American Diabetes Association responds to FDA's warning on safety of statins


ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Diabetes Association said it is urging people with diabetes who currently are taking a statin to continue their medication unless instructed otherwise by their healthcare provider.

ADA's statement followed an announcement from the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday, in which the agency said safety changes would be put into effect for the labeling of several cholesterol-lowering drugs. The FDA said Tuesday that the drugs may cause increases in blood sugar and other symptoms: "Increases in blood-sugar levels (hyperglycemia) have been reported with statin use," the agency said. "The FDA is also aware of studies showing that patients being treated with statins may have a small increased risk of increased blood sugar levels and of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes mellitus."

"Every drug has its risks and benefits, and with statins the risk is small and can be managed," said Vivian Fonseca, president of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association. "On the other hand, people with diabetes, can receive great benefit from taking these medications. They've been proven to prevent heart attacks and prolong life."

The American Diabetes Association noted that it "continues to support the FDA in its role as the regulatory agency that makes decisions regarding drug safety and efficacy."

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