Avandia: The FDA says the popular diabetes drug shouldn't be pulled

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A not so convincing decision was handed down Wednesday from a Food and Drug Administration panel concerning the safety of a popular diabetes drug called Avandia.

A Cleveland Clinic study was the first to show it might cause heart problems in some but after the panel's recommendation many patients are left wondering what they should do next.

The question is Avandia safe to leave on the market?

12 said no and 21 said yes. Wednesday's FDA vote was one of the most split decisions they've ever had.

In 2007 Dr. Steven Nissen blew the whistle on Avandia and leading up to the vote was standing by his study.

Dr. Nissan's study claims Avandia, which is the worlds leading prescription for treating type-2 diabetes, can also increase your chances of having a heart attack.

At center of the debate one of the known side effects of Avandia is heart failure, which is when the heart becomes less efficient over time but they're willing to put up with this side effect because of the positives it brings to treating diabetes.

Dr. Armand Kirkorian is an endocrinologist who works at University Hospital. We asked him what would he tell someone taking Avandia.

"What I would tell my patient is that the jury is still out and I would probably lay down the facts and I believe it comes down to personal decision, said Dr. Armand Kirkorian, Endocrinologist.

The company that makes Avandia, Glaxo Smith Kline, is finally doing a comprehensive study on the drug that will take about five years. Some doctors say the study should have been done before the drug was released.

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