Diabetes patients who use the drug Avandia face an increased risk of serious and potentially fatal injuries of heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, bone fractures or death.
Federal lawsuits have been consolidated in an MDL (Multi-District Litigation) in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Avandia is a type 2 diabetes medication which is used to control blood sugar levels. Until 2007, it was one of the best selling medications in the United States, with annual sales in excess of $2 billion.
In May 2007, a study which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine which indicated that Avandia side effects could increase the risk of a heart attack by 43% and the risk of cardiovascular death by as much as 64%.
The FDA has added a “black box” warning about the Avandia heart attack risk, as well as about the risk of congestive heart failure. Experts have suggested that as many as 100,000 heart attacks could have been caused by side effects of Avandia.
AVANDIA BONE FRACTURES: The long term use of Avandia has also been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and broken bones. Avandia side effects could increase bone resorption and decrease bone formation, leading to weak and brittle bones.
AVANDIA MACULAR EDEMA: In December 2006, Health Canada issued a warning that indicated that Avandia could lead to new cases or worsening of a vision problem known as macular edema. This is an inflammation of the retina caused by accumulation of fluid behind the eye, which results in blurred vision, decreased color sensitivity and poorer adaption to darkness.