Avandia (Rosiglitazone) suspended from EU market but remains available in US


Q: I have heard a lot about Avandia in the news. What are the concerns of Avandia use and what are the recommendations of when it should be used?


A:   Avandia (Rosiglitazone) has been recently removed from the European market but still remains available in the US, under a restricted licence.
Rosiglitazone is a medication of the thiazolidinedione class, used in the treatment of type II Diabetes Mellitus, and has been the subject of much scrutiny in recent months due to an increased risk of heart attack (MI) and cardiovascular death associated with its’ use.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended the suspension of the marketing authorizations for all rosiglitazone-containing antidiabetes medications licensed in the EU which include: Avandia (Rosiglitazone), Avandamet (Rosiglitazone and Metformin), and Avaglim (Rosiglitazone and Glimeperide).
The EMA concluded that the benefits associated with the use of Rosiglitazone no longer outweighed the risks, leading to the recommendation for suspension. However the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have decided that marketing of rosiglitazone (Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline) can continue, under a restricted access program. I
would advise if you are currently taking this medication, not to discontinue treatment without consulting your family physician. However I would recommend discussing with your family physician, the prescription of a suitable alternative drug, to control blood sugars in type II diabetes.

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