What is Avandia?
Avandia (generic name: rosiglitazone) is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin, thereby helping to control blood sugar levels.
Avandia is part of a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones, which also includes pioglitazone (brand name: Actos).
Avandia has been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, Avandia may also help to:
– Reduce the risk of heart attack
– Reduce the risk of stroke
– Reduce the progression of kidney disease
– Improve blood lipid levels (e.g., cholesterol and triglycerides)
Side Effects and Risks
Like all medications, Avandia can cause side effects. The most common side effects include:
– Upper respiratory tract infection (e.g., cold or flu)
– Muscle pain
– Back pain
More serious, but rare, side effects include:
– Liver damage
– Heart failure
– Fluid retention
– Bone loss
Avandia is not for everyone. It should not be used by people with type 1 diabetes or by those with heart problems. In addition, Avandia may not be suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you’re considering taking Avandia, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your risks and options.
Dosages and Forms
Avandia is available in the following dosages:
– Tablet: 2 mg, 4 mg
– Oral suspension: 8 mg/mL
Avandia should be taken with food. The usual starting dose is 4 mg once daily. Your healthcare provider may increase your dose if needed.
If you miss a dose of Avandia, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular schedule. Do not take two doses of Avandia at the same time.
Avandia can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you may be taking. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your options before starting Avandia.
Some of the drugs that may interact with Avandia include:
– Warfarin (brand name: Coumadin)
– Birth control pills
Mechanism of Action
Avandia works by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin. By doing so, it helps to control blood sugar levels.
Avandia is absorbed quickly and completely from the gastrointestinal tract. Peak plasma concentrations are reached within 1-2 hours. The half-life of Avandia is about 2-4 hours.
Alternatives to Avandia
There are many other options available for treating type 2 diabetes. Some of the drugs in the same class as Avandia include:
– Actos (pioglitazone)
– Glucophage (metformin)
– Januvia (sitagliptin)
– Tradjenta (linagliptin)
There are also many lifestyle changes that can help to control blood sugar levels, such as:
– Eating a healthy diet
– Getting regular exercise
– Maintaining a healthy weight
If you’re considering alternatives to Avandia, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your risks and options.
The effectiveness of Avandia was evaluated in several clinical trials. In one trial of 1,352 people with type 2 diabetes, those who took Avandia had a significantly lower rate of heart attacks than those who did not take the drug.
In another trial of 4,447 people with type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease, those who took Avandia had a significant reduction in the progression of kidney disease.
There are also several ongoing clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of Avandia in people with type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of an Overdose
If you think you or someone else may have taken too much Avandia, seek medical attention right away. Symptoms of an overdose may include:
– Severe drowsiness
If you have any questions about Avandia, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.