Type 2 Diabetes

Thiazolidinediones: A Type 2 Diabetes Medication

Thiazolidinediones is a category of medications used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. It works extremely well when used in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise. Some medications that fall in this category include Actos, Avandia and Avandamet.

How do they work?
Thiazolidinediones work by reducing the insulin resistance in the body. As a result, the body is in a better position to respond to the insulin. This helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. However, they do not help the body to produce more insulin. Also, this medication does not work as a replacement for insulin. It just works as a substitute for a healthy diet that is ideally recommended for diabetics, by the doctors.

Thiazolidinediones are oral medications. They may be used alone or along with other diabetes medications. For increased effectiveness, it is important that the medicines be taken every day. Thiazolidinediones may take up to three months to show full effect. Also, do not stop using them unless asked to do so by your health care provider.

Safety concerns
Time and again, there have been safety concerns with Thiazolidinediones. Thus, the medication must be taken under the vigilance of your health care provider.

* Rezulin, a Thiazolidinedione was known to cause serious liver problems. It is for this reason that the medication was later removed from the US market.
* Avandia, another medication in the same category has been closely linked with heart failure.  The Food and Drug Administration has warned against the risk of heart attack and chest pain on using this medicine.
* Some studies state that the use of this category of medications could lead to a heart attack.
* There are several side effects associated with these medicines. However, the common ones include headache, sinus infection, mild anemia and respiratory infections. High cholesterol, eye problems and weakened bones are some other side effects of using Thiazolidinediones.
* Some serious side effects of using Thiazolidinediones include weight gain, heart failure and fluid retention.

Precautions and contraindications

* Watch out for nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain, and vomiting when using Thiazolidinediones. Report to the doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms.
* Thiazolidinediones may not be the best medication for type 1 diabetics.
* Patients suffering from heart failure or liver disease should also try to avoid them.
* If you have eye or bone problems, then make sure that you consult your doctor before using any of these medicines.