A recent article in the New York Times indicates that popular diabetes drugs such as Avandia and Actos have been linked to blindness in some patients. The article highlights the dangers of thiazolidinediones, a group of diabetes medications that have spawned many pharmaceutical liability lawsuits arising out of the devastating side effects these drugs can produce.
Blindness and vision damage associated with thiazolidinediones were documented in a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study found that individuals who were taking thiazolidinediones experienced an increased likelihood of developing macular edema, a condition in which the central part of a diabetes patient's retina swells. Doctors recommend that individuals taking thiazolidinediones get their vision checked regularly as macular edema can result in vision damage and blindness.
Physicians note that thiazolidinediones such as Actos and Avandia have many other severe side effects. Actos, which is also known as pioglitazone, has been linked to bladder cancer. Actos has also been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular-related deaths such as heart attacks, heart failure and heart disease.
Avandia, which is also called rosiglitazone, has been linked to congestive heart failure. Many other patients taking Avandia have experienced blurred vision, fever, swelling and difficulty breathing, among other things.
Source: The New York Times, "Diabetes Drugs Carry Vision Risks," Anahad O'Connor, June 11, 2012