Side Effects of Avandia (Rosiglitazone)

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Avandia is a brand name version of the prescription drug rosiglitazone. Avandia is used to help control blood sugar levels in people with type two diabetes. Due to the risk of severe complications including heart problems, the European Union has banned Avandia and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed major restrictions on the drug. The side effects of Avandia or rosiglitazone include heart problems, anemia, pulmonary edema, and bone fractures.

Avandia is a type of drug known as a thiazolidineone, a kind of drug designed to stabilize blood sugar levels. According to WebMD, due to the unusually high risk of serious side effects, Avandia is no longer available in Europe and its use is to be strictly limited in the U.S. Avandia is essentially a last resort option for treating diabetes patients with high blood sugar. People already taking the drug will be allowed to continue to do so as long as they are aware of the risks and accept them. Meanwhile, doctors will be very cautious in writing out new prescriptions, reserving the drug for situations in which no other options are available.

Serious side effects of Avandia or rosiglitazone are highlighted by heart problems including a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke. According to the National Health Service of the UK, heart problems, fluid retention that contributes to heart issues, anemia, and high cholesterol are each experienced by more than one percent of users. Seek immediate medical care in the event of chest pain, difficulty breathing, or arm pain.

In addition to heart trouble, Avandia can cause a few other serious side effects. Avandia has been linked to liver problems including liver failure. Though this is a rare complication, it can be serious. Signs of liver problems include yellowing of the skin, weakness or lack of energy, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and cloudy urine.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common side effects of Avandia or rosiglitazone are fever, sneezing and nasal congestion, a sore throat, difficulty sleeping, back pain, headaches, and general malaise. These are typically the milder side effects. Other less serious side effects of Avandia include ear congestion, an increased risk of injury or fracture, pain in the muscles or joints, and shivering.

Avandia, also known by the generic drug name rosiglitazone, is a prescription diabetes medication that has faced intense scrutiny for its high rate of serious complications. Serious side effects of Avandia include a heightened risk or heart attack or stroke, fluid retention, and liver problems. In the event of any signs of complications from Avandia like chest pain, difficulty breathing, or unusual malaise, seek medical attention.


Avandia. National Health Service.

DeNoon, D.J. FDA Restricts Use of Diabetes Drug Avandia. WebMD.

Rosiglitazone (Oral Route). Mayo Clinic.


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