Doctor Oz did a segment on Avandia, a highly popular Diabetes drug that was recently heavily restricted in America and banned entirely in Europe. GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia may have caused 100,000 people to have heart attacks or to die. Dr Oz said that Diabetes is so widespread that it touches 1 out of 4 people and 57 million people have Pre-Diabetes. You can often manage Type 2 Diabetes through diet or exercise, but sometimes medicine is necessary.
Avandia was one of the most popular Diabetes drugs because it was shown to help your own natural insulin work better. Studies showed that Avandia was very successful and by 2006 it was the top selling Diabetes drug in the world. GlaxoSmithKline reported $3 billion in sales of Avandia. Dr Steven Nissen at the Cleveland Clinic did his own analysis on data that GlaxoSmithKline was forced to make public, and he found that patients who took Avandia had a 43% higher risk of heart attacks than people taking other Diabetes medications. Even worse, GlaxoSmithKline apparently already knew about this as early as 1999. The FDA has now limited Avandia in America and only 600,000 people are still taking it today.
Dr Nissen told Dr Oz that he believes the FDA should ban Avandia altogether, but that they are not doing that because the people who approved it in the first place do not want to admit that they were wrong. Avandia does increase your risk for heart disease and for getting heart attacks, so it is a bad deal even if it does help decrease your blood sugar. Rita Kalvani said that patients taking Avandia are coming in and asking what their risk for heart disease is now. When there are 12-13 drug alternatives to Avandia, Nissen and Kalvani do not think Avandia is necessary or worthwhile.
Dr Oz said that a big belly, as we all know, can cause a raging fire with many problems in our body. Avandia, while it may lower blood sugar, simultaneously it seems to increase inflammation and makes other changes to our bodies that we are not even aware of yet. Rita Kalvani said that diet and exercise has always been the foundation for any effective Diabetes treatment. It is recommended to do at least 100 minutes of exercise per week. Steven Nissen said that the problem is that most people with Diabetes do not even know they have it until it is too late for diet and exercise alone to work.
Steven Nissen told Dr Oz that patients should try to stay as informed as they can. If a new drug comes out, there is often something we do not know about it yet. Nissen suggested that if a good alternative that has been around for a long time will work for you, then try that instead of new drugs. There are two other classes of drugs that Nissen is worried about. ADHD drugs are stimulants and derivatives of amphetamines, which can raise blood pressure and cause heart arrhythmia. Nissen’s second drug class that he is concerned about is tranquilizers used to treat depression, which may also cause Diabetes.
Dr Oz said that most people can prevent Diabetes without taking a pill. By losing 10 pounds, you can decrease your diabetes risk by 60%. Dr Oz posted a message on the screen that said to move 10 minutes a day, but at the same time the advice to exercise 100 minutes a week was given… so I would be on the safe side and try to squeeze in all 100 minutes of exercise weekly!
Dian Williams says
I believe my brother died because of this drug. He had type 2 diabetes and was taking Avandia. He was found dead. He had some issues with the rhythm of his heart and was going to the doctor in a few weeks to have a paddle treatment. They couldn’t stabilize his heart. He was 55 years old and died in 1996. Left a wife and two daughters in a world of hurt. So unexpected and shocking. We had no idea this would happen.
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In 2003, my mother had been prescribed Avandia by our family doctor, with him saying that there was this new drug available that worked wonders with Diabetes, at the time she was suffering with type 2 Diabetes. Not long after, a few months at most she started having what the hospital was calling mini strokes. They couldn’t figure out what was setting them off yet as the years went by she still suffered them and they started increasing causing her to develop Dementia.
In 2009 we were informed by a new doctor that it could have been the Avandia that was causing the mini strokes because of her Diabetes. Because Avandia did cause heart attacks in some patients and my mother did also have heart problems she should not continue with this medication. The damaged had already been done with the prolonged use after so many years my mother suffered a major stroke on May 9, 2009 and died from complications of the stroke on October 29, 2009. Do I believe that her prolonged use of Avandia caused the mini strokes leading to the big one? Yes, I do. Can I prove it? No, I cannot. My mother was an incredible woman, filled with so much love for her family. She left behind 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren and family that is lost without her.
My advice to all is make sure you keep up to date on all medication that is being given. Do your research and keep going regularly to your doctor so that you are always well informed and if there any updates on the medication you are already receiving. Doctors are supposed to know what medication they are giving their patients and as soon as the side effects of Avandia had been found out an all out effort should have been made by the medical community to make certain any patients who were prescribed this medication and had Diabetes should have been informed and taken off immediately. Pharmacies should have had a red alert tag put on it immediately especially since it was used in conjunction with other Diabetic medication. As far as I am concerned, the whole medical community failed on this one.
i just saw this comment square. i will now comment on what i had to do when my lab tests were returned. i had to:cut out all meat, all sugar, including fruits, ketsup, etc. all oils, butter. i could only eat leaves, green beans, cabbage, etc., which i did for two weeks or more. to my amazement, the weight started falling off my face and neck, then off the rest of my body as i could see it. i did not have any inkling i wsould lose weifgt. at least one pound every single day!