Avandia Heart Attacks and Heart Disease

Avandia is a prescription drug designed to treat Type II diabetes. Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the drug has faced thousands of lawsuits by plaintiffs suffering strokes and other adverse side effects as a result of long-term exposure to Avandia. Other reports link Avandia to the increased risk of heart attack or heart disease in patients. The drug remains on the market in the U.S. despite a number of FDA warnings and pending lawsuits.

Avandia is part of a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones that act as insulin sensitizers. Avandia is used to reduce glucose, fatty acid and concentrations of insulin in the blood. As such, Avandia was once one of the highest-selling most-prescribed prescription drugs in the United States for the treatment of diabetes. Avandia is also useful as an anti-inflammatory and has shown some effects on Alzheimer’s Disease, ulcerative colitis and malaria.

The FDA first warned patients of the increased risk of liver failure associated with the use of Avandia. From there, the side effects seemingly skyrocketed and GSK has faced over 13,000 lawsuits by plaintiffs claiming they suffered from everything from heart attacks to strokes, even death. The FDA then issued a Black Box warning, its strongest warning, regarding the risk of heart disease with the use of Avandia.

The FDA has warned that Avandia should only be used by patients who have been using the drug for an extended period of time with no adverse side effects to report. New patients should seek an alternative course of treatment. Avandia may also be available for patients who have not responded to any other course of treatment, but the FDA warns doctors to explore other methods of treatment before resorting to Avandia.