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Warning given over Avandia effects


The side effects of diabetes drug Avandia are more dangerous that its rival Actos, according to a US medical expert.

A study into the drug, led by US Food and Drug Administration scientist Dr David Graham, found that Avandia creates a higher risk of heart problems, strokes and deaths in older patients.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Dr Graham said the drug had caused 100,000 heart attacks, strokes, deaths, and cases of heart failure since it was introduced in 1999.

The study into the effects of Avandia come just two weeks before the FDA carries out a review on its safety.

Dr Graham has called for the pill to be banned altogether, and said the dangers posed by the drug are so great they could “put you in a hospital or in a cemetery”.

Editors at the Journal of the American Medical Association rushed to release the study online on Monday, so the information would be available before the July 13-14 hearing, a spokeswoman said.

Avandia is a drug for Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease and the kind often tied to obesity. Avandia and Actos are pills that help the body make better use of insulin.

Copyright Press Association 2010

Journal of the American Medical Association

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