"Well, I took Avandia for my diabetes," Dennis says. "I quit taking it because I saw that it had heart warnings. Shortly after I quit taking it, I wound up with some blockages [in my arteries] and I had to have two stents put in. Then, about nine months later, they found another major blockage. The doctor did a test and told me that I needed surgery. So I had two bypasses done."
Dennis says that before this time, he had never had any problems with his heart. He is not certain when the heart problems started, possibly while he was still taking Avandia, and says he was only diagnosed by accident, after he switched to a new doctor who wanted him to undergo a full work-up.
"A year after the heart surgery, I went back and had to have more surgery because my sternum was not healing from the bypass surgery," Dennis says. "During the sternum surgery, they put in three straps and 38 screws—I have to live with those from now on.
Of course, nobody said anything about my heart problems being drug-related, but now we're finding out that drugs can cause problems. I was taking the Avandia, but after they [the US Food and Drug Administration] came out with the news about heart failure, I didn't want to take it any more. The drug companies are getting rich but I'm getting nothing from the drugs. They don't seem to do any good. I was on Avandia for a long while, now I'm on other drugs for the rest of my life—Aspirin and Plavix. I'm spending a fortune on medicine.
It's been one thing after another when it comes to this. I've missed a lot of work because of these surgeries."
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Avandia is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.