Oral Diabetes Drugs Increase Risk of Heart Attack

Oral Diabetes Drugs Increase Risk of Heart Attack

Julian Whitaker, MD

The leading cause of death in people with diabetes is cardiovascular disease. But physicians, with their myopic focus on lowering blood sugar, routinely prescribe drugs that actually increase this risk.

Since 1984, sulfonylureas (a common class of diabetes medications that includes glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride) have carried a black box label warning that they increase risk of death from heart attack. In the early 2000s, we began hearing about the adverse cardiovascular effects of thiazolidinediones (Avandia and Actos). A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 linked Avandia with a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 60 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death, and since then, the allegations against this medication have steadily increased.

European regulators pulled Avandia off the market in September, citing safety issues concerning heart attacks, strokes, and death. The FDA, in predictable fashion, put the interests of the drug companies above the safety of the American people and announced it will “significantly restrict the use of the diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) to patients with Type 2 diabetes who cannot control their diabetes on other medications.” So, if the other diabetes drugs haven’t wiped you out, you start on Avandia? What nonsense!

When the fox is guarding the henhouse, you have no choice but to look out for yourself. If your doctor wants you to continue taking these horrifically dangerous drugs, do yourself a favor and look for a new physician. The only oral diabetes drug I would ever consider prescribing is metformin (Glucophage), and I only order it as a temporary measure until weight loss, diet, exercise, and supplements, such as vanadyl sulfate, berberine, cinnamon, and chromium, have kicked in. Once patients are over the hump, metformin goes in the trash.

Getting a handle on blood sugar is important, but why do it with drugs that can kill you?


  • If you are currently taking oral diabetes drugs, work with your physician to replace them with safer alternatives such as vanadyl sulfate 100 mg daily in divided doses, berberine 500 mg 2-3 times daily, chromium 200–400 mcg per day, and cinnamon 1–3 g of an aqueous cinnamon extract daily. Look for these supplements in health food stores, online, or order by calling (800) 810-6655.
  • To schedule an appointment at the Whitaker Wellness Institute to review your medications and develop a program of safe, effective therapies, call (866) 944-8253.

Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healingclick here.

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