Diabetes drug prescriptions must stop, study says

Thu, 20 Aug 2009
A diabetes drug often prescribed to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood glucose levels should no longer be in circulation, according to a team of Canadian researchers quote in diabetes news this week. The drug causes a greater risk of heart failure and death amongst people with diabetes, the researchers argue.

The research, conducted amongst older patients and published online by the British Medical Journal drew contrasts between rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, and found no justifiable advantage of using pioglitazone.

Almost 40,000 patients were studied to glean the results. However, the director of research at Diabetes UK, Dr. Iain Frame, reportedly commented:

"This is a well-designed retrospective study of older people with Type 2 diabetes using rosiglitazone or pioglitazone. Both drugs carry an increased risk of heart failure. The findings confirm previous results of other studies showing that pioglitazone is associated with a reduced risk of heart failure and death but not heart attack compared to rosiglitazone. This study adds to the overall body of evidence about the effects of these drugs, yet the claim that one drug is safer than the other remains inconclusive. Perhaps longer term follow-up studies investigating the effectiveness and safety of drugs in clinical practice would be useful."
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