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Avandia still available in Bahraini pharmacies

, a major medication for diabetes, has been raising concerns about its safety in Europe and the US. Concerns are focused on several side effects caused by such as increasing the risks for developing cardiac disorders. However, is still available in . In a recent research, carried out by Tribune, it was found that can be bout from several major pharmacies in Bahrain even without a prescription.

Yet, various hospitals noted during the research that they were aware of the risks caused by Avandia and they have stopped prescribing the medication. A source at the Bahrain Specialist Hospital said “We have stopped prescribing Avandia to our patients, for about a year now. When patients who had been using it earlier ask us, we tell them about the risks involved,” On the other hand, pharmacies in Bahrain are still providing one of generic forms of Avandia, Rosiglitazone, without prescriptions and without referring to its danger. Avandia include one of Thizolidinediones derivatives, which are a group of compounds that reduces the resistance of insulin in tissues and reduces cholesterol levels.

The European Medical Association’s (EMA) commission on Human Medicines decided last July that Avandia is to be withdrawn from the market. There is a scheduled meeting on this month to discuss the safety profile of the drug. After a previous research, carried out in 2007, it was found that Avandia “increased heart attack risks, cardiovascular disease, stroke and death by 30-40% versus other diabetic medicines.” The Public Relations Director at the Bahraini Health Ministry, Dr. Adel Abdulla, said that his ministry is monitoring the situation of Avandia.  He said “It is well-known to us that Avandia is causing all these serious adverse effects and it is under close watch by many health authorities including the US FDA and the European EMA. Locally, the use of Avandia by public and private hospitals is restricted until further notice from the Ministry of Health,”

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