Some people may wonder, "What is rosiglitazone used for?" Rosiglitazone is used to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes who cannot lower their blood sugar through lifestyle changes alone. The medication works by improving insulin sensitivity, meaning that it causes your body to use its natural insulin better.
In September 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was severely restricting the use of rosiglitazone, due to the risk of "cardiovascular events" such as heart attacks and strokes. Only individuals who could not control their diabetes on other medications (or those who were already taking the medication and doing well) would be able to take rosiglitazone.
However, in November 2013, the FDA announced that a careful analysis of the research suggests that there is not, in fact, any increased risk, compared to treatment with standard diabetes medications and that the use of this medication will no longer be restricted.
Using Rosiglitazone for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition involving insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells do not take sugar out of the blood very well. This is why type 2 diabetics have high blood sugar.
Rosiglitazone is used for treating type 2 diabetes in people who cannot lower blood sugar through lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, diet, and exercise). It is part of a group of diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (or sometimes called "glitazones"). The drug helps to improve insulin sensitivity, meaning that it helps your body to use its natural insulin better. This not only lowers blood sugar, but it also helps to keep it under better control.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Avandia [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2011 February.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires removal of some prescribing and dispensing restrictions for rosiglitazone-containing diabetes medicines (November 25, 2013). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm376389.htm. Accessed December 20, 2013.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Avandia (rosiglitazone): REMS - risk of cardiovascular events (9/23/2010). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm226994.htm. Accessed October 1, 2010.
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