If you have type 2 diabetes, your healthcare provider may prescribe rosiglitazone to help control your blood sugar. The medication works by helping your body to respond better to its natural insulin. As a result, the drug helps to lower blood sugar and to keep it under better control. There are some potential side effects of rosiglitazone, including upper respiratory infections, headaches, and back pain. The medication comes in the form of a tablet that is taken once or twice a day.
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.
What Is Rosiglitazone?
Rosiglitazone maleate (Avandia®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes (also known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes). It can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medications.
Keep in mind, however, that rosiglitazone is not intended to be used for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (see Avandia and Type 1 Diabetes for more information).
(Click What Is Rosiglitazone Used For? for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)