Avandia

Generic Name: Rosiglitazone

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Avandia is a medicine used along with diet and exercise to help control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    Avandia is only available through a restricted distribution program called the Avandia-Rosiglitazone Medicines Access Program. Both you and your healthcare provider must be enrolled in the program for you to receive Avandia. Your healthcare provider will explain the program to you.

    How does this medication work?

    Avandia helps your body respond better to the insulin it makes naturally, thereby helping to control your blood sugar.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Lowering your blood sugar to a normal level may prevent or delay potential complications associated with diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, or heart problems.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Avandia exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood sugar regularly and as per your healthcare provider's recommendations. Your healthcare provider will also do regular blood tests to measure your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C (which estimates your average blood sugar levels over a 2- to 3-month period). Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program, as this will also affect the results of your blood tests.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Avandia can cause your body to retain extra fluid, which leads to swelling and weight gain. Extra body fluid can make some heart problems worse or lead to heart failure. Call your healthcare provider right away if you experience swelling or fluid retention, especially in your ankles or legs; shortness of breath or trouble breathing, especially when you lie down; unusually fast increase in your weight; or unusual tiredness.

    Avandia may increase the risk of a heart attack. This risk may be higher in people who take Avandia with insulin. Most people who use insulin should not also take Avandia. Call your healthcare provider right away if you experience chest discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away or comes back; chest discomfort that feels like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain; pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach; shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort; breaking out in a cold sweat; nausea or vomiting; or if you feel lightheaded. Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you think you are having a heart attack.

    More common side effects may include: upper respiratory infection, injury, headache.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Liver problems with symptoms such as nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

    Macular edema (swelling in the back of the eye) with changes in your vision.

    Bone fractures, usually in the hand, upper arm, or foot.

    Low blood sugar with symptoms such as shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat, changes in your vision, hunger, headache, or changes in your mood. Your risk of low blood sugar is higher if you do not eat enough, drink alcohol, or take other medicines to lower your blood sugar.

    Ovulation (release of an egg from an ovary in a woman) leading to pregnancy.

    Anemia (low red blood cells counts).

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Avandia if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Avandia if you have heart failure.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Avandia. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart or liver problems; macular edema; are currently using insulin; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The usual starting dose is 4 milligrams (mg) once a day or 2 mg twice a day.

    Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    If you are also taking another diabetes medicine called a sulfonylurea (such as glimepiride, glipizide, or glyburide), your healthcare provider may adjust the dose of these medicines.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Avandia exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

    Take Avandia with or without food.

    While you are taking Avandia, stay on your diet and exercise program, and check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not change your dose or stop taking Avandia without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Avandia is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Avandia with the following: gemfibrozil or rifampin.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Avandia on pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Avandia, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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