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Can glitazones increase heart failure risk?

Researchers claim that two drugs used to treat people with Type 2 diabetes increase a person’s risk of heart failure.

The researchers from the University of East Anglia said today that taking rosiglitazone (Avandia) or pioglitazone (Actos) can double the risk of heart failure.

Matt Hunt, Science Information Manager at Diabetes UK, said: "We welcome Dr Loke’s study, which suggests an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people taking glitazones as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. However, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) currently states that glitazones are a safe and effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

“Drug risks are evaluated frequently and neither the MHRA or NICE are calling for the withdrawal of glitazones. Obviously new evidence should be considered by the MHRA on an ongoing basis. 

“Glitazones are not presently recommended for people who have had, or who are at high risk of having, heart failure.

"Both the MHRA and the European Medicines Agency say that people should not stop taking glitazones and if concerned they should consult their doctor.

"Diabetes UK strongly recommends that people with Type 2 diabetes eat a well balanced diet and incorporate physical activity into their daily life as part of good diabetes control."

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