What is Avandia?
Avandia helps to control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics when used along with a diet and exercise program. Type 2 diabetes is when the body does not use insulin normally.
Avandia works by making patients more sensitive to their own insulin and is sometimes used along with one or more other medications.
Avandia is manufactured by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999. It quickly became the world’s best selling drug for type 2 diabetes until a 2007 study found that taking Avandia increased the risk of heart attacks.
Avandia Risk Studies
In May 2007, the Senate Finance Committee began a two year investigation was called to review the risks of Avandia as a result of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
An analysis of over forty studies uncovered a link between taking the diabetes drug Avandia and heart issues. It was determined that taking Avandia significantly raised a patient’s risk of heart attacks compared to taking other diabetes drugs.
There was some question as to whether or not the benefits of taking Avandia out-weighted the risks of heart complications and whether or not the drug should remain in the US market. In spite of evidence that users of Avandia faced a possible 43 percent higher risk of heart attacks, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel felt that the evidence was inconclusive. The FDA did however strengthen the warning on Avandia’s labels advising patients to be aware of any symptoms of heart disease as a result of taking Avandia.
Interestingly, the reviewed evidence did show the possibility that GlaxoSmithKline had been aware for several years that Avandia would seriously raise the patients risk for cardiac issues. They had apparently misrepresented findings that would indicate that taking Avandia raises the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even death.
In July 2010, the FDA’s expert advisors heard presenters from studies and the diabetes drug manufacturer to determine whether or not Avandia was safe. After two days, the panel voted that Avandia could remain on the market but with additional warnings and restrictions.
In September 2010, regulators in the US and Europe followed the panel’s recommendations that sales of Avandia be severely restricted and no longer widely available. Sales were suspended throughout Europe. In the US Avandia is available only through registering in a special program, Avandia-Rosiglitazone Medicines Access Program. The patient and their doctor must sign documents stating that the patient understands the risks of taking Avandia and have tried every other diabetes medicine.
In November 2011, GlaxoSmithKline apparently agreed to pay $3 billion to settle US government civil and criminal investigations concerning charges of illegal marketing of Avandia. It was alleged that the drug manufacturer had paid doctors and manipulated their own medical research studies in order to promote Avandia.
Avandia Side Effects
Some of the many Avandia side effects include:
- Back pain
- Upper respiratory infections
- Weight gain
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart attack
Because of the risk of serious side effects, particularly heart attack, Avandia should only be used to treat patients whose blood sugar cannot be controlled with other medications.
Taking Avandia may increase the risk of serious heart issues such as heart attack. It is important to contact your medical professional immediately if you are taking the diabetes drug Avandia and experience any symptoms of heart problems such as edema, chest pains, and shortness of breath.
Patients who took the diabetes drug Avandia and suffered a heart attack or other serious cardiac issue may be able to hold GlaxoSmithKline responsible for damages, such as medical costs and mental anguish.
Avandia lawsuits are now being settled. According to a recent Bloomberg report, GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay around $700 million to settle Avandia claims that resulted in serious heart complications.
If you have taken the diabetes drug Avandia and have suffered a serious heart issue, fill out the contact form on this page or call the Avandia lawsuits attorneys at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC for your free consultation. There may be a time limit on when you can file Avandia lawsuits so it is important that you contact our firm immediately. *Note: We are no longer able to accept clients for this drug.
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