Cancer and Heart Attacks May Be the Deadly Repercussions of Diabetes Drug

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Diabetic drugs cause cancer

In a chain of warnings that the Unites States Food and Drug Administration has been releasing since May 18, the latest addition is that certain diabetes drugs may be cancer causing. The first press release that was made on May 18 suggested restrictions in drugs containing rosiglitazone. This formula is used in diabetic drugs such as Avandia, Avandaryl and Avandamet. According to the release, the restrictions imposed were based on the find that the drug triggered risk of heart attacks. The new restrictions brought into effect a rule that any diabetic or doctor who prescribed the drug need to sign up in the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Survey. Although the drug was stated to be withdrawn from the market, the government allowed usage under REMS.

Diabetic drugs activate nuclear receptors

The latest find has added the risk of cancer to the tarnished reputation of the drug. According the scientists, the byproducts of the drugs in the body can lead to hazardous genetic mutation resulting in cancer. These offshoots of drug metabolism cause the nuclear receptors to become active.

This is akin to a foundation for development of cancer. The drug was originally promoted for being instrumental in enhancing metabolism of fats and glucose, which is the reason why the drug became popular in the first place. However, in the light of new finds, the future of the drug seems to be in jeopardy. The drug now has bladder cancer added to its list of side effects, which include liver failure and heart attacks.

The revelation follows scare of heart attacks and liver damage

The revelation about the rosiglitazone causing bladder cancer came after the US government placed regulations on the usage of drugs through REMS. On June 15, a second press release was made regarding the same drug, which said that the drug could also be the cause for bladder cancer. However, the drugs using this composition are yet to be withdrawn from the shelves. The results were based on a study that was conducted on 200,000 diabetics who were on these medications. The results of the find were shocking as it was concluded that use of these diabetic drugs caused a 40% increase in the risk of bladder cancer. The participants in the survey were studies for their past decade of medical history and usage of medication.

This however, is not the first time that drugs for diabetes have come under the scanner for increased cancer risk. In 2000, Rezulin, which was widely used as a prescription drug for diabetes was taken off shelves due to indications of high levels of toxicity to the liver.