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Thiazolidinediones (TZD)

What are Thiazolidinediones (TZD)?

TZDs, also called thiazolidinediones or “glitazones,” are a type of pill for type 2 diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes is typically a progression of worsening insulin resistance, this type of medicine can also be used to treat insulin resistance. These TZDs includes pioglitazone (brand name: Actos) and rosiglitazone (brand name: Avandia). TZDs help keep your blood glucose levels on target by decreasing insulin resistance and making body tissues more sensitive to insulin’s effects. Then glucose can enter your cells where it is needed. TZDs also cut down on the amount of glucose made by your liver, which can be far too much in people with type 2 diabetes.

Several other types of diabetes pills are available. Each type works in a different way. Rarely you might take a TZD as your only diabetes medicine but most often you take it with another type of diabetes pill, such as metformin.

What side effects can TZD cause and what precautions should I take when taking TZD?

  • Weight gain

  • Swelling of the feet and ankles, which sometimes progresses to a small but serious increased risk of developing or worsening heart failure. An early sign of heart failure is swelling of the feet and ankles. People who take thiazolidinediones should monitor for swelling.

  • A small but serious increased risk of developing fluid retention at the back of the eyes (macular edema).

  • A possible risk of developing certain types of cancer (like bladder cancer).

  • An increased risk of bone fractures.

For complete patient information on TZD, please visit the website below:


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