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Home Industry News GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drugs in vision-deterioration scare

GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drugs in vision-deterioration scare

23rd December 2005

Two type-2 diabetes drugs could cause or exaggerate vision problems, according to Canada’s health authority.

Health Canada said that Avandia and Avandamet, both manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), were found to cause or worsen macular edema ? a build up of fluid in the eye. The disease can occur in individuals with poor control of their blood sugar levels.

Users of Avandia and Avandamet also reported weight gain and other forms of fluid retention. The company does not recommend that individuals stop using the drugs, but that they should considering visiting an eye specialist.

GSK, in a letter to health professionals posted on Health Canada’s website, said: “In some cases, the visual impairment was reported to have improved or resolved following discontinuation of Avandia or Avandamet.”

It added that, in future, the drugs “should be used with caution in patients with a pre-existing diagnosis of macular edema or diabetic retinopathy”.

Type-2 diabetes is usually treated through a combination of medication and changes in diet. It is distinct from type-1 diabetes, where individuals have to inject regular doses of insulin to maintain blood sugar levels.

track© Adfero Ltd

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