Why thiazolidinediones side effects make doctors think twice before adding them as an alternative diabetes oral treatment, although it is approved from FDA since 1999?
What is more, in many countries they are settling out the market because of side effects.
It it true that, when diabetes is not controlled properly with other oral drugs , sometimes doctors add thiazolidinediones to the drug treatment.
But thiazolidinediones side effects are more harmful from their benefit, found from many studies. Thus, the doctors don't dare to add them as an alternatives, or before doing so they control patient's liver, kidney function or for other disorders.
Peter Colman, director of Royal Melbourne Hospital's Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology has lead a study on thiazolidinediones side effects on the diabetic patients taking them."Careful patient selection and follow-up and realistic treatment goals are necessary," he writes in this week's issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.
Thiazolidinediones are a group of diabetes drugs that interfere in the sensitivity of the PPAR - peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor. These receptors are found in the target tissues, such liver, muscles, and fat tissue.
Mostly, their effects appears in the fat and muscle tissue.In this level they make possible that this tissue could be more sensitive to insulin, and this way insulin can do its work.
But, besides this “good effect”, they give a lot of problems to the body.
Thiazolidinediones cause fluid retention ( i.e. They keep excessive water in the body) causing weight gain due to the general swelling they cause, especially leg swelling.
But the weight gain is not as problematic as the worsen of heart failure or the lung problems due to their side effects. Also a slight anemia from diluition is settled after thiazolidinediones use.
If thiazolidinediones are using together with other hypoglicemic oral drugs, it can be lead to hypoglycemia. But if they are using alone, this thiazolidines side effects are not shown.
You must understand, that these drugs interfere to your liver functions, causing liver injuries and diseases. That's why, if you are using thiazolidinediones, your doctor will ask you for usual liver function monitoring.
So, although your sugar blood levels can be lowered, you have high risk of devastating side effects. Your health, your pocket are at risk. So why don't you try another better and safer alternative?
Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist