Two more studies published in the prominent Journal of the American Medical Association have raised questions about the safety of both Avandia and Actos, two popular diabetes medications.

Avandia Side Effects

Earlier this year, a combined analysis of more than 40 studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that Avandia, made by GlaxoSmithKline, doubled the risks of heart failure and raised the risks of heart attack by 42 percent.

This finding was confirmed by yet another combined analysis by researchers from Wake Forest University. This time they limited the analysis to four long-term studies. Their findings were almost identical, and Dr. Sonal Singh, co-author of the study, said the Food and Drug Administration should consider withdrawing Avandia from the market.

“If you use Avandia to treat patients with type 2 diabetes”, said Singh, “their chance of getting heart failure due to Avandia is one in 30, and their risk of having a heart attack is one in 220. All due to the drug.”

Avandia Restricted

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety announcement to inform the public about new restrictions to the prescribing and use of rosiglitazone-containing medicines such as Avandia because of an increased risk of the drug causing heart attacks. These medicines to treat type II diabetes are also sold under the names Avandamet, and Avandaryl. Health care providers and patients must enroll in a special program in order to prescribe and receive these drugs.

Actos Side Effects

A study by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, found that Actos, a similar drug made by Takeda, actually lowered the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and death by about 20 percent but, like Avandia, also raised the risks of heart failure.

Additionally, according to an FDA Warning, those who take Actos for more than a year are 40 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer than those never exposed to Actos.


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