Use of 'Avandia', a drug taken by millions of diabetic patients, for a longer period may be dangerous because of its adverse effect on bones, suggests a new study.
According to the study, conducted on mice, the drug may increase the chances of osteoporosis - a disease of bone that leads to an increased risk of fracture.
Earlier this year, Avandia and four other diabetes drugs from the same class were given a "black box" warning by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The warning advises users of an increased risk of heart failure while on the drug. The black box message is the FDA's strongest label warning.
The scientists in the latest study suggest that long-term Avandia (rosiglitazone) usage in the treatment of type II diabetes may cause osteoporosis due to both increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation, reported health portal HealthDay.
They, however, did not recommend people to stop their treatment, as Avandia is effective in controlling glucose and restoring the body's sensitivity to insulin.
"You must balance the benefits against the complications," said study senior author Ron Evans, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.
"Anyone who is already at risk for osteoporotic fractures should consider an alternative anti-diabetic drug," the researcher added.