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Manufacturer: GlaxoSmithKline

What is Avandamet?

It (Metformin and Rosiglitazone) is a medicine used to treat people with type 2 diabetes that works by helping you control your blood sugar levels. It is actually a combination of two oral antidiabetic drugs, Metformin and Rosiglitazone. Metformin is commonly known as Glucophage, and Rosiglitazone is commonly known as Avandia.

What is the drug used for?

Avandamet is used in addition to a healthy diet and exercise to help lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent), but not type 1 diabetes. It is used when all other previously taken oral diabetes medicines have not lowered blood sugar enough, or have been deemed inappropriate.

How does it work?

Avandamet combines two glucose-lowering medicines, Rosiglitazone and Metformin, together in a single tablet. The two medicines work together to help you achieve better blood sugar control. Rosiglitazone helps your body use its own insulin better by making your cells more sensitive to insulin. The cells are then better able to detect the signals insulin sends out, meaning they will absorb sugar more easily. Metformin helps to lower the amount of sugar made by the liver. Together, these medications keep the amount of sugar in your blood at a target level.

When and how to use this medication

Avandamet is typically taken in divided doses by mouth and with food. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose until your blood sugar levels are better controlled. The medicine can start to work after up to one or two weeks after you begin taking it, and it may take up to two to three months to see the best results. Remember to test your blood sugar levels regularly as your doctor tells you.


The typical starting dose of this medication may depend on your previous treatment with Metformin and Rosiglitazone.

It is typically given in divided doses with food, and your doctor may ask you to gradually increase your dose. This helps to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects, which are mainly due to Metformin, and lets your doctor see what the minimum effective dose is for you.

All patients should start the Rosiglitazone component with the lowest recommended dose. Additional increases of Rosiglitazone should be accompanied by careful monitoring for any negative side effects related to fluid retention.

When switching to Avandamet from treatment with Metformin, the typical starting dose is a 4 mg total daily dose of Rosiglitazone, along with the dose of Metformin you are currently taking.

When switching to Avandamet from treatment with Rosiglitazone, the typical starting dose is about 1000 mg daily of Metformin, along with the dose of Rosiglitazone you are currently taking.

The maximum total daily dose recommended is 8 mg Rosiglitazone (4 mg taken twice daily) and 2000 mg Metformin (1000 mg taken twice daily).

In the case of a missed dose, take one dose as soon as you remember. Then, take the next dose at the usual time. Never take extra doses in one day to make up for a missed dose the day before. If you miss the dose for the whole day just take your dose as usual the next day. Do not try to make it up by taking extra tablets.

Warnings and precautions

You should not use this drug if you have any allergies to either Metformin or Rosiglitazone, or if you have:

If you are scheduled to have an x-ray or any type of scan that uses an injectable dye, your doctor will likely ask you to stop taking Avandamet for the time being.

When taking Metformin, you may develop a serious condition called lactic acidosis. If you have liver or kidney problems, have congestive heart failure, have an infection, suffer from dehydration, or if you drink large amounts of alcohol, you may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis.

Tell your doctor if you have:

  • Heart disease, or a previous history of heart attack or stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Previous eye problems from diabetes

Fractures in the bones of the upper arm, hand, or foot may be more likely to occur in women than men while taking any medicine that contains Rosiglitazone.

It has been shown that some women using this medication have begun having menstrual periods, even after a long time of not having their period. Since you may be able to get pregnant if your periods begin again, you may want to talk with your doctor about the potential need for birth control.

It is unknown whether Metformin and Rosiglitazone can be passed through breast milk, or if it can harm a nursing baby. Therefore, you should not breastfeed while taking Avandamet, and remember to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medicine.

Side effects

Some of the side effects that can occur may not need medical attention. As you and your body adjust to the medication these unwanted effects may go away. Your doctor may be able to tell you about ways that can reduce or prevent some of these undesired effects. If side effects continue and are bothersome let your doctor or healthcare practitioner know immediately.

Common negative effects include

  • Pain or body aches
  • Cough, sneezing, or sore throat
  • Congested ears
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of voice
  • Pain, or tenderness surrounding the eyes and cheekbones
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Back pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Difficulty moving
  • Pain in joints

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur

Severe negative effects

  • Pale skin
  • Troubled breathing with exertion
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

Talk to your doctor about any side effect that troubles you or does not go away. These are not all the possible negative effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

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