Regulators in the U.S. have decided not to ban the diabetes drug Avandia, although evidence suggests it could double the risk of heart failure.
Avandia, which has the generic name Rosiglitazone, is given to people with type 2 diabetes to help them reduce their blood sugar levels. It is prescribed to millions of diabetics worldwide, and generates a massive income for the manufacturers, Glaxo Smith Kline.
The drug helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the sensitivity of liver, fat and muscle cells to insulin, which enables them to remove sugar from the bloodstream more effectively.
However, since its release ten years ago there have been ongoing concerns about its link to heart attacks and heart failure, which have led to calls for it to be withdrawn. Although Avandia has always been prescribed along with a warning for people with heart disease, many people now feel this is simply not enough.
European Move to Ban Avandia
The European Medicines Agency has recently reviewed the safety data relating to Avandia and has decided that the benefits to diabetes sufferers no longer outweigh the risk of developing heart disease. For this reason they have decided Avandia should be withdrawn from the market.
Patients who are currently taking Avandia are warned not to stop taking the drug without first consulting their doctor, but to make an appointment to see their doctor as soon as possible to look at alternative treatments.
U.S. Response to Avandia Risks
Contrary to the European Medicines Agency, U.S. regulators have decided to continue the prescription of Avandia, but to introduce tougher restrictions on its use, such as not prescribing it to patients that are seen to be at risk of heart failure.
According to clinical pharmacologist Dr. Yoon Loke, of the University of East Anglia, this would not be sufficient to control the risks posed by Avandia. His analysis of the drug indicated that it doubled the risk of heart failure, whether the patients were previously considered at a high risk of heart failure or not.
He stated that “Even if you restricted it to patients who don’t have heart failure, you will still get patients who newly develop heart failure as a result of Avandia.”
Natural Alternative to Avandia
When type 2 diabetes is in its early stages it can often be controlled with lifestyle changes such as taking regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and losing weight. However, as the disease is progressive there may come a time when additional treatment is necessary.
Avandia is often prescribed for patients where lifestyle changes are not enough to control their blood sugar. But there is a completely natural alternative that will regulate blood sugar without the distressing side effects of blood sugar lowering drugs.
Sugar balance is a unique formula that can be used as the primary glucose management system for type 2 diabetics, eliminating the need for insulin or other medications. It can help you to retain blood sugar control and minimize the risk of kidney, heart and eye damage that is associated with erratic blood sugar levels.
Sugar balance has four main components:
- Galega Officinalis or French Lilac which contains galegine. This has been used to treat diabetes for hundreds of years.
- Bitter Melon or Marah, which is an Asian vegetable with anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties, is another well established natural treatment for diabetes.
- Huckleberry and bilberry extract which have been show to lower blood sugar levels.
- Chromium Picolinate and Vanadium Ascorbate which improve sugar metabolism reducing the need for insulin and helping to lower body weight.