Avandia helps to treat type 2 diabetes. Avandia helps to control blood sugar. Treatment is combined with diet and exercise.
Avandia is in a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones.
Avandia is prescribed along with a diet and exercise program and sometimes with one or more other drugs to treat type 2 diabetes
Avandia is not prescribed to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.
Avandia works by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin, a natural substance that helps control blood sugar levels.
Avandia is contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis;
- Heart disease;
- Heart failure;
- Kidney disease;
- Liver disease;
- Macular edema;
- Polycystic ovary syndrome;
- Swelling of the arms, legs, or feet;
- Taking insulin;
- Taking nitrates for chest pain;
- An unusual or allergic reaction to Avandia, other drugs, foods, dyes, or preservatives;
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant;
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Avandia or any other medications.
- tell your doctor if you are taking insulin or nitrates such as isosorbide dinitrate (Isordril, Sorbitrate), isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, ISMO), or nitroglycerin (Nitro-BID, Nitro-Dur, Nitroquick, Nitrostat, others). Nitrates come as tablets, sublingual (under the tongue) tablets, sprays, patches, pastes, and ointments. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if any of your medications contain nitrates. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take Avandia if you are taking these medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what script and nonscript 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, montelukast (Singulair), 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 or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking Avandia, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Avandia.
- If you have not yet experienced menopause (change of life end of monthly menstrual periods) you should know that Avandia 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.
- If you will be having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Avandia.
Do not take Avandia with any of the following drugs:
- Nitrates like amyl nitrite, isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate, nitroglycerin;
- Other drugs for diabetes, especially insulin;
- Alcohol containing beverages;
- Aspirin and aspirin-like drugs;
- Female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills;
- Heart drugs;
- Male hormones or anabolic steroids;
- Drugs for weight loss;
- Drugs for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough;
- Drugs for mental problems;
- Drugs called MAO Inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan, Eldepryl;
- NSAIDs, drugs for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen;
- Quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin;
- Some herbal dietary supplements;
- Steroid drugs like prednisone or cortisone;
- Thyroid drug;
Avandia side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue;
- Bone or joint pain;
- Breathing problems;
- Chest pain or tightness;
- Dark urine;
- Loss of appetite, nausea;
- Low blood sugar (ask your doctor or healthcare professional for a list of these symptoms);
- Pain that radiates to the jaw or down the arm;
- Redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth;
- Sudden weight gain;
- Swelling of the ankles, feet, hands;
- Unusually weak or tired;
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin;
- Back ache;
- Right upper belly pain;
- Runny nose and other cold symptoms;
- Sore throat;
- Back pain;
- Painful or irregular menstrual periods
- Extreme thirst;
- Frequent urination;
- Extreme hunger;
- Blurred vision;
- Dry mouth;
- Upset stomach and vomiting;
- Shortness of breath;
- Breath that smells fruity;
- Decreased consciousness;
- Dizziness or lightheadedness;
- Nervousness or irritability;
- Sudden changes in behavior or mood;
- Numbness or tingling around the mouth;
- Pale skin;
- Clumsy or jerky movements;
The usual starting dose of Avandia either alone or in combination with insulin or another diabetes drug is 4 mg once a day or 2 mg twice a day. If your sugar levels remain too high after 12 weeks of treatment, the doctor may increase your dose to 8 mg once a day or 4 mg twice a day. However, the maximum recommended dose of Avandia in combination with insulin or a sulfonylurea diabetes drug is 4 mg per day. If you do develop low blood sugar, your insulin or sulfonylurea drug dosage will need to be decreased by your doctor.