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metformin Images

Generic Name: metformin

Brand Names: Metformin Hydrochloride ER, Glumetza, Riomet, Glucophage XR, Glucophage, Fortamet

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[UPDATED 02/04/2011] FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that information on the cardiovascular risks (including heart attack) of rosiglitazone has been added to the physician labeling and patient Medication Guide. This information was first announced by FDA on September 23, 2010 as part of new restrictions for prescribing and use of this drug.

Rosiglitazone is sold as a single-ingredient product under the brand name Avandia. Rosiglitazone is also sold as a combination product under the brand name Avandamet (contains rosiglitazone and metformin) and under the brand name Avandaryl (contains rosiglitazone and glimepiride).

In addition to describing the cardiovascular risks, the drug labels have been revised to state that rosiglitazone and rosiglitazone-containing medicines should only be used:

  • In patients already being treated with these medicines
  • In patients whose blood sugar cannot be controlled with other anti-diabetic medicines and who, after consulting with their healthcare professional, do not wish to use pioglitazone-containing medicines (Actos, Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR, or Duetact).
For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

[Posted 09/23/2010] ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that it will significantly restrict the use of the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia) to patients with Type 2 diabetes who cannot control their diabetes on other medications. These new restrictions are in response to data that suggest an elevated risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, in patients treated with rosiglitazone

BACKGROUND: Rosiglitazone is in a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones, or TZDs. It is intended to be used in conjunction with diet and exercise to improve glucose (blood sugar) control in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Rosiglitazone also is available in combination with other diabetes medications, metformin under the brand name Avandamet or glimepiride under the brand name Avandaryl.

RECOMMENDATION: FDA will require that GSK develop a restricted access program for rosiglitazone under a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, or REMS. Under the REMS, rosiglitazone will be available to new patients only if they are unable to achieve glucose control on other medications and are unable to take pioglitazone (Actos), the only other drug in this class. Current users of rosiglitazone who are benefiting from the drug will be able to continue using the medication if they choose to do so.

Doctors will have to attest to and document their patients' eligibility; patients will have to review statements describing the cardiovascular safety concerns associated with this drug and acknowledge they understand the risks. The agency anticipates that the REMS will limit use of rosiglitazone significantly. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

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