New Study Questions Safety of Diabetes Drug

A new study out of Canada has been added to those that question the safety of the diabetes drug Avandia.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that older diabetics taking the drug may have a higher risk of congestive heart failure than those taking other diabetes drugs.

Las Vegas Endocrinologist Fred Toffel says Avandia has not necessarily been shown to directly worsen heart function, but rather, in some people, causes fluid retention.

"If you have somebody who already has a weak heart, and you retain fluid in that individual, they're more likely to go into heart failure. But it's no different from eating too much salt," he said.

Dr. Toffel says that because diabetics are already at higher risk for heart disease, it's difficult to pinpoint all of the risk factors.

And although Avandia may still be an effective medication for some individuals, the constant threat of litigation has some doctors looking for other options.

The FDA meanwhile, has no plans to pull Avandia from the market.


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