What’s the problem? It has been well understood that women with type 2 diabetes who take Avandia are at a higher risk of bone fractures than diabetic men taking the same medication. Until a 2008 study conducted by Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the extent of the increased fracture risk had been unknown. After reviewing data from 10 clinical studies involving 14,000 diabetic patients, the research team says the fracture risk to diabetic women is twice that of men.
Avandia is a thiazolidinedione (TZD) drug, which is already known to produce cardiovascular side effects. Avandia is known to increase the risk of heart failure and is required by the FDA to carry a “black box” warning. Additionally, Avandia increases the risk for heart attack, a finding that has caused its sales to plummet since the acknowledgement became public in 2007.
Sonal Singh of Wake Forest, along with colleagues at the University of East Anglia in Britain, found one additional bone fracture per 21 women women age 70 or older, when TZDs were taken for one year. Younger women are at increased risk as well, with women around the age of 56 experiencing one additional fracture for every 55 women taking TZDs.