Consumer watchdog group Public Citizen announced this week that diabetes drug (Rosiglitazone) Avandia increases the risk of liver failure. Avandia has already been linked to an increase in risk for heart attack. Public Citizen has called for the FDA to ban Avandia. A review of adverse events reported to the FDA found 11 deaths due to liver toxicity between 1997 and 2006. “Because of low reporting rates to the [FDA] database, the 11 cases likely represent a small fraction of the patients who developed liver failure because of the drug,” said Dr. James Floyd of Public Citizen. He estimated that 1 in every 44,000 patients who take the drug develops liver failure. The concern about liver failure adds to the list of problems associated with Avandia. Studies have shown that Avandia use increases the risk of heart attack by 40%, doubles the risk of heart failure and bone fractures, and increases the risk of anemia and vision loss. No such adverse events have been associated with the older, cheaper diabetes drugs Metformin (Glucophage) and Glipizide (Glucotrol).
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