Avandia – Diabetes Drug Recall
San Francisco, CA (NursingSalary.org)- In the United States, diabetes is one of the most highly chronic conditions that plague all ages of the population. Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is not able to make or utilize the hormone known as insulin. Without the proper usage of insulin, the body is not able to break down carbohydrates that are consumed into energy that can be used by the body. Without the proper medications, blood sugar levels will raise dangerously high, causing many complications leading up to and including death.
What is the Avandia Diabetes Drug?
Avandia is one medication that was created and is prescribed to those with type 2 diabetes. Avandia is what is known as an anti-diabetic drug and was classified as a thiazolidinedione. The medication is an insulin sensitizer, which basically helps to make the cells more responsive to the insulin that the body does produce. Avandia is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline and is an oft prescribed and very popular medication for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Annual sales reached $2.5 billion in 2006 but quickly declined after that due to the beginnings of reports of adverse reactions to the medication.
Avandia has come under fire since it was introduced to the market in 1999. It has been linked with serious side effects and in some cases death. Some of the most serious Avandia side effects associated with this medication include, but are not limited to:
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart attack
- Pulmonary embolism
- Bone fractures
- Pulmonary hypertension
FDA issues Avandia Warning!
In both March and May of 2007 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a national warning about Avandia. The warning was meant to educate prescribers as well as patients about the risks associated with this medication. The FDA also required that GlaxoSmithKline print black box warnings on all Avandia labels. Black box warnings are only required for the most serious FDA warnings as they let the consumer know that the drug is associated with fatal side effects.
An independent study by the Cleveland Clinic in 2007 found that patients were 43% more likely to have a heart attack, 50% more likely to experience congestive heart failure and 64% more likely to suffer from sudden cardiac death. While these numbers are known, the FDA has not called for a complete recall of Avandia. Rather, they have been very vocal about their concerns and admit that the drug is under consideration for recall. What is known is that the patent for the drug expires in 2012. Despite the lack of a full blown recall, the medication has resulted in many class action lawsuits by those who have taken the medication and have suffered as well as the family members of those who have taken the medication and have passed away due to Avandia.
If you or a loved one have suffered, or think Avandia caused, some sort of side effects while treating diabetes symptoms, we will have resources for you shortly to connect you with someone that can provide you with compensation.
Despite the fact that Avandia is not under a full blown recall yet, most doctors have ceased prescribing the medication as there are alternatives that are known to be much safer. Additionally, pharmacists are educating patients that are still taking the medication about the drug, which has fewer patients being willing to take the medication. Sales have dropped off sharply and almost no new prescriptions have been filled with the addition of more and more information proving that the medication is not safe for consumption.
Diabetes often goes unnoticed or undiagnosed because many of its symptoms are undetected. However, recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes and its consequences.
Below are some of the diabetes symptoms to look out for:
Type 1 Diabetes
- Frequent urination
- Unusual thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Unusual weight loss
- Extreme fatigue and Irritability
Type 2 Diabetes
- Any of the type 1 symptoms
- Frequent infections
- Blurred vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
- Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections