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Don’t Blame Avandia - Diabetes Drug Study Shows

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, February 06, 2008 12:11 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Toxic Substances, Wrongful Death, Avandia

Don’t Blame Avandia - Diabetes Drug Study Shows 525 


Image Source:  Avandia.com 

GlaxoSmithKline makes the diabetes drug Avandia.

It is the same drug that was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) last May to raise the risk of heart attack by 43 percent.

Avandia sales plummeted after the report from the Cleveland Clinic. It was Glaxo’s second-biggest seller at $3.2 billion in 2006.

Now a government-funded study, underway for four years, finds Avandia and other drugs were not to blame for an increased risk in heart attacks.

The ACCORD trial will now be stopped, 18 months ahead of schedule, after safety experts, monitoring the study, found that intense lowering of blood sugar levels increased a patients’ risk of dying by 25 percent.

257 people in the trial died among those receiving the intense diabetes treatment for type 2 diabetes as compared to 203 in the standard treatment group.  

The National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute conducted the ACCORD trial. In a statement released Wednesday, the federal research group said the drugs themselves were not the problem.

"In this trial of adults with type 2 diabetes at especially high risk for heart attack and stroke, the medical strategy to intensively lower blood glucose (sugar) below current recommendations increased the risk of death compared with a less-intensive standard treatment strategy," the NHLBI said.

Participants in ACCORD will continue to receive standard treatment for high blood (less than 7.5) sugar until the trials’ conclusion in June 2009.

Intense medical treatment for type 2 diabetes means targeting blood sugar levels at less than 6 percent- similar to a non diabetics’ sugar level. 

Beside Avandia, in the ACCORD trial doctors treated patients with a variety of FDA-approved diabetes drugs including metformin, thiazolidinediones such as Actos or Avandia, insulins, sulfonylureas, exanatide, and acarbose.

The package of Avandia carries a risk that the drug may cause or worsen heart failure.  Taking Avandia with insulin or nitrates is not recommended.       #

Forum Link - Avandia

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