Montgomery, AL: Joyce A. says she did not know that Avandia could cause so many health problems, at least she did not know until her doctor took her off Avandia and put her on another drug. Unfortunately, this happened after she was hospitalized two times with severe chest pains. Although she has started to recover since being taken off Avandia, she says she still experiences some pain.
"I was having severe chest pains and I was hospitalized and told at a later time that taking Avandia could cause the severe pain I was having," Joyce says. "I thought that I was having a heart attack, but they did a stress test and said that the pain was not a heart attack. But it was something strenuous under the heart."
Joyce says she was put on Avandia in 2002 or 2003 and was only taken off it after she was hospitalized in 2007. "The pain just got worse and worse through the years," Joyce says. "I’m still having some small chest pains, but it’s not as serious as it was. Sometimes, I still get little ‘catches’ under my heart that haven’t completely gone away. I’m trying to take it easy, watch my weight and watch what I eat. I also had swelling in my ankles and feet. I still get that sometimes, too. But that’s not as bad as it was.
"Walking distances would cause my chest to tighten up a little bit. But, I could just be lying in bed and my chest would tighten up. Not just walking makes it tight. I was scared to do strenuous stuff because of my chest tightening up. After the last time I was in the hospital, I saw my new doctor and told him I was taking Avandia. He said, "We’re taking you off that today.’ And since then I’ve been somewhat better but I still have some pains. It hasn’t even been a good two months since I stopped taking it.
"I’m really scared of Avandia now. It’s scary when it’s messing with your heart. I think Avandia is a big risk to your health and a big risk to your heart."
Fortunately for Joyce, she did not suffer any heart attacks while taking Avandia. Hopefully, she will make a full recovery and stop experiencing chest pains and swelling in her ankles. Other patients have allegedly suffered life-threatening heart problems while taking Avandia. Some are filing lawsuits against the maker of Avandia, alleging GlaxoSmithKline knew about the problems associated with Avandia but did not properly warn patients about those risks.