Actos, Avandia May Cause Eye Disease

Two popular diabetes medications may increase the risk of developing an eye disease that can lead to blindness.A new study shows that two leading diabetes drugs may increase the risk for an eye disease that could lead to blindness, Bloomberg reports.

Patients taking Actos – the world's best-selling diabetes medication – and the GlaxoSmithKline-produced Avandia are 3-to-6 times more likely to develop diabetic macular edema, according to a new study of more than 100,000 participants that will soon be presented at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting.

Macular edema causes the eye's retina to thicken and swell, which could eventually lead to blindness, reported the news source. In their study abstract, researchers from the University of Nottingham wrote that high-risk patients – such as those who have poor control of their blood sugar or those with a previous history of macular edema – should avoid taking both Actos and Avandia.

In addition, the source reports the medications are also known to increase the chance of developing fluid in the lungs, a condition known as pulmonary edema, and swelling from fluid in the legs.

The news isn't the first to indicate the diabetes drugs may lead to health problems. A recent study found that Actos may raise the risk for bladder cancer in patients who take it for more than a year, while Avandia has been connected to an increased risk of heart attacks.