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Diabetes drug withdrawn over heart safety fears

The medication has been taken off the market after European Medicines Agency ruled that the risks outweigh the benefits.

A WIDELY-USED drug given to diabetes-sufferers has been withdrawn over fears for heart safety.

Doctors have been advised by the Irish Medicines Board not to issue new or repeat prescriptions of the drug, rosiglitazone.

About 3,000 people have been using rosiglitazone in Ireland, which is also commonly referred to by brand names such as Avandia, Avandamet and Avaglim.

Patients have been encouraged to contact their GPs for review following the announcement.

The drug was licensed a decade ago despite on-going concerns linking it to heart problems.

Rosiglitazone was prescribed for diabetes-sufferers who did not respond to other available medication, but was not recommended for patients with heart failure or a history of heart failure.

Today the IMB said that the decision had been taken as recommended by the European Medicines Agency, which has declared that the benefits no longer outweighed the risks

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