New advice on rosiglitazone safety

New guidance on the safety of rosiglitazone has been issued by the MHRA in light of growing evidence of cardiovascular risk.

Healthcare professionals should ‘closely observe the current contraindications, warnings and precautions and monitoring requirements, and consider alternative treatments where appropriate’, according to the agency.

It follows new evidence that raises concerns about an increased risk of cardiovascular adverse effects of rosiglitazone.

GPs are reminded that rosiglitazone must not be used in patients with current or previous heart failure and in patients with acute coronary syndrome. It is not recommended in patients with ischaemic heart disease or peripheral arterial disease.

In addition, rosiglitazone and insulin should only be used together in exceptional cases and under close supervision, the MHRA said.

A European review of the drug was launched by the European Committee on Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) on 9 July and should report by September.

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