Diabetes Drugs Carry Vision Risks

On June 11, 2012, the New York Times released an article concerning a recent study published by The Archives of Internal Medicine indicating that a certain type of drug used for treatment of Type 2 diabetes may lead to an increased risk for vision problems, including blindness. This class of diabetes drugs, known as thiazolidinediones, includes medications such as Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Actos (pioglitazone). Avandia (rosiglitazone) is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, and Actos (pioglitazone) is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

Although thiazolidinediones may be effective in protecting patients from diabetes complications, the recent study from The Archives of Internal Medicine advises that these drugs may lead to an increased risk of macular edema. Macular edema is a condition where the central part of a patient’s retina becomes swollen. This swelling in turn can lead to blindness.

According to the study results, “The analysis for pioglitazone and rosiglitazone individually showed that each drug was separately associated with a significantly increased risk of DME [diabetic macular edema] at 1 year…” Furthermore, for those patients included in the study, the risk of developing diabetic macular edema “increased continuously over the 10-year duration of the study.”

Doctors advise that patients taking thiazolidinediones, such as Actos or Avandia, should have regular vision check-ups.

See the full New York Times article at:

See the study from the Archives of Internal Medicine at:


Free Case Review

Get a Free Consultation. No Fees Unless We Win. We’re Here 24/7

News & Media