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Clin Ther. 2000 Oct;22(10):1151-68; discussion 1149-50.

Rosiglitazone in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a critical review.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18766, USA.

Erratum in

  • Clin Ther. 2001 Feb;23(2):309.



This article reviews the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, adverse effects, drug interactions, and dosing of rosiglitazone, the second thiazolidinedione approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Background information for this article was obtained from searches of MEDLINE , Iowa Drug Information Service, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, as well as from data on file with the manufacturer of rosiglitazone.


Rosiglitazone is indicated for use alone or in combination with metformin or sulfonylureas for the maintenance of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Rather than stimulation of insulin secretion, rosiglitazone's primary mechanism of action is sensitization of tissues to insulin through activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and increasing expression of the glucose transporter-4 receptor. Rosiglitazone is administered orally, is absorbed almost completely, and is 99.8% bound to plasma proteins. The majority of a dose is metabolized by the cytochrome P-450 2C8 isozyme, with the inactive metabolites excreted primarily in the urine. Four to 8 mg/d of rosiglitazone given alone or in combination with metformin, sulfonylureas, or insulin has produced reductions in baseline fasting plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin in studies of up to 1 year's duration. Common adverse effects (occurring in > or = 5.0% of patients) include upper respiratory tract infection, injury, and headache. Edema, weight gain, and increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations have also been observed. It is recommended that rosiglitazone be avoided in patients with alanine aminotransferase levels >2.5 times normal. No clinically relevant drug interactions have been documented with rosiglitazone to date. The initial starting daily dose of rosiglitazone is 4 mg in single or divided doses, without regard to meals, to a maximum of 8 mg.


No direct comparative trials of the efficacy and safety of rosiglitazone versus those of the other available thiazolidinedione, pioglitazone, have yet been performed. The role of rosiglitazone as a single agent and in combination with other antidiabetic agents remains to be clarified as additional comparative and long-term data become available.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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