Archive for February, 2010

Research Ties Diabetes Drug to Heart Woes

Hundreds of people taking Avandia, a controversial diabetes medicine, needlessly suffer heart attacks and heart failure each month, according to confidential government reports that recommend the drug be removed from the market. The reports say that if every diabetic now taking Avandia were instead given a similar pill named Actos, about 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure would be averted every month because Avandia can hurt the heart. Avandia, intended to treat Type 2 diabetes, is known as rosiglitazone and was linked to 304 deaths during the third quarter of 2009. “Rosiglitazone should be removed from the market,” one report, by Dr. David Graham and Dr. Kate Gelperin of the Food and Drug Administration, concludes. Both authors recommended that Avandia be withdrawn.

FDA Issues Warning on Key Asthma Drugs

A new label warning will caution users of four widely used asthma drugs to avoid using these medicines as a sole or long-term means of symptom control, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday. The medicines are GlaxoSmithKline’s Advair and Serevent, Novartis’s Foradil and AstraZeneca’s Symbicort. All are in the class of drugs known as long-acting beta agonists (LABAs). Serevent and Foradil are single-agent LABAs while Advair and Symbicort also contain an inhaled corticosteroid.

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