Two drugs prescribed by doctors to lower blood sugar and treat diabetes -- pioglitazone and rosiglitazone -- increase the risk of bone fractures. Patients who use these drugs for a year or longer are more than twice as likely as nonusers to fracture a bone. Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, also known by the trade names Actos and Avandia, respectively, belong to a drug class called thiazolidinediones. The use of these drugs is linked to bone fractures of the hip and wrist, and the elevated risk is seen in both men and women, independent of age.
   My comments: I am nervous about using new drugs in my practice since we often find out the full range of the dangers or side effects of these medications after they are introduced to the public and hundreds of thousands of people start taking them. For someone who has type 2 diabetes, all attempts should be made to use diet, exercise, herbs and natural supplements before resorting to drugs. I much prefer using the older diabetes drugs such as metformin, rather than the new ones such as Avandia, that have not been proven to be safe. For more information, see and

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