FDA okays new drug for diabetes treatment

FDA approves key new drug for treating diabetes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first generic version of Actos, also known as pioglitazone hydrochloride, for type 2 diabetes treatment in adults. The generic tablets will be available in 15 milligram, 30 mg and 45 mg tablets and will be available with prescription within a few months.

Along with diet and exercise, these generic tablets of Actos have been shown to improve blood glucose control in adults with type 2 diabetes.  It has been observed that controlling blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes may prevent or reduce the long-term health complications of diabetes. Thus an affordable and effective type 2 diabetes treatment is good news for management of this chronic condition and potentially life-threatening condition.

However, these tablets do have side effects, say scientists. Commonly reported side effects include sinus infection, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. In addition, there have been reports of worsening heart failure and a suggested link to increased risk for bladder cancer. More monitoring is needed to confirm these links.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8.3 percent of the American population have diabetes, totaling about 26 million individuals. As a result, diabetes and its associated complications represent the largest cause of death in the U.S.  Diabetes is a disease when a patient is unable to regulate their blood glucose levels adequately. In the case of type 2 diabetes, patients do not make or use insulin well, which prevents their cells from uptaking glucose from the blood. As a result, blood glucose levels become too high, which has detrimental health effects.

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