Avandia has been linked with tens of thousands of heart attacks, and reports allege drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline knew of the risks for years but worked to keep them from the public.
*** Avandia® Labeling Update 2/4/11: The FDA has notified healthcare professionals and patients that information on the cardiovascular risks (including heart attack) of Avandia (rosiglitazone) has been added to the physician labeling and patient Medication Guide. Additionally, the drug labels have been revised to state that rosiglitazone and rosiglitazone-containing medicines should only be used:
- In patients already being treated with these medicines
- In patients whose blood sugar cannot be controlled with other anti-diabetic medicines and who, after consulting with their healthcare professional, do not wish to use pioglitazone-containing medicines (Actos, Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR, or Duetact).
What’s the problem?
Since 2007, Avandia has been repeatedly linked to a high risk of heart attack and death. The diabetes drug has been prescribed to more than 6 million Americans since its approval. Avandia reduces the body’s resistance to insulin but also causes fluid retention, which has been identified as a risk factor for congestive heart failure.
On June 6, 2007, the FDA announced that it would require a black box warning, the agency’s strongest, on Avandia’s label about the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. A doctor and medical researcher who testified at Congressional hearings on Avandia the first week of June 2007 revealed that he was threatened with a lawsuit by a GlaxoSmithKline (SmithKline Beecham) executive after voicing his concerns about Avandia’s safety in 1999.
Avandia Heart Attack Signs & Symptoms
If you or a loved one is experiencing the following symptoms while using Avandia, please consult a medical professional immediately or call 911:
- Chest discomfort/pain
- Discomfort in upper body areas: arms, back, neck, jaw and stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating, nausea and lightheadedness
- High blood pressure
- Fluid in the lungs
All of the above symptoms may lead to an increased risk of myocardial ischemia, heart attack or heart failure. Avandia stroke victims may also suffer their serious illness as a result of these symptoms.