Avandaryl Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 11/9/2022
Avandaryl Side Effects Center

What Is Avandaryl?

Avandaryl (rosiglitazone maleate and glimepiride) contains two oral antidiabetic drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes. Avandaryl is not for treating type 1 diabetes. It is not recommended for use with insulin. Avandaryl may increase your risk of serious heart problems, such as heart attack or stroke. Avandaryl is available only to certain people with type 2 diabetes that cannot be controlled with other diabetes medications. Avandaryl is available only under a special program called Avandia-Rosiglitazone Medicines Access Program. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the risks and benefits of taking Avandaryl.

What Are Side Effects of Avandaryl?

Avandaryl may cause serious side effects including:

  • hives,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat,
  • itching,
  • dizziness,
  • rapid heartbeats,
  • fever,
  • sore throat,
  • burning eyes,
  • skin pain,
  • red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling,
  • nausea,
  • upper stomach pain,
  • loss of appetite,
  • dark urine,
  • clay-colored stools,
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice),
  • shortness of breath,
  • unusual tiredness,
  • swelling,
  • rapid weight gain,
  • chest pain or pressure,
  • pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder,
  • nausea,
  • sweating,
  • pale skin,
  • lightheadedness,
  • cold hands and feet,
  • changes in your vision, and
  • sudden unusual pain in your hand, arm, or feet

Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

Common side effects of Avandaryl include:

Avandaryl can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • chills
  • cold sweat
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • shaking
  • rapid heart rate
  • weakness
  • headache
  • fainting
  • tingling of the hands/feet
  • hunger

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Avandaryl including:

  • bone fracture,
  • yellowing eyes or skin,
  • stomach or abdominal pain,
  • persistent nausea or vomiting,
  • dark urine,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat),
  • mental/mood changes, or
  • vision changes (e.g., color or night vision problems).

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, or passing out;
  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Dosage for Avandaryl

The recommended starting dose of Avandaryl is 4 mg/1 mg administered once daily with the first meal of the day.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Avandaryl?

Avandaryl may interact with delavirdine, gemfibrozil, other diabetes medications, antibiotics, antifungals, heart or blood pressure medications, pain or arthritis medicines, or seizure medicines. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) may occur if you also take: isoniazid, diuretics, steroids, niacin, phenothiazines, thyroid medicine, birth control pills and other hormones, and diet pills or medicines to treat asthma, colds or allergies. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may occur if you also take: exenatide, probenecid, aspirin or other salicylates, blood thinners, sulfa drugs, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or other oral diabetes medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Avandaryl During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Avandaryl is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Insulin treatment may be preferred. Use of this medication close to the expected delivery date may increase the risk of low blood sugar in your newborn. Consult your doctor and follow all instructions carefully. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk, and it may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended.

Additional Information

Our Avandaryl (rosiglitazone maleate and glimepiride) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


______________ is another term for type 2 diabetes. See Answer
Avandaryl Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, itching, dizziness, rapid heartbeats, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Stop using rosiglitazone and call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of liver damage: nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • shortness of breath (especially when lying down), unusual tiredness, swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet;
  • changes in your vision; or
  • sudden unusual pain in your hand, arm, or foot.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache; or
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sneezing, sore throat.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Type 2 Diabetes: Signs, Symptoms, Treatments See Slideshow
Avandaryl Professional Information


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

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 AVANDARYL

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].

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 patient-years) 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.

Glimepiride: Approximately 2,800 patients with type 2 diabetes have been treated with glimepiride in the controlled clinical trials. In these trials, approximately 1,700 patients were treated with glimepiride for at least 1 year.

Table 6 summarizes adverse events, other than hypoglycemia, that were reported in 11 pooled placebo-controlled trials, whether or not considered to be possibly or probably related to study medication. Treatment duration ranged from 13 weeks to 12 months. Terms that are reported represent those that occurred at an incidence of ≥ 5% among glimepiride-treated patients and more commonly than in patients who received placebo.

Table 6: Eleven Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials Ranging From 13 Weeks to 12 Months: Adverse Events (Excluding Hypoglycemia) Occurring in ≥ 5% of Glimepiride-Treated Patients and at a Greater Incidence Than With Placeboa

Preferred Term Glimepiride
N = 745 %
N = 294 %
Headache 8.2 7.8
Accidental injuryb 5.8 3.4
Flu syndrome 5.4 4.4
Nausea 5.0 3.4
Dizziness 5.0 2.4
a Glimepiride doses ranges from 1 to 16 mg administered daily.
b Insufficient information to determine whether any of the accidental injury events were associated with hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled monotherapy trial of 14 weeks duration, patients already on sulfonylurea therapy underwent a 3-week washout period then were randomized to glimepiride 1 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg or placebo. Patients randomized to glimepiride 4 mg or 8 mg underwent forced-titration from an initial dose of 1 mg to these final doses, as tolerated. The overall incidence of possible hypoglycemia (defined by the presence of at least one symptom that the investigator believed might be related to hypoglycemia; a concurrent glucose measurement was not required) was 4% for glimepiride 1 mg, 17% for glimepiride 4 mg, 16% for glimepiride 8 mg, and 0% for placebo. All of these events were self-treated.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled monotherapy trial of 22 weeks duration, patients received a starting dose of either 1 mg glimepiride or placebo daily. The dose of glimepiride was titrated to a target fasting plasma glucose of 90 to 150 mg/dL. Final daily doses of glimepiride were 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 8 mg. The overall incidence of possible hypoglycemia (as defined above for the 14-week trial) for glimepiride versus placebo was 19.7% versus 3.2%. All of these events were self-treated.

Weight Gain: Glimepiride, like all sulfonylureas, can cause weight gain.

Allergic Reactions: In clinical trials, allergic reactions, such as pruritus, erythema, urticaria, and morbilliform or maculopapular eruptions, occurred in less than 1% of glimepiride-treated patients. These may resolve despite continued treatment with glimepiride. There are postmarketing reports of more serious allergic reactions (e.g., dyspnea, hypotension, shock) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

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 patient-years 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.

Glimepiride: Serum Transaminase Levels: In 11 pooled, placebo-controlled trials of glimepiride, 1.9% of glimepiride-treated patients and 0.8% of placebo-treated patients developed serum ALT > 2X the upper limit of the reference range.

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.

Rosiglitazone: 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].


Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Avandaryl (Rosiglitazone Maleate and Glimepiride)

© Avandaryl Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Avandaryl Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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