What is Avandamet?

Avandamet is a combination of two oral diabetes drugs namely Metformin and Rosiglitazone to aid in regulating blood glucose levels. Metformin belongs to a family of drugs by the name biguanides and it has several uses. But its main purpose is to treat type II diabetes; it’s the drug of choice to many individuals with the condition, it has been in existence for over a decade and has proved to be very effective.

Metformin works in the following ways:

  1. It increases the sensitivity of your muscle cells to insulin; patients with diabetes type II are insulin resistant. Hence, the cells are able to remove glucose from the blood as expected.
  2. It minimizes the amount of sugar released by the liver. (The liver is an important organ that stores and produces sugar depending on one’s needs. After taking a meal, glucose is stored and released when the body needs it, more so at night or between meals). Thus, when one takes Metformin, the amount produced at night and between meals is reduced.
  3. It delays absorption of glucose from your intestines into the bloodstream after food consumption; hence food spike after a meal in blood sugar is greatly minimized.

On the other hand, Rosiglitazone falls in a category of medicines known as thiazolidinediones. Rosiglitazone works by lowering insulin resistance which is the main problem to many type 2 diabetic patients. So, the body use insulin well and glucose levels are controlled effectively. Rosiglitazone also preserves the function of beta cells –they release insulin hormone and are located in the pancreas.

Drug Avandamet is available in the form of a tablet and comes in the following strength:

  • 2mg Rosiglitazone/ 500 mg Metformin
  • 2 mg Rosiglitazone / 1,000 mg Metformin
  • 4mg Rosiglitazone / 500 mg Metformin
  • 4 mg Rosiglitazone / 1,000 mg Metformin

It’s a prescription drug. It’s especially prescribed to overweight or obese patients whose glucose levels are still high after being on maximum tolerated dosage of Metformin alone. Additionally, Avandamet medication is used on people whose blood glucose levels have not reached the targeted range, even after a patient has been on a combination of Metformin plus sulphonylurea. This is a clear indication that there isn’t any combination that is best for all the patients; a particular combination therapy can be effective in one patient but ineffective to another.

Avandamet dosage

The medication comes with a leaflet on medication guide, it’s crucial to read the information regularly while on the therapy. For any queries, you can refer to the medical care practitioner or the pharmacist

Avandamet dosage is individualized according to one’s needs and the response to the initial dose. The drug is taken twice daily with food or as directed by the physician. The first dose given is 2 mg Rosiglitazone and 500 mg of Metformin, taken either once or twice daily. A physician may increase the dose to get the desired effects; however, the maximum dose is Rosiglitazone 8 mg and 2000 mg of Metformin which is divided into two doses.

Follow the Avandamet prescribing information given by the medical care provider. Don’t take more of it, more often and for a longer time than ordered. Before taking the drug, counter check just to be sure it’s the right dose as advised. If it’s not clear on Avandamet dose prescribed, contact the doctor for confirmation

Please take note that Avandamet can’t be effective alone, one must follow a healthy diet and engage in physical activity to control diabetes and aid the drug to work well. Before and after exercise, remember to check sugar levels and you are at risk of low blood sugar, thus, have a ready snack to take if such a situation arises

Chronic stress, illness, strenuous physical exercise and medical emergency can affect the sugar levels, so the dose may need to be adjusted. Nevertheless, don’t alter it without being directed by the health care practitioner.

Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy blood cells and nervous system. It’s derived from food consumed and the body absorbs it appropriately. Having diabetes, one is prone to B12 deficiency. If on vitamin B12 supplementation, take the quantity prescribed.

Quit alcohol consumption as it can interact with Avandamet tablets and result in severe side effects

After use, store the tablets out of children’s reach and away from heat and light.

Side effects

Avandamet can trigger a severe condition known as lactic acidosis and it’s characterized by:

  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Numb or cold feeling in the arms and legs
  • Trouble breathing
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Uneven heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling weak or tired

It’s a severe condition and medical attention should be sought immediately. People who are at risk of lactic acidosis have kidney or liver disease, congestive heart failure, severe infection, are dehydrated or consume alcohol in large quantity. Thus, to make sure the drug is safe for you, inform the physician of the just mentioned risk factors.

To minimize the occurrence of severe unwanted effects, a blood test may be carried out to monitor the liver function in the course of the treatment. Also, during the therapy, the doctor will closely monitor the patient for any symptoms of liver problems such as vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite and yellowing of eyes or skin (jaundice).

Apart from severe side effects just explained, the medication can result in mild negative effects which clear after one become used to the drug, in most cases, the side effects go away after some few days or weeks and they include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain

In Conclusion

The old or seniors are more prone to serious Avandamet undesired effects, as a result of age-related changes in kidney function. If they have to take Avandamet, it’s prescribed in low doses and the patient closely monitored.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.