7 Things to Know if You've Received a Diabetes Diagnosis

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Be aware of the risks of diabetes medications, like Lantus and Avandia.

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Recent years have brought some disturbing findings about risks that may be associated with certain diabetes medications. Some research indicates that Avandia (rosiglitazone) might cause cardiovascular problems, which has prompted some experts to demand that it be pulled from the market, although the drug is still available today. Also, in June 2009, studies published by the journal Diabetologia raised concern about a possible link between Lantus (insulin glargine) and a heightened risk of cancer.

Qualms about these drugs come from different types of research. The research on Lantus and cancer is based on observational data, which is not always reliable. The Avandia studies come from meta-analyses and clinical trials, which are considered more reliable than observational data. But none of the concerns mean that diabetics should stop taking these medicines without first talking to their doctors. Stopping a drug without a doctor's OK can cause harm that outweighs the potential risks of the medications themselves, experts say.

[Read: 6 Things You Should Know About Avandia.]

Next: Ask family members to take a self assessment.


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