The risk of heart failure among type 2 diabetes patients is significantly increased by the use of rosiglitazone (Avandia) without supporting medication, a study has found.
But when used in combination with with the standard diabetes treatments metformin and sulfonylurea there is no increase in cardiovascular disease or death.
Says study author Professor Philip Home of Newcastle University: “It is good to have robust evidence that this useful medication does perform similarly to other glucose-lowering medications in regard of cardiovascular events.
“It is also good to see it perform better in controlling blood glucose in the longer term. The study provides useful data to help clinicians and people with diabetes decide when it is not safe to use rosiglitazone.”
The drug belongs to a class of treatments known as thiazolidinediones, and previous studies have shown it to be an effective means of controlling blood glucose.
Meanwhile, the study found that using rosiglitazone increased the risk of arm and leg fractures by 82% in women and 23% in men – 57% overall.
The findings are published in the Online First edition of The Lancet and will presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting in the US.
Copyright Press Association 2009