Another Diabetic Drug Disaster

The widely used diabetes drug Avandia has been linked to a greater risk of heart attack and possibly death. The U.S. government has issued a safety alert, and the FDA urged diabetics taking the pill to talk to their doctors, although they have not required a stronger warning label for the drug.

An analysis pooling the results of several dozen studies, encompassing some 28,000 patients, showed that Avandia causes a 43 percent higher risk of heart attack. GlaxoSmithKline, the drug's manufacturer, downplayed the risks, saying that the analysis is not definitive scientific proof.

However, several experts have said that Avandia is another example of the FDA failing to detect a safety problem early enough.

Avandia helps sensitize the body to insulin; when it first came on the market, it was considered a breakthrough medication for blood-sugar control. More than 6 million people have taken the drug in the eight years it has been available.

New England Journal of Medicine May 21, 2007 (Free Full-Text Study)

San Francisco Chronicle May 21, 2007

Yahoo News May 21, 2007


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

If you've been feeling slightly better lately about the FDA's more recent decisions regarding drug safety, don't let your guard down for a second. It looks like Avandia could be another Vioxx in the making. The heart problems caused by Avandia (as well as its possible connection to liver failure) are dangers that consumer groups have been warning about for years, to no avail.

Now, it is bad enough that people are choosing drugs as solutions for their health challenges, but it borders on reprehensible irresponsibility when they do it for a disease that is virtually 100 percent curable with SIMPLE lifestyle changes.

Yes, you read correctly.

Eliminating type 2 diabetes, the type that affects over 95 percent of diabetics, is not rocket science. By using exercise as a drug, eating right for your nutritional type and eliminating sugars and processed foods it is the rare person who cannot annihilate diabetes.

So I find it particularly appalling when physicians foolishly advise people to take these absolutely unnecessary drugs. They are abrogating their responsibility as teachers, coaches and mentors to their patients.

Of course, even with the Vioxx debacle (bungled badly by a greedy Merck) still fresh in the minds of many folks, GlaxoSmithKline is disputing the results ... although the results of a similar review by the company itself uncovered a 30 percent climb in the incidence of heart attack, according to a report submitted to the FDA last year.

The FDA didn't act on this information, of course, until issuing the very recent "safety alert" -- just another example proving that the agency always looks out for its real constituents, the multi-national drugmaker cartel, at the expense of your health.

Bottom line?

Understand that oral drugs for type 2 diabetes are completely unnecessary if you're willing to make some simple lifestyle changes. If you are on them currently then you need to find a knowledgeable physician who can help you wean off of them.

They will help you eliminate sugars and processed foods from your daily diet, get plenty of exercise, and eat the foods your body burns best, according to its unique nutritional type. Once you achieve these lifestyle changes your diabetes will disappear and never return unless you slip back into old patterns.

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