Avandia (Rosiglitazone) is a prescription medication used to treat type two diabetes. It works by aiding the body's natural use of insulin, thereby lowering blood sugar. It was originally developed in 1999 and has been used by more than four million diabetes patients. In recent years, Avandia has been linked with dangerous side effetcs including an increase in the risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction).
In 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline to stop providing information which minimized the alleged risks associated with Avandia use. The following year the FDA informed doctors of additions to the warning label which pointed out the possibility of excess fluid retention and congestive heart failure. Later, in 2002, the FDA again request a change in the Avandia warning material to reflect reports of unusual weight increases associated with use of the drug. Three changes to the warning label were requested by the FDA in 2007 all of which indicated the risk of heart problems resulting from use of the drug, including myocardial ischemia and heart failure.
Other dangerous side effects include:
In September 2010, the FDA placed strict restrictions on Avandia, which research suggests increases the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. According to the new guidelines, patients will only be prescribed Avandia after every other diabetes drug has been tried, and they are fully aware of the cardiovascular side effects of the drug. Furthermore, due to the serious side effects of Avandia, the FDA announced in 2008 that it would no longer approve drugs just because they help diabetes patients control their blood sugar levels. Rather, the FDA now requires that drug manufacturers conduct at least two years of drug trials to ensure their products do not cause any damage to the heart and they help improve the quality or length of life for diabetics.