Popular Diabetes Drug Given New Warning - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/22/07

Popular Diabetes Drug Given New Warning

Avandia has been a life saving drug for over six million adults with Type two diabetes. One of it's biggest benefits is controlling blood sugar. "It helps make the body more sensitive to insulin, which you need insulin to regulate your blood sugar," said Pharmacist, Pratiksha Patel.

Patel is the pharmacy manager at the Candler prescription Center. She's been fielding a lot of calls on Tuesday from doctors, and patients, all wondering if Avandia is still safe to take. " We've just been telling them, especially patients, to check with their physician. The physician can always tell them if it's a risk they're going to take, or if it's helping them with their blood sugar," explained Patel

Avandia has been out on the market for eight years, but now a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says the drug may increase a person's chance of having a heart attack by forty five percent. Pratiksha says she's not surprised." Each medication always has potential side effects."

After hearing the news, The Federal Food and Drug Administration immediately issued a "safety alert" on Avandia, but has not yet pulled it off the market. Pratiksha says she is telling people about the warning, but will still continue filling the prescriptions until the FDA tells her not to. " Many may not be aware Avandia was in the news. We're just checking with physicians offices if they still want to continue," said Patel.

If you are on Avandia, researchers say it's okay to keep taking it, but consult your doctor right away. So far, no deaths have been attributed to the use of Avandia.

Reported By: Melanie A. Ruberti; mruberti@wtoc.com  

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