Avandia tablets contain the active ingredient rosiglitazone maleate, which is an antidiabetic medicine used to treat people with type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM).
People with diabetes mellitus have a deficiency or absence of a hormone produced by the pancreas called insulin. Insulin is the main hormone responsible for the control of sugar in the blood. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin and the cells of the body are resistant to the low levels of insulin circulating in the blood. Insulin would normally make the cells remove sugar from the blood, hence in type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels can rise too high.
Rosiglitazone is a type of antidiabetic medicine known as a thiazolidinedione or glitazone. It helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the sensitivity of liver, fat and muscle cells to insulin. This enables these cells to remove sugar from the blood more effectively.
Rosiglitazone also preserves the functioning of the cells in the pancreas (beta cells) that produce insulin.
The overall effect of this medicine is therefore to help the body control blood sugar levels and prevent them becoming too high.
Rosiglitazone is used to treat people with type 2 diabetes, particularly overweight people, whose blood sugar is not sufficiently controlled by diet and exercise alone, and who cannot take metformin. (Metformin is the standard first-line medicine for overweight people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not controlled by diet alone.)
Rosiglitazone can also used for people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not controlled by the maximum doses of either metformin, or another type of antidiabetic medicine known as a sulphonylurea, for example gliclazide. In these cases rosiglitazone is added to treatment with the oral antidiabetic already being taken.
Rosiglitazone can be used as dual therapy in combination with metformin (particularly in overweight people), as dual therapy in combination with a sulphonylurea (only in people who cannot take metformin), or as triple therapy in combination with metformin AND a sulphonylurea.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
If this medicine is used in dual or triple therapy, in combination with a sulphonylurea such as gliclazide, the chance of your blood sugar dropping too low (hypoglycaemia) may be increased. Your doctor may need to alter your dose of sulphonylurea to avoid this.
When this medicine is used as triple therapy, in combination with metformin and a sulphonylurea, there may also be an increased risk of fluid retention and heart failure. You can ask your doctor for more information about this. It may be more suitable to use insulin instead of triple therapy and your doctor should discuss this option with you.
There may be an increased risk of heart failure if this medicine is used in combination with insulin. If you are taking this medicine in combination with insulin it is important to let your doctor know if you experience any shortness of breath, weight gain or swelling, particularly of the ankles.
There may be an increased risk of fluid retention (oedema) if non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac or ibuprofen are taken with this medicine.
Gemfibrozil may increase your blood level of rosiglitazone. If you are taking gemfibrozil in combination with rosiglitazone your doctor may therefore need to lower your rosiglitazone dose, depending on your blood sugar levels.
The following medicines may decrease the blood level of rosiglitazone and make it less effective at lowering blood sugar:
If you are taking any of these with rosiglitazone your blood sugar should be monitored to make sure the rosiglitazone is still effective.
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain rosiglitazine as the sole active ingredient.
Avandamet tablets contain rosiglitazone in combination with metformin.