Rosiglitazone side effects, risks, danger medication for diabetes by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 13 2016

Rosiglitazone is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. This medication helps your body respond better to insulin produced by your pancreas. Rosiglitazone is for people with type 2 diabetes who do not use daily insulin injections. It is generic for the drug Avandia, Health concerns have surfaced regarding the use of this prescription drug. This medication increases the risk of heart failure, myocardial infarction and fractures (in women) with Type 2 diabetes.
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Following the publication of a meta-analysis reporting a risk of acute myocardial infarction with rosiglitazone that led to severe restrictions being placed on its use, several observational studies of the association were reported. The lifting of restrictions occurred in the United States in 2013.

Side effects
Rosiglitazone can cause an allergic reaction. Allergic rosiglitazone side effects include hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. Additional Rosiglitazone serous side effects include signs of congestive heart failure (swelling or rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, chest pain). Gastrointestinal Rosiglitazone side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or loss of appetite, and jaundice. other Rosiglitazone side effects could include fatigue, hypoglycemia, headache, weakness, sweating, and rapid heart beat. An increased rate of heart attack has been reported.

Am Heart J. 2013. Discordant effects of rosiglitazone on novel inflammatory biomarkers. Although rosiglitazone favorably affects myriad intermediate markers of atherosclerosis, it appears to increase myocardial infarction (MI) risk. We analyzed the effects of rosiglitazone on a panel of 8 novel circulating biomarkers, 4 of which are independently associated with atherosclerosis: lymphotoxin β receptor, peptidoglycan recognition protein 1, chemokine ligand 23, and soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) as well as on high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). Rosiglitazone adversely affected 3 novel biomarkers and favorably affected a fourth previously associated with atherosclerosis while improving hs-CRP, as has previously been shown. Whether these complex effects on circulating inflammatory biomarkers contribute to the signal of increased MI risk with rosiglitazone and whether pioglitazone has similar effects warrant further investigation.

Does Rosiglitazone reduce diabetes risk?
Treatment of high-risk patients with the oral antidiabetic drug rosiglitazone may reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly two thirds. In a clinical trial of patients with poor glucose tolerance, 5,269 adults were assigned to receive rosiglitazone or a placebo (sugar pill) daily for an average of 3 years. At follow-up, the subjects in the Rosiglitazone group were less likely to develop the disease or die than those in the placebo group, and their risk of progressing to full diabetes was reduced by 60 percent. The rosiglitazone patients were also 70-percent more likely to return to normal blood sugar levels. These patients did, however, have an increased risk of non-fatal heart failure, a condition where the heart muscle is weakened and becomes unable to maintain adequate blood supply to the body's tissues. The researchers, based at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada concluded that for every 1,000 people treated with Rosiglitazone for 3 years, about 144 cases of diabetes would be prevented and an extra 4 to 5 cases of heart failure would occur. The Canadian study also looked at the value of a blood pressure drug called ramipril, but found it did not reduce the risk of diabetes or death, although it did help some patients to return to normal blood sugar levels. Ramipril is sold as Altace by King Pharmaceuticals Inc. The study DREAM study (Diabetes REduction Assessment with ramipril and rosiglitazone Medication) was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline and King Pharmaceuticals. The Lancet, September 15, 2006.
     Dr. Sahelian says: Before I prescribe rosiglitazone to prevent diabetes, I would like to see a minimum of a seven year study. It is possible that rosiglitazone could reduce the risk of diabetes, but the cardiac side effects could lead to people on this drug to die sooner.

Rosiglitazone treatment increases plasma levels of adiponectin and decreases levels of resistin in overweight women with PCOS: a randomized placebo-controlled study
European Journal of Endocrinology, Vol 156, Issue 2.
Abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinaemia play a central role in the pathogenesis of the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Abdominal adipose tissue is a source of adipokines, such as adiponectin and resistin, both of which may be involved in the development of insulin resistance and chronic inflammation in PCOS. Ghrelin, an important regulatory peptide of food intake, may also play a role in metabolic disturbances related to PCOS. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of 4 months of treatment with the insulin sensitizer rosiglitazone on plasma adiponectin, resistin and ghrelin levels in overweight women with PCOS. Rosiglitazone had beneficial effects on serum levels of adiponectin and resistin, suggesting that these adipocytokines may contribute to the improvement in insulin sensitivity observed during the treatment.