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Please note: The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only. As of 2012, Simmons Hanly Conroy is no longer accepting cases involving Avandia.


The diabetes drug Avandia has recently been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and many people have taken this drug, unaware of its potential deadly risks.


One of the most promising medications to be developed in recent years was Avandia, a drug from GlaxoSmithKline, frequently prescribed to treat diabetes, one of the most prevalent medical issues facing the United States today.

Despite the early praise Avandia received, a research paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that patients taking Avandia had a 42 percent greater chance of a heart attack . The results, compiled from four separate clinical trials of Avandia, lasting at least one year each, confirm earlier studies suggesting increased cardiological risks from taking Avandia.

In contrast, a separate paper also published by JAMA concluded Actos, a rival diabetes treatment from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, appeared to reduce patients’ risk of heart attacks. The studies did not compare Avandia with Actos.

In December 2005, GlaxoSmithKline and FDA alerted healthcare professionals to new information regarding the potential of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects of the popular diabetes type 2 treating drug Avandia. The FDA alert stated:

“FDA informed healthcare professionals of a potential safety issue related to Avandia (rosiglitazone). An on-going analysis of safety data for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus using Avandia showed differing rates of ischemic cardiovascular events including heart attack or heart-related adverse events, some fatal, relative to other drugs used to treat diabetes. The clinical studies reviewed to date vary with respect to their populations, treatment regimens, and length of follow-up. Based on these data, the risk of ischemic cardiovascular events due to Avandia remain unclear. Prescribers should continue to carefully make individualized treatment decisions for patients with diabetes mellitus.”

You can read the complete 2007 Safety Summary, including a link to the FDA News Release and Prescribing Information regarding this issue at: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2007/safety07.htm#Avandia

The attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy have experience in litigating complex medical matters. We have taken a leadership role in standing up for individuals who have been injured by dangerous or defective drugs and devices, and over the last few years have represented thousands of pharmaceutical clients and recovered verdicts and settlements totaling more than $260 million.*


Avandia can cause serious side effects such as pulmonary edema, heart attack and heart failure. Avandia is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Recent studies indicate Avandia increases the risk of heart attack by 30 to 40 percent. In fact, Avandia’s side effects recently prompted the FDA to add its more severe warning label to Avandia packaging.

Avandia side effects can be mild or in some cases, can even cause death. The way your body reacts to Avandia depends on a variety of factors – your overall health and medical history, for instance.

Mild Avandia side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Sinusitis

Some of the more dangerous potential Avandia side effects include:

  • Numbness in arm or leg
  • Dizziness
  • Fluid retention
  • Swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Increase in weight

If you are taking Avandia and experiencing any of these more serious side effects, please contact your physician immediately.

* Please note that recovery results vary per client. The recovery amounts in each case reflect the specific facts of that case. Further, recovery amounts in past cases are not a guarantee of future results.


The following is a timeline of events in the discovery of dangerous Avandia side effects:

May 1999 – GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia is approved for market by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is called one of the most promising new medications for type 2 diabetes, a prevalent medical issue in the U.S.

December 2005 – New information surfaces regarding worsening macular edema in patients taking Avandia.1

May 2007 – GlaxoSmithKline and FDA alerted healthcare professionals to new information regarding the potential of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects of the popular diabetes mellitus type 2 treating drug Avandia.2

July 2007 – Despite mounting evidence regarding Avandia heart risks and despite FDA drug safety warnings, 2 FDA advisory panels recommended that the Avandia remain on the market.3

September 2007 – The Journal of the American Medical Association finds after four separate clinical trials, one each year, patients taking Avandia run a 42 percent greater chance of having a heart attack, confirming earlier studies.4

November 2007 – According to Times Newspapers published reports, The Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that Actos, a rival diabetes treatment from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, appeared to reduce patients’ risk of heart attacks (no comparison with Avandia was done).5

February 2010 – The Senate Finance Committee released a report questioning whether the FDA adequately informed the public of the increased risk of heart attacks or whether they ignored safety concerns coming from not only medical professionals but their own drug safety officials.

Find out more about the FDA’s watch on Avandia that may eventually lead to this prescription drug’s recall.


FDA MedWatch for Avandia


MEDICAL ALERT UPDATE: FDA Increases Warning Label on Avandia
MEDICAL ALERT: Diabetes Drug Avandia Linked to Heart Attacks


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