Avandia – Diabetes Medication

General Summary

  • Trade name: Avandia
  • Generic name: Rosiglitazone
  • Drug class: Thiazolidinediones
  • Manufacturer: GlaxoSmithKline

What is Avandia?

Avandia is used to make the body more responsive to insulin for those with type 2 diabetes. It is a popular type of medicine that has been available for the past eight years.

This medicine is used to make the body more receptive to insulin. When combined with a suitable diet and an active lifestyle, Avandia helps the body use its own insulin supply to keep blood glucose levels stable.

Depending on each individual case, the number of tablets to take per day will vary. Sometimes, doctors will prescribe Avandia with other diabetic medications. It can be taken with or without food. Avandia should be taken regularly but never more than the dosage set by your prescriber.


In the middle of 2010, Avandia was strongly linked to an increased risk of heart attack and consequently death. Healthcare associations and physicians are unable to agree whether or not Avandia should be prescribed. An FDA (Food and Drug Administration) advisory board chose to tighten restrictions on Avandia, as the board didn’t have the authority to suspend the drug.

However, Avandia was banned in the UK on the 23rd of September 2010. The European Medicines Agency confirmed that the medicine increased the risk of heart disease.

Who Can’t Take Avandia?

Avandia won’t be suitable for some people. Most importantly, anyone who is allergic to any of the ingredients within this medicine must not take it; especially if you are allergic to the active ingredient rosiglitazone maleate. Additionally, breastfeeding mothers should avoid this medicine.

People who have or have previously experienced the following conditions must not take Avandia under any circumstances:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Heart problems or heart failure
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Diabetes with macular oedema
  • Diabetes with liver problems
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Premenopausal diabetes

Side Effects

Avandia unfortunately has many side effects, some of which are serious. These include:

  • Heart failure
  • Fluid retention – this can lead to heart problems and heart failure. Fluid retention can also cause swelling, particularly in the ankles and legs.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness
  • Low red blood cell count and ovulation in women.

Symptoms of Side Effects

The side effects that are related to Avandia shouldn’t be confused with the symptoms of high or low blood sugar.

Side effects symptoms of Avandia include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Dark, concentrated urine
  • Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
  • Symptoms that are similar to the common cold.