What is Avandia(R)?
Avandia(R) (Rosiglitazone maleate) is a popular anti-diabetic "insulin sensitizer" medication used to treat diabetes, one of the most common medical conditions in the United States. Between 18 and 20 million Americans and an estimated 200 million people worldwide have Type 2 diabetes, the FDA has estimated. Type 2 diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes, must carefully be controlled by monitoring diet and/or taking insulin or other medications that reduce blood sugar. Avandia is one such type of medication commonly prescribed to control blood sugar by making the blood cells more sensitive to insulin. It is available in 3 doses -- 2mg, 4mg and 8 mg. While considered highly effective, Avandia has also been linked to serious side effects, including heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure. Those who suffer serious side effects from Avandia may be entitled to compensation from Avandia's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, depending on certain circumstances.
Avandia, approved by the FDA and launched on the market in 1999, is manufactured and marketed by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Avandia is taken orally in tablet form either once a day or twice a day. After the asthma drug Advair, Avandia is GlaxoSmithKline's #2 best selling prescription drug. Although many physicians have discontinued their patients' use of Avandia, due to reports of serious side effects and complications, the drug still remains on the market. Avandia is also an ingredient in the combination drugs Avandaryl (Avandia + Glimiperide) and Avandamet (Avandia + Metformin).
Avandia Linked to Heart Attacks and Heart Related Death
The New England Journal of Medicine published a report in May 2007 suggesting that taking Avandia can increase risks of heart attack and heart-related death significantly. The risk is greatest among patients with a prior history of heart disease or who otherwise are considered at risk for a heart attack. Following the New England Journal of Medicine's report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert urging patients currently taking Avandia to discuss and consider other treatment alternatives with their doctor. In November 2007, the FDA issued a "black box warning" about the potential increase in heart attacks and heart-related chest pain in some Avandia users.
Other Adverse Side Effects of Avandia
In addition to heart attack and heart related death, Avandia has also been linked to other side effects, including low blood pressure, liver toxicity, edema, and fluid retention. In female patients, Avandia has also been associated with an increased incidence of bone fracture. The FDA's role in evaluating the safety of Avandia was the subject of a June 6, 2007 Congressional hearing.
Avandia Litigation and Settlements
GlaxoSmithKline has been the subjects of hundreds of lawsuits over Avandia. If you have suffered a heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure or have been diagnosed with heart disease while using Avandia, contact a dangerous pharmaceuticals attorney for a free consultation of your legal rights today. You may be entitled to obtain compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering, or the wrongful death of a family member due to Avandia.