Skip to main content

The following adverse reactions are discussed in more detail elsewhere in the labeling:

  • Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Mortality for Sulfonylurea Drugs [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Cardiac Failure With Rosiglitazone [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hypoglycemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hepatic Effects [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Macular Edema [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hematologic Effects [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hemolytic Anemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Ovul ati on [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trial Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Patients With Inadequate Glycemic Control on Diet and Exercise

Table 3 summarizes adverse events occurring at a frequency of ≥ 5% in any treatment group in the 28-week, double-blind trial of AVANDARYL in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus inadequately controlled on diet and exercise. Patients in this trial were started on AVANDARYL 4 mg/1 mg, rosiglitazone 4 mg, or glimepiride 1 mg. Doses could be increased at 4-week intervals to reach a maximum total daily dose of either 4 mg/4 mg or 8 mg/4 mg for AVANDARYL, 8 mg for rosiglitazone monotherapy, or 4 mg for glimepiride monotherapy.

Table 3: Adverse Events ( ≥ 5% in any Treatment Group) Reported by Patients With Inadequate Glycemic Control on Diet and Exercise in a 28-Week, Double-blind Clinical Trial of AVANDARIYL

Preferred Term Glimepiride Monotherapy
N = 222
Rosiglitazone Monotherapy
N = 230
AVANDARYL 4 mg/4 mg
N = 224
AVANDARYL 8 mg/4 mg
N = 218
Headache 2.3 6.1 3.1 6.0
Nasopharyngitis 3.6 5.2 4.0 4.6
Hypertension 3.6 5.2 3.1 2.3
Hypoglycemiaa 4.1 0.4 3.6 5.5
a As documented by symptoms and a fingerstick blood glucose measurement of < 50 mg/dL.

Hypoglycemia was reported to be generally mild to moderate in intensity and none of the reported events of hypoglycemia resulted in withdrawal from the trial. Hypoglycemia requiring parenteral treatment (i.e., intravenous glucose or glucagon injection) was observed in 3 (0.7%) patients treated with AVANDARYL.

Edema was reported by 3.2% of patients on AVANDARYL, 3.0% on rosiglitazone alone, and 2.3% on glimepiride alone.

Congestive heart failure was observed in 1 (0.2%) patient treated with AVANDARYL and in 1 (0.4%) patient treated with rosiglitazone monotherapy.

Patients Treated With Rosiglitazone Added to Sulfonylurea Monotherapy and Other Experience With Rosiglitazone or Glimepiride

Trials utilizing rosiglitazone in combination with a sulfonylurea provide support for the use of AVANDARYL. Adverse event data from these trials, in addition to adverse events reported with the use of rosiglitazone and glimepiride therapy, are presented below.

Rosiglitazone: The most common adverse experiences with rosiglitazone monotherapy ( ≥ 5%) were upper respiratory tract infection, injury, and headache. Overall, the types of adverse experiences reported when rosiglitazone was added to a sulfonylurea were similar to those during monotherapy with rosiglitazone. In controlled combination therapy trials with sulfonylureas, mild to moderate hypoglycemic symptoms, which appear to be dose-related, were reported. Few patients were withdrawn for hypoglycemia ( < 1%) and few episodes of hypoglycemia were considered to be severe ( < 1%).

Events of anemia and edema tended to be reported more frequently at higher doses, and were generally mild to moderate in severity and usually did not require discontinuation of treatment with rosiglitazone.

Edema was reported by 4.8% of patients receiving rosiglitazone compared with 1.3% on placebo, and 1.0% on sulfonylurea monotherapy. The reporting rate of edema was higher for rosiglitazone 8 mg added to a sulfonylurea (12.4%) compared with other combinations, with the exception of insulin. Anemia was reported by 1.9% of patients receiving rosiglitazone compared with 0.7% on placebo, 0.6% on sulfonylurea monotherapy, and 2.3% on rosiglitazone in combination with a sulfonylurea. Overall, the types of adverse experiences reported when rosiglitazone was added to a sulfonylurea were similar to those during monotherapy with rosiglitazone.

In 26-week, double-blind, fixed-dose trials, edema was reported with higher frequency in the rosiglitazone plus insulin combination trials (insulin, 5.4%; and rosiglitazone in combination with insulin, 14.7%). Reports of new onset or exacerbation of congestive heart failure occurred at rates of 1% for insulin alone, and 2% (4 mg) and 3% (8 mg) for insulin in combination with rosiglitazone [see BOXED WARNING, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Glimepiride: Hypoglycemia: The incidence of hypoglycemia with glimepiride, as documented by blood glucose values < 60 mg/dL, ranged from 0.9% to 1.7% in 2 large, wellcontrolled, 1-year trials. In patients treated with glimepiride in US placebo-controlled trials (N = 746), adverse events, other than hypoglycemia, considered to be possibly or probably related to trial drug that occurred in more than 1% of patients included dizziness (1.7%), asthenia (1.6%), headache (1.5%), and nausea (1.1%).

Gastrointestinal Reactions: Vomiting, gastrointestinal pain, and diarrhea have been reported, but the incidence in placebo-controlled trials was less than 1%. In rare cases, there may be an elevation of liver enzyme levels. In isolated instances, impairment of liver function (e.g., with cholestasis and jaundice), as well as hepatitis, which may also lead to liver failure have been reported with sulfonylureas, including glimepiride.

Dermatologic Reactions: Allergic skin reactions, e.g., pruritus, erythema, urticaria, and morbilliform or maculopapular eruptions, occur in less than 1% of treated patients. These may be transient and may disappear despite continued use of glimepiride. If those hypersensitivity reactions persist or worsen, the drug should be discontinued. Porphyria cutanea tarda, photosensitivity reactions, and allergic vasculitis have been reported with sulfonylureas, including glimepiride.

Hematologic Reactions: Leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], aplastic anemia, and pancytopenia have been reported with sulfonylureas, including glimepiride.

Metabolic Reactions: Hepatic porphyria reactions and disulfiram-like reactions have been reported with sulfonylureas, including glimepiride. Cases of hyponatremia have been reported with glimepiride and all other sulfonylureas, most often in patients who are on other medications or have medical conditions known to cause hyponatremia or increase release of antidiuretic hormone. The syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) secretion has been reported with certain other sulfonylureas, including glimepiride, and it has been suggested that certain sulfonylureas may augment the peripheral (antidiuretic) action of ADH and/or increase release of ADH.

Other Reactions: Changes in accommodation and/or blurred vision may occur with the use of glimepiride. This is thought to be due to changes in blood glucose, and may be more pronounced when treatment is initiated. This condition is also seen in untreated diabetic patients, and may actually be reduced by treatment. In placebo-controlled trials of glimepiride, the incidence of blurred vision was placebo, 0.7%, and glimepiride, 0.4%.

Human Ophthalmology Data: Ophthalmic examinations were carried out in more than 500 subjects during long-term trials of glimepiride using the methodology of Taylor and West and Laties et al. No significant differences were seen between glimepiride and glyburide in the number of subjects with clinically important changes in visual acuity, intraocular tension, or in any of the 5 lens-related variables examined. Ophthalmic examinations were carried out during long-term trials using the method of Chylack et al. No significant or clinically meaningful differences were seen between glimepiride and glipizide with respect to cataract progression by subjective LOCS II grading and objective image analysis systems, visual acuity, intraocular pressure, and general ophthalmic examination [see Nonclinical Toxicology].

Long-term Trial of Rosiglitazone as Monotherapy

A 4- to 6-year trial (ADOPT) compared the use of rosiglitazone (n = 1,456), glyburide (n = 1,441), and metformin (n = 1,454) as monotherapy in patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who were not previously treated with antidiabetic medication. Table 4 presents adverse reactions without regard to causality; rates are expressed per 100 patient-years (PY) exposure to account for the differences in exposure to trial medication across the 3 treatment groups.

In ADOPT, fractures were reported in a greater number of women treated with rosiglitazone (9.3%, 2.7/100 patient-years) compared with glyburide (3.5%, 1.3/100 patientyears) or metformin (5.1%, 1.5/100 patient-years). The majority of the fractures in the women who received rosiglitazone were reported in the upper arm, hand, and foot. [See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS] The observed incidence of fractures for male patients was similar among the 3 treatment groups.

Table 4: On-therapy Adverse Events [ ≥ 5 Events/100 Patient-Years (PY)] in any Treatment Group Reported in a 4- to 6-Year Clinical Trial of Rosiglitazone as Monotherapy (ADOPT)

Preferred Term Rosiglitazone
N = 1,456
PY = 4,954
N = 1,441
PY = 4,244
N = 1,454
PY = 4,906
Nasopharyngitis 6.3 6.9 6.6
Back pain 5.1 4.9 5.3
Arthralgia 5.0 4.8 4.2
Hypertension 4.4 6.0 6.1
Upper respiratory tract infection 4.3 5.0 4.7
Hypoglycemia 2.9 13.0 3.4
Diarrhea 2.5 3.2 6.8

Long-term Trial of Rosiglitazone as Combination Therapy (RECORD): RECORD (Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiac Outcomes and Regulation of Glycemia in Diabetes) was a multicenter, randomized, open-label, non-inferiority trial in subjects with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled on maximum doses of metformin or sulfonylurea (glyburide, gliclazide, or glimepiride) to compare the time to reach the combined cardiovascular endpoint of cardiovascular death or cardiovascular hospitalization between patients randomized to the addition of rosiglitazone versus metformin or sulfonylurea. The trial included patients who have failed metformin or sulfonylurea monotherapy; those who failed metformin (n = 2,222) were randomized to receive either add-on rosiglitazone (n = 1,117) or add-on sulfonylurea (n = 1,105), and those who failed sulfonylurea (n = 2,225) were randomized to receive either add-on rosiglitazone (n = 1,103) or add-on metformin (n = 1,122). Patients were treated to target HbA1c ≤ 7% throughout the trial.

The mean age of patients in this trial was 58 years, 52% were male, and the mean duration of follow-up was 5.5 years. Rosiglitazone demonstrated non-inferiority to active control for the primary endpoint of cardiovascular hospitalization or cardiovascular death (HR 0.99, 95% CI: 0.85-1.16). There were no significant differences between groups for secondary endpoints with the exception of congestive heart failure (see Table 5). The incidence of congestive heart failure was significantly greater among patients randomized to rosiglitazone.

Table 5: Cardiovascular (CV) Outcomes for the RECORD Trial

Primary Endpoint Rosiglitazone
N = 2,220
Active Control
N = 2,227
Hazard Ratio 95% CI
CV death or CV hospitalization 321 323 0.99 0.85-1.16
Secondary Endpoint
All-cause death 136 157 0.86 0.68-1.08
CV death 60 71 0.84 0.59-1.18
Myocardial infarction 64 56 1.14 0.80-1.63
Stroke 46 63 0.72 0.49-1.06
CV death, myocardial infarction, or stroke 154 165 0.93 0.74-1.15
Heart failure 61 29 2.10 1.35-3.27

There was an increased incidence of bone fracture for subjects randomized to rosiglitazone in addition to metformin or sulfonylurea compared with those randomized to metformin plus sulfonylurea (8.3% versus 5.3%) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. The majority of fractures were reported in the upper limbs and distal lower limbs. The risk of fracture appeared to be higher in females relative to control (11.5% versus 6.3%), than in males relative to control (5.3% versus 4.3%). Additional data are necessary to determine whether there is an increased risk of fracture in males after a longer period of follow-up.

Laboratory Abnormalities


Hematologic: Decreases in mean hemoglobin and hematocrit occurred in a dose-related fashion in adult patients treated with rosiglitazone (mean decreases in individual trials as much as 1.0 g/dL hemoglobin and as much as 3.3% hematocrit). The changes occurred primarily during the first 3 months following initiation of therapy with rosiglitazone or following a dose increase in rosiglitazone. The time course and magnitude of decreases were similar in patients treated with a combination of rosiglitazone and other hypoglycemic agents or monotherapy with rosiglitazone. White blood cell counts also decreased slightly in adult patients treated with rosiglitazone. Decreases in hematologic parameters may be related to increased plasma volume observed with treatment with rosiglitazone.

Lipids: Changes in serum lipids have been observed following treatment with rosiglitazone in adults [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Serum Transaminase Levels: In pre-approval clinical trials in 4,598 patients treated with rosiglitazone encompassing approximately 3,600 patient-years of exposure, there was no evidence of drug-induced hepatotoxicity.

In pre-approval controlled trials, 0.2% of patients treated with rosiglitazone had reversible elevations in ALT > 3X the upper limit of normal compared with 0.2% on placebo and 0.5% on active comparators. The ALT elevations in patients treated with rosiglitazone were reversible. Hyperbilirubinemia was found in 0.3% of patients treated with rosiglitazone compared with 0.9% treated with placebo and 1% in patients treated with active comparators. In pre-approval clinical trials, there were no cases of idiosyncratic drug reactions leading to hepatic failure. [See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

In the 4- to 6-year ADOPT trial, patients treated with rosiglitazone (4,954 patient-years exposure), glyburide (4,244 patient-years exposure), or metformin (4,906 patient-years exposure) as monotherapy had the same rate of ALT increase to > 3X upper limit of normal (0.3 per 100 patient-years exposure).

In the RECORD trial, patients randomized to rosiglitazone in addition to metformin or sulfonylurea (10,849 patient-years exposure) and to metformin plus sulfonylurea (10,209 patientyears exposure) had a rate of ALT increase to ≥ 3X upper limit of normal of approximately 0.2 and 0.3 per 100 patient-years exposure, respectively.

Postmarketing Experience

In addition to adverse reactions reported from clinical trials, the events described below have been identified during post-approval use of AVANDARYL or its individual components. Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or to always establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

In patients receiving thiazolidinedione therapy, serious adverse events with or without a fatal outcome, potentially related to volume expansion (e.g., congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, and pleural effusions) have been reported [see BOXED WARNING, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

There are postmarketing reports with rosiglitazone of hepatitis, hepatic enzyme elevations to 3 or more times the upper limit of normal, and hepatic failure with and without fatal outcome, although causality has not been established.

There are postmarketing reports with rosiglitazone of rash, pruritus, urticaria, angioedema, anaphylactic reaction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome [see CONTRAINDICATIONS], and new onset or worsening diabetic macular edema with decreased visual acuity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].