The safety of the popular diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone), manufactured by Glaxo, has been called into question by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff scientists and the drug was recently placed at risk for a massive recall. The result of the vote by the FDA panel after a two-day meeting with the endocrinologic and metabolic advisory committees which ended July 14, 2010, was to keep the drug available to the U.S. Market but with significant new restrictions. Most importantly, stronger warnings regarding the cardiovascular risks surrounding the use of Avandia.
The drug’s safety has been in question since 2007, the last time the FDA considered taking it off the market in the United States when a dozen studies showed worrying data regarding the safety of Avandia in response to a 2005 analysis which linked the drug to an increase in heart attacks by 43 percent. This new labeling could reduce the use of Avandia by 95 percent.
The risks associated with diabetes medications are leading people to look into effective alternative treatments of their condition, such as the recent vitamin D3 and sunlight therapies that are shown in important studies to be quite effective. For example, the recent study by endocrinologist Esther Krug, MD, from Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital (as well as assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) showed that over 90 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes were vitamin D3 deficient and that the greater the deficiency, the worse the diabetic condition. Those findings support previous studies that have linked insulin production cells and the production of the insulin itself with vitamin D3.
Vitamin D can have an impact on glycemic control, so diabetic patients should discuss adding vitamin D3 to their diets through proper nutrition, supplements, and exposure to sunlight or full-spectrum lighting.