rosiglitazone, Avandia

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Pharmacy Author: Emmanuel Saltiel, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP

    Dr. Saltiel received his Pharm.D. from the University of California, San Francisco, in 1980, following undergraduate work at UCLA. At UCSF, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award and the Bowl of Hygeia Award. He completed a residency in clinical pharmacy practice at the University of Illinois, in Chicago.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is rosiglitazone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Rosiglitazone is an oral drug that reduces the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It is used for treating patients with type 2 diabetes and is in a class of anti-diabetic drugs called thiazolidinediones. The other member of this class is pioglitazone (Actos). Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is important for controlling the levels of glucose in the blood. Insulin stimulates the cells of the body to remove glucose from the blood and thereby lowers the level of glucose in the blood. Patients with type 2 diabetes cannot make enough insulin or are resistant to the effects of insulin (insulin resistance). As a result, the cells in their bodies do not remove enough glucose from the blood, and the level of glucose rises. Rosiglitazone often is referred to as an "insulin sensitizer" because it attaches to the insulin receptors on cells throughout the body and causes the cells to become more sensitive (more responsive) to insulin and remove more glucose from the blood. At least some insulin must be produced by the pancreas in order for rosiglitazone to work. Rosiglitazone was approved by the FDA in May 1999.

What brand names are available for rosiglitazone?

Avandia

Is rosiglitazone available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for rosiglitazone?

Yes

What are the side effects of rosiglitazone?

AND PRECAUTIONS The most common side effects seen with rosiglitazone alone or in combination with metformin are:

Rosiglitazone has been shown to cause mild to moderate accumulation of fluid (edema) and can lead to heart failure. Patients who already have heart failure may develop worsening symptoms with rosiglitazone. Therefore, rosiglitazone should not be used by patients with heart failure. Rosiglitazone also has been associated with an increased risk of chest pain and heart attacks. The risk of heart attacks may be greater in those with established heart disease and taking nitrates or individuals receiving insulin.

Other important side effects include:

  • anemia with rosiglitazone alone or combined with metformin.
  • weight gain, and
  • Increased risk of bone fractures in women who received rosiglitazone for 4 to 6 years.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/15/2017

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