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Researchers uncover basis of diabetes drug side effects

Category: Diabetes

A class of diabetes medications known as thiazolidinediones, or TZDs, may improve the HbA1C test scores of individuals with diabetes, but they are known to come with a long list of side effects. Now, a new study has helped to explain some of these issues and may contribute to the development of newer medications.

Researchers from UT Southwest Medical Center found that TZDs recruit fat stem cells to develop into adipocytes, which are responsible for producing new fat tissue. This increases individuals' risk of developing heart disease, as has been seen in many people taking the medications.

The team said that their findings provide valuable information on how TZDs work. Understanding this process better could help scientists develop new drugs that are as effective at lowering blood sugar levels without the attendant side effects.

"Although TZDs are effective at lowering blood glucose levels, side effects and concerns that TZDs increase cardiovascular risk have hastened the need to find alternative therapeutics," the researchers wrote in their report.

However, patients should continue taking any medications they have been prescribed until they talk with their doctor.

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