Generic Name: rosiglitazone (row zi GLI ta zone)
Brand Name: Avandia
What is Avandia?
Avandia (rosiglitazone) is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.
Avandia is for people with type 2 diabetes. Rosiglitazone is sometimes used in combination with other medicines, but it is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
Avandia is not recommended for use with insulin. Taking Avandia while you are using insulin may increase your risk of serious heart problems.
Taking Avandia may increase your risk of serious heart problems, such as heart attack or stroke. Therefore, this medicine is available only to certain people with type 2 diabetes that cannot be controlled with other diabetes medications.
Rosiglitazone is available only under a special program called Avandia-Rosiglitazone Medicines Access Program. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the risks and benefits of taking this medication.
Avandia may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Avandia
You should not use Avandia if you have severe or uncontrolled heart failure. Do not use this medicine if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). Avandia is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
Avandia can cause or worsen congestive heart failure. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, or rapid weight gain.
Before taking Avandia
You should not use Avandia if you are allergic to rosiglitazone, or if you have severe or uncontrolled heart failure. Do not use Avandia if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
To make sure Avandia is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
congestive heart failure, heart disease, a history of heart attack or stroke;
eye problems caused by diabetes; or
Taking Avandia may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your diabetes with this medicine.
Women may be more likely than men to have bone fractures in the upper arm, hand, or foot while taking Avandia. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about this possibility.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Avandia will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
See also: Avandia pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
Some women using Avandia have started having menstrual periods, even after not having a period for a long time due to a medical condition. You may be able to get pregnant if your periods restart. Talk with your doctor about the need for birth control.
It is not known whether rosiglitazone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take Avandia?
Take Avandia exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take the medicine with or without food.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, pale skin, irritability, dizziness, feeling shaky, or trouble concentrating. Always keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, and non-diet soda. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.
If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it.
Check your blood sugar carefully during times of stress, travel, illness, surgery or medical emergency, vigorous exercise, or if you drink alcohol or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
Use Avandia regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Avandia is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. You may have signs of low blood sugar, such as extreme weakness, blurred vision, sweating, trouble speaking, tremors, stomach pain, confusion, and seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking Avandia?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can lower your blood sugar.
See also: Avandia and alcohol (in more detail)
Avandia side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Avandia: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Avandia and call your doctor at once if you have:
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
changes in your vision.
Common Avandia side effects may include:
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Avandia side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Avandia?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Avandia, especially:
This list is not complete and many other medicines may increase or decrease the effects of Avandia on lowering your blood sugar. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More Avandia resources
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Avandia.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Avandia only for the indication prescribed.
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