EUSTIS, Fla. – It might offer some advantages for you, but some doctors said there are other medications that will treat diabetes without the possible side affects of Avandia, and they recommend patients consider switching and going off Avandia right away.
Last Monday afternoon, the government decided that it didn't have enough information to pull Avandia off shelves, but it did recommend that the drug come with a ctrict warning after one study found that people who take Avandia have a much higher risk for heart attack, WESH 2 News reported.
Dr. Floyd Dillard has been seeing patients at his Eustis family practice for more than 16 years, but rarely has the phone rung like it has in the last few days with patient questions about the medication Avandia.
"I'm getting a lot of calls because of it. And in actual what we do if we have a patient who calls or comes in for their lab work we generally scan the chart to see if they are on Avandia and offer to take them off the Avandia. If we have a patient who calls about it we offer to take them off of the Avandia and offer to switch them to another medication that does not have the side affects associated with it," Dillard said.
Dillard said he's always been conservative when prescribing any kind of medication, and now that questions have popped up around Avandia, and whether it might cause an increase in heart attacks, Dillard is advising his patients to take no chances — even though the FDA has elected to allow Avandia to remain on the shelves.
"I would think probably in my total practice 3 to 5 percent of my patients were on Avandia. As it stands right now possibly 2 percent are still on Avandia. And when the time comes… I had a patient call just today and we switched them away from Avandia," Dillard said.
The problems isn't only with Avandia. There are combination therapies that include Avandia in them.
Dillard said he's taking his patients off those regiments as well.
Experts said the best thing to do if you're taking Avandia is to call your doctor.