Avandia (Rosiglitazone) Drug Information

  • Why is this medication prescribed?

    Avandia (rosiglitazone) is used along with a diet and exercise program and sometimes with one or more other medications to treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). Because of the risk of serious side effects, Avandia (rosiglitazone) should only be used to treat people who are already taking the medication, or people whose blood sugar cannot be controlled with other medications and who have decided not to take pioglitazone (Actos, a medication that is similar to Avandia (rosiglitazone) but that may not cause the same serious side effects) for medical reasons. Avandia (rosiglitazone) is in a class of medications called thiazolidinediones. It works by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin, a natural substance that helps control blood sugar levels. Avandia (rosiglitazone) is not used to treat type 1 diabetes (condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood) or diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious condition that may occur if high blood sugar is not treated).

  • How should this medicine be used?

    Avandia (rosiglitazone) comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice daily with or without meals. Take Avandia (rosiglitazone) at about the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Avandia (rosiglitazone) exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

    Your doctor may increase your dose of Avandia (rosiglitazone) after 8-12 weeks, based on your body's response to the medication.

    Avandia (rosiglitazone) helps control type 2 diabetes but does not cure it. It may take 2 weeks for your blood sugar to decrease, and 2-3 months or longer for you to feel the full benefit of Avandia (rosiglitazone). Continue to take Avandia (rosiglitazone) even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Avandia (rosiglitazone) without talking to your doctor.

  • Other uses for this medicine

    This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

  • What special precautions should I follow?

    Before taking Avandia (rosiglitazone):

    • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Avandia (rosiglitazone) or any other medications.
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: gemfibrozil (Lopid); other medications for diabetes; medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart failure, or prevention of heart attack or stroke; and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
    • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the conditions mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section or diabetic eye disease such as macular edema (swelling of the back of the eye);or liver disease. Also tell your doctor if you have ever taken troglitazone (Rezulin, no longer available in the United States), especially if you stopped taking it because you experienced side effects.
    • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Avandia (rosiglitazone), call your doctor.
    • if you have not yet experienced menopause (change of life; end of monthly menstrual periods) you should know that Avandia (rosiglitazone) may increase the chance that you will become pregnant even if you do not have regular monthly periods or you have a condition that prevents you from ovulating (releasing an egg from the ovaries). Talk to your doctor about methods of birth control that will work for you.
  • What special dietary instructions should I follow?

    Be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. It is important to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and lose weight if necessary. This will help to control your diabetes and help Avandia (rosiglitazone) work more effectively

  • What should I do if I forget a dose?

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

  • What side effects can this medication cause?

    This medication may cause changes in your blood sugar. You should know the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and what to do if you have these symptoms.

    Avandia (rosiglitazone) may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

    • headache
    • runny nose and other cold symptoms
    • sore throat
    • back pain

    Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:

    • loss of appetite
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • stomach pain
    • dark urine
    • yellowing of the skin or eyes
    • blurred vision
    • vision loss
    • difficulty seeing colors
    • difficulty seeing in the dark
    • pale skin
    • dizziness
    • swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
    • hoarseness
    • difficulty swallowing or breathing
    • hives
    • itching
    • fever
    • blisters

    Avandia (rosiglitazone) may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you experience any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.

    Taking Avandia (rosiglitazone) may increase the risk that you will experience a fracture, usually in the upper arms, hands, or feet. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking this medication and about ways to keep your bones healthy during your treatment.

    If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

  • What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

    Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

  • In case of emergency/overdose

    In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

  • What other information should I know?

    Keep all appointments with your doctor, your eye doctor, and the laboratory. Your doctor will probably order regular eye examinations and certain laboratory tests to check your body's response to Avandia (rosiglitazone). Your blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin should be checked regularly to determine your response to Avandia (rosiglitazone). Your doctor may also tell you how to check your response to Avandia (rosiglitazone) by measuring your blood sugar levels at home. Follow these directions carefully.

    You should always wear a diabetic identification bracelet to be sure you get proper treatment in an emergency.

    Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

    It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

  • Brand Names

    • Avandia®