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The diabetes drug Avandia, which last year was found to increase the risk of heart failure in older patients, is back in the spotlight. New research out of Switzerland suggests the drug may, in some patients, double the risk of bone fractures.
Avandia and another drug in the same class -- Actos -- are prescribed to aggressively control blood-sugar levels.
Las Vegas endocrinologist James Snyder says both drugs may increase the risk of osteoporosis and brittle bones. At the same time, some diabetics need the kind of potency the drugs offer.
"If that's the case, then they can be prescribed. But you need to be aware of the risks as well. So since patients with diabetes are at an increased risk of fractures at baseline, one would be driven to test bone density to make sure this patient doesn't have a low bone density to start," he said.
While osteoporosis mostly effects women, there's been evidence to suggest that men with diabetes are also at risk. And Dr. Snyder says bone-density screening is a good idea for both.
For more about the new study on Avandia, click here.
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