Higher Fracture Risk for Diabetes Drugs Such as Pioglitazone and Rosiglitazone, Says Study

Insulin-sensitizing thiazolidinediones, such as pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, appear to be associated with an increased risk of fractures, according to a recent report. These two drugs account for about 21% of oral diabetes medications prescribed in the United States, and 5% of those prescribed in Europe.

The class of drugs is a relatively new and effective class of oral antidiabetic agents that have gained wide use in clinical conditions characterized by insulin resistance, the study authors note. Other recent studies have suggested that these therapies may have unfavorable effects on bone, resulting in slower bone formation and faster bone loss.

According to the study, individuals who were currently taking rosiglitazone and pioglitazone had approximately 2x or 3x the likelihood of hip and other non-spine fractures than those who did not take these drugs. The odds for fracture were increased among patients who took the drugs for approximately 12 to 18 months and the risk was highest for those with two or more years of therapy.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, April 28, 2008

Lawsuit Charges Glaxo Failed to Warn of Diabetes Drug Risk

The widow and son of a Texas man who was taking a GlaxoSmithKline Plc diabetes drug at the time of his fatal heart attack has sued the drugmaker, claiming that it failed to warn of the drug’s heart risks, according to court papers.

The claim involves rosiglitazone, which is sold under the brand names Avandia and Advandamet. Investors have been bracing for a flood of litigation against Glaxo after a widely publicized medical report last month suggested that Avandia increases the risk of heart attack and death.