Actos (pioglitazone) and Avanti (Rosiglitazone) are both medications prescribed for the treatment of type II diabetes. The medications work by altering the way the body reacts to insulin. As with all drugs there are risks associated with these medications. Actos is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer and both Avanti and Actos are associated with an increased risk of heart failure.
Actos and its generic pioglitazone are in a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones. This medication is prescribed to treat patients with type II diabetes. It works with the body to help it use insulin better. This medication may not be right for people who have or have had congestive heart failure or other problems. Anyone born with a heart defect should not use this medication as it increases the risk of heart attacks. Actos has also been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer when taken longer than one year.
Avanti and its generic rosiglitazone are prescribed to treat patients with type II diabetes. It works by helping the body use insulin more effectively. Avanti increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and is not recommended for patients who already have heart problems. It should only be used if the diabetes cannot be controlled with other diabetic medications. Tell your doctor if you have or have had congestive heart failure, heart attack or strokes before taking Avanti.
Actos and Avanti Side Effects
Both medications have known side effects. These side effects include:
- Swelling of the ankles and water retention, especially in older people
- Weight gain
- Muscle weakness
These medications also may increase the risk of pregnancy in women with polycystic ovary disease (PCOS). To avoid an unwanted pregnancy, premenopausal women need to discuss birth control options with their doctor when taking these medications. The FDA requires anyone taking these medications to have routine liver test because of a slight risk of liver damage associated with these diabetic medications. If any changes in liver function are detected, the patient must stop taking the medicine.
Recent studies have shown Avanti to increase the risk of heart failure more than other diabetic drugs, including Actos. In 2007, some studies linked Avanti to increased risk of heart failure and death in patients taking the medication. Later testing showed Avanti was a bigger risk than Actos in the elderly and it increased the risk of not only heart failure but also stroke and death.
Even though earlier studies showed Avanti to be riskier than Actos for those with heart problems, more recent studies has found that one medication in not safer than the other. American regulators considered taking Avanti off the market after the FDA said that a warning about the risk of heart failure should be added to the product label and prescription information. If you have question about either medication, your doctor or pharmacists can be a source of information and advise you on benefits and risks.
Talk with your doctor about Actos and Avanti if other diabetes medications are not working for you. There are benefits and many people take the medication safely and it helps them regulate their blood sugar levels. The important thing to remember is to discuss all your past and current health conditions with your doctor before deciding on either medication. Patients can only take Actos safely for one year without increasing their risk of bladder cancer. Avanti has been shown to increase the occurrence of heart attack and stroke resulting in death. Weigh your options carefully to allow your doctor to help you make an informed decision.
ABC New Health: Avanti Raises Heart Failure Risk More Than Actos
WebMD: Avanti Riskier than Actos