This blog tracks updates to the Blood Sugar 101 Web site.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Yet Another Huge Study Proves Longterm Actos/Avandia Use Causes Fractures

Page Changed: Actos and Avandia: Dangerous Diabetes Drugs

Added this text to the long list of studies showing Actos and Avandia damage bone in ways that long term lead to a significantly higher number of fractures:

Analysis of results in 19,070 patients in the huge TRIAD study confirm this finding.

Thiazolidinedione Use and the Longitudinal Risk of Fractures in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Zeina A. Habib et al. J. Clin Endo & Metab.Vol. 95, No. 2 592-600. doi:10.1210/jc.2009-1385

The real scandal here is the way that American Diabetes Association, as usual devoted to the interests of its sponsors, the drug companies, not those of the people in whose name it collects money continues to urge patients to ignore this data and continue on taking these damaging drugs. David Kendall, the ADA's Chief Medical and Scientific officer was quoted saying the following:
This is certainly not the first of these larger studies where I would say this unanticipated event was noted... Depending on the study, it appears that people who take TZDs for longer periods of time have about a one-and-a-half to twofold increase in their risk of fractures..

These are very effective medicines for some patients. We have to understand there are potential risks. Certainly anyone already considered to be at fracture risk -- a woman with osteoporosis -- or someone who suffers from instability or frequent falls, you should think carefully about the use of the medications. On the other hand, fractures in total [in Herman's study] were generally rare. Far more people didn't have fractures than did have.
By the same logic, we should be giving Thalidomide to pregnant women, because more of them did not have babies with flipper limbs than did. Or we should encourage smoking because not all smokers get lung cancer.

Given the weight of evidence against Actos and Avandia, and the poor evidence that they do much for patients beyond making them permanently fatter, the ADA's continued advice to patients "Those with diabetes on TZD drugs should not stop these medicines without talking to their doctor," is indefensible.

Remember, this is the same organization that continues to warn people that the long term effects of the low carb diet are "unknown" and hence it should be avoided, though every bit of evidence from all studies shows it to be safe and much more effective for people with Type diabetes than either Actos or Avandia.

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