Fighting fire with fire

Side effects of a drug can be subdued by using another

Published: Saturday 30 November 2013

A DATA analysis has shown thatÔÇêthe side effects of rosiglitazone, a drug to control blood glucose in patients with type-2 diabetes, get subdued when the drug is administered in combination with exanatide.

One of the side effects of rosiglitazone is that it causes heart attack. The use of these two drugs in combination is found to have reduced the rate of heart attacks in rosiglitazone users.

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, used the US Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting SystemÔÇê(FAERS) to identify drugs that would mitigate the side effects of rosiglitazone for the study which was published online on October 9 in Science Translational Medicine.

Ravi Iyengar, director, Systems Biology Center at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, says that they now plan to work on other combinations. “We want to collaborate with physicians to develop rigorous clinical trials to see if the observations from FAERS are truly valid. Since all of the FAERS data are from humans, this type of analysis that identifies drug combinations that work in humans probably has a higher chance of predicting safer therapies,” he says.

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