Coping with diabetes is a daily journey for millions of individuals and their families. If you have a family member or friend with type 1 diabetes, you may be familiar with the allergic reactions, irritation and rash that insulin injections can cause.
People with type 2 diabetes face different challenges, as doctors often prescribe them medications to help their cells use insulin more efficiently. Unfortunately, these patients and their families may be forced to deal with some serious side effects from these medications.
The Most Dangerous Diabetes Drug
Actos is the most popular drug prescribed to treat diabetes — and among the most dangerous.
Actos carries a black-box warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it can cause heart attacks. In 2011, Actos was shown to increase the risk of bladder cancer by 40 percent if a patient takes it for longer than a year.
Some other dangerous Actos side effects include macular edema, which is an eye disorder that causes blindness, and an increased risk of broken bones and liver failure.
Patients have sued the maker of Actos, after suffering complications from taking the drug, creating thousands of Actos Lawsuits.
The Dangers of Metformin
Metformin is usually one of the first drugs doctors give to people with type 2 diabetes because it lowers blood-sugar levels quickly. Sadly, it also can have some serious side effects.
Metformin can cause heart or liver failure, or chronic metabolic acidosis — which occurs when extra amounts of acid fill the body.
Safer Ways to Treat Diabetes
Diabetes is hard enough for patients and their families. No one needs a diabetes drug that can bring even more visits to the doctor or, in the worst-case scenario, a terminal illness.
The good news for families and diabetes patients is that there are safer alternatives. Doctors can decide whether any of the following might be a good option: non-sulfonylurea secretagogues, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors or sulfonylureas. These medications can lower blood sugar and carry less risk.
William Richards is a writer for Drugwatch.com. He uses his journalism background to investigate dangerous drugs and promote consumer awareness to better the community.