Friday, 6 July 2007

Tablets for Diabetes -Pharmacist Corner

I didn't write anything since i last wrote about this pharmacist corner. This morning as i walked to work, i remembered what my mum said. She said drugs should be interesting, as there's always new drugs coming  out. At least, i am not in a static field. Then, i realised that it's true. We have different drugs that hit the headlines at different times, just like celebrities. New drugs for new indication , or old drugs with new indication, or new drugs with new side effects etc... I have to say to keep abreast of all these does require some brain cells. Unfortunately, i have a memory of  a gold fish. I forget easily, unless, it's a major hot hot headlines.
I just thought i'll share the latest one which i remember.  Rosiglitazone.
It's a drug that treat Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is where body does not make enough insulin or where the insulin does not work as well as it should. It's relatively new, compared to metformin and sulphonylurea.
Rosiglitazone work on a group of receptor called PPAR- Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. Once these are activated, they will regulate the making of a genes that is involved in the control of glucose production, transport and utilization.
This medication received lots of attention from media and pharma press because of it's increased risk of heart attack on patients who take it and increased death due to heart problems.
 Research from the meta-analysis in the NEJM revealed a statistically significant 43% increase in heart attack and a non-significant 64% increase in the risk of cardiovascular death in patients taking rosiglitazone when compared to controls (placebo or other hypoglycaemics).
The other side effect (1 in 100 people) is heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, getting tired easily after light physical activity such as walking, waking up short of breath at night and swollen ankles or feet.
This medication also carry increased risk of bone fracture, especially in women.
When this medication came out, it was hot and everyone wanted to be on it. With time and research, they found more side effects of this drug.
Now, the manufacturer,  is facing a lawsuit in America claiming that it misled investors and withheld drug safety information.
I hope this doesn't scare you away from takine any tablets for your pain or headache. I just want to keep you inform of what's going on in the drug world.

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