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Diabetes Drug Endangers Heart, Kidney Patients, Study Finds

Sep 10, 2003 |

Researchers say two popular drugs for Type 2 diabetes can endanger patients who have just mild to moderate heart or kidney disease.

The drugs are sold under the names Avandia and Actos.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical School find the drugs caused heart failure and fluid buildup in the lungs of six men with mild to moderate heart and kidney trouble.

About 6- million Americans take Avandia or Actos. The drugs increase blood volume and the researchers say that can put too much strain on weakened hearts.

The Government has not approved these drugs for patients with the most advanced heart disease.
But the new study says a larger number of patients could be at risk.

Makers of the drugs said the findings involved only a small group of patients...and were not surprising. GlaxoSmithKline makes Avandia, Actos is marketed by Eli Lilly and Takeda, a Japanese drug company.

Both companies insist the drugs clearly labeled with instructions for doctors to monitor patients for signs of heart failure.

A spokeswoman for Glaxo says patients in the study were in fact high risk and taking higher doses of Avandia than Glaxo recommends.

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