Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Very Fine Line

Sorry about the lapse in posts. Harry Potter. I know. Don't judge me.

Sometimes with pharmaceuticals, there is a very fine line between treating a condition and causing a problem. This is especially true for treatments on the cellular level. Recently, Avandia and Actos, drug treatments for type II diabetes, have faced an impending ban by the FDA. They both belong to a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones. Thiazolidinediones act on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors or PPARs, which, once bound to a ligand such as a thiazolidinedione or a fatty acid, dimerize with another receptor and act as a transcription factor on the DNA. Read the Wikipedia article if you want the mechanics of how exactly they treat diabetes cause i'm not going to summarize it for you. No sir.

These two drugs, when taken over a 26 month period, cause a 1 in 50 chance of heart failure. That, my friends, is not good. They seem to cause fluid retention. With 7 million people taking the US, you can guess that this spells bad news. It seems that the question must be asked: With billions of dollars being funneled into the development, testing, and marketing of a drug, how did something like this just slip by? Okay, big pharma, lets see you smooth this one over.

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