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Diabetic Drugs Can Cause Heart Failure

Actos (pioglitazone) and Avandia (rosiglitazone), which belong to a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones, are used for the treatment of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes mellitus. Rezulin was pulled from the market in March 2000 after about 100 people who took it died from acute liver failure or had to have liver transplants. Now researchers suggest that these drugs can cause or worsen heart failure. They should also be avoided in patients with chronic renal insufficiency.

Congestive heart failure, which affects 3 million Americans, is an imbalance in pump function in which the heart fails to maintain adequate circulation of blood. The most severe manifestation of congestive heart failure is pulmonary edema, or fluid in the lungs.

Nearly 10 percent of the public has diabetes so this is no small issue. Many are offered a drug solution for a problem that is clearly one that requires lifestyle modification. One of the absolute best ways to treat diabetes though is exercise, as it radically improves the sensitivity of insulin receptors.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings September 9, 2003

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