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Change in script rules for rosiglitazone

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European drug regulators have declared that the benefits of the diabetes drugs rosiglitazone and pioglitazone outweigh any potential cardiovascular risks, despite a number of recent studies.

The European Medicines Agency, which has been reviewing the drugs, has concluded that their benefits continue to outweigh their risks in the approved indications.

But the agency also said prescribing information should be updated to include a warning that, in patients with ischaemic heart disease, rosiglitazone should only be used after careful evaluation of each patient’s individual risk.

Additionally, the combination of rosiglitazone and insulin should only be used in exceptional cases and under close supervision.

Tracy Kelly, a care advisor at Diabetes UK, said diabetes nurses should carefully screen and monitor patients taking the drugs. ‘It needs to be considered but the risks are so small in the grand scheme of things,’ she added.

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