Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Drug 'Avandia' May Prevent Diabetes

Study Shows Drug Cut Diabetes Risk by 60%
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 15, 2006 -- A widely prescribed drug used to treat type 2 diabetes is also highly effective for preventing the disease, researchers reported today at a meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

People at high risk for diabetes who took the drug Avandia reduced their risk of developing the disease by 60% in the three-year trial conducted in 21 countries.

The risk reduction was double that reported with any other drug used for diabetes prevention, and on par with reductions that have been reported in studies examining lifestyle changes alone.

The potentially landmark findings could usher in a new era of diabetes management similar to that already seen with heart disease, where drug therapies prescribed to prevent the disease become as important as those used to treat it, experts said.

"If we can prevent diabetes, we may also be able to prevent the serious cardiovascular, eye, kidney, and other health consequences of diabetes," researcher Hertzel Gerstein, MD, tells WebMD

Millions at Risk

About 20 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, and millions more are considered to be at high risk for developing the disease. As many as 40% of adults in the U.S. between the ages of 40 and 74 -- or 41 million people -- have prediabetes, according to government estimates, meaning that their ability to process blood sugars, or glucose, is compromised.

The newly reported trial was designed to find out if treatment with Avandia substantially reduced the chances of developing diabetes.

It included 5,269 people treated at 191 clinics around the world. The average age of the study participants was 55 and all had evidence of prediabetes with either impaired fasting glucose (blood sugar) or impaired glucose tolerance. Having prediabetes puts you at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Roughly half were treated with 8 milligrams of Avandia daily and half received placebo. Both groups were also given advice on how to lower their diabetes risk with diet and exercise, but study participants were not required to make lifestyle changes.

After an average three years of treatment, 306 people taking Avandia had developed diabetes or died from any cause; that compares with 686 of the placebo-treated participants. And treatment with the diabetes drug was found to increase the likelihood that participants would revert from prediabetes to a normal blood sugar status by 70% to 80% compared with placebo.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
jennie brand miller

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner