Thiazolidinediones: What Are They and What Do They Do For Type 2 Diabetes?

Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Actos (pioglitazone), known as the thiazolidinediones, are oral drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes when an improved diet and exercise regime have not shown any improvement in blood sugar levels.

What Thiazolidinediones Do

The thiazolidinediones Avandia and Actos work by making the body's cells more sensitive to insulin so reducing the harmful build-up of sugar in your blood.

Unlike most other diabetic medication, thiazolidinediones can be taken once a day at any convenient time. It can be also be taken with, or without food and has not been associated with nausea when taken alone.

The beneficial effects of thiazolidinediones usually appear within 2 weeks, although the full benefit may take several weeks to appear.

The side effects of thiazolidinediones may include:

  • Headache
  • Mild swelling of the legs and ankles
  • Increased cholesterol
  • Anemia

There have been some reports of liver problems associated with thiazolidinediones, so your doctor should recommend blood tests every two months as a precaution.

Photo: Pexels

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