Study indicates diabetes drug may lead to heart problems


March 18, 2011

Rosiglitazone, a drug designed to treat type 2 diabetes, has recently come under fire because a new study published in the British Medical Journal has shown that it may have links to heart problems including congestive failure, heart attack and death. 

While the medication does help control blood sugar levels, it appears that the costs may outweigh the benefits. Researchers found that, after studying 810,000 patients, those who were taking rosiglitazone had a 16 percent higher risk of heart attack and 23 percent higher chance of congestive heart failure.

"Our findings have important implications," the authors wrote. "Rosiglitazone is still available on a restricted basis in the United States and Canada. However, for patients who need thiazolidinedione treatment, continued use of rosiglitazone may lead to excess heart attacks, heart failure and mortality, compared with pioglitazone."

Those who are worried about their own health may want to install a medical alert system in their home. This device allows users to instantly send a personal emergency response message if they suffer a health condition while alone.

Currently, there are 3.8 million prescriptions of rosiglitazone dispensed each year in the United States. Europe has already outlawed the drug.