects they knew the drug possessed. The Madison-St. Clair Record reports … Full Story

Study Links Actos® to Vision Problems

June 13, 2012

According to a news study, published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, Avandia® and Actos® may increase the risk of vision problems in diabetes patients. Possible vision problems include macular edema, a swelling in the central part of the retina that can lead to blindness … Full Story

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