Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way a body metabolizes glucose (sugar). With type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to the effects of insulin, a hormone that is used to regulate the movement of sugar through cells, or the body does not produce enough insulin. If the body does not produce enough insulin, it does not maintain a normal glucose level. Either of these effects can be life threatening, as glucose is the body's primary source of food and fuel.
It is estimated that 23.6 million people in the United States have diabetes. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting between 90 and 95 percent of all cases of diabetes. There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. Diabetes management includes a healthy diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy body weight; in the event that these methods are not enough, some people use insulin therapy to manage their blood sugar or use diabetes medications to manage their blood sugar.
Avandia is a diabetes medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, the active ingredient of which is rosiglitazone maleate. It is designed to be used in conjunction with diet and exercise to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. Avandia is used to control high blood sugar, helping the body to better use its own insulin.
Despite the numerous ways that Avandia can help people, like with any drug, there are risks and serious side effects associated with it. In 2007 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert regarding potential safety issues. Clinical trials of the drug showed a significant increase in the risk of heart attack and heart-related deaths for patients taking Avandia. The pharmaceutical manufacturer notes that Avandia can cause or worsen heart failure. People who have severe heart failure, meaning that the heart has very poor pumping ability, cannot start taking the medication. In addition, people who have heart problems that lead to poor blood flow to the heart should be aware that Avandia can increase the risk of heart problems.
The Avandia medication guidelines also note that people who take insulin or nitrate medicines, have an eye disease called macular edema, have or have had liver problems, are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding should discuss these issues with their doctors before taking the medication. In addition, the pharmaceutical company has noted that Avandia may increase the risk of pregnancy in women taking Avandia, as well as the fact that more fractures have been observed in women taking Avandia.
The United States Food and Drug Administration requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to perform a series of thorough tests on medications before they are approved for use. The FDA weighs the risks against the benefits of the medication; if the benefits outweigh the risks, approval is typically made. Unfortunately, often many serious risks of medications are not discovered until the medicine has been approved and many people have started using the medicine and developed health complications as a result. In such cases, the FDA will then reevaluate the drug, which is what happened with Avandia and its associated risks with heart complications.
In the event that you or a loved one experienced a serious health complication, such as a heart attack, as the result of taking Avandia, you may be entitled to compensation. It is recommended that you seek the advice of an attorney who is familiar with pharmaceutical law or personal injury cases. He or she will guide you through the legal process and help determine if you can make a case. In the event that you can make a viable case, your lawyer will do what he or she can to obtain compensation for medical expenses, as well as for pain and suffering you may have endured.