Wednesday, July 14, 2010
More Drug Warnings- This Time, Rosiglitazone
We seem to be constantly bombarded with drug warnings these days. Today, an FDA panel is debating about a diabetes medication that has been on the market since 1991, rosiglitazone (Avandia). Studies have shown that patients taking this medication have a higher rate of "cardiovascular events", though it is not clear whether or not these events lead to a greater death rate.
Why is there any debate? Shouldn't we simply remove it from the market, since there are other diabetes drugs? Well, of course, it's not that simple. Diabetes itself causes an increased risk of cardiovascular events. There are many diabetics who have uncontrolled blood sugars despite being on several other medications. This class of drugs actually has produced significant lowering of high blood sugars for many patients. It's all a balance.
Ultimately, this puts me back on my soap box. Though I have a few (literally less than five) patients with adult-onset diabetes who eat perfectly (tons of fruits and veggies, high fiber, and few sweets), and have normal weight, yet still require medications to control their blood sugars (yes you, "FP"!), the VAST MAJORITY of my adult onset diabetic patients would have completely normal blood sugars if they ate well, exercised, and lost weight.
BOTTOM LINE: NO medication is without risk, so MAXIMIZE your health with proper diet and exercise and MINIMIZE the number of medications you need to take!