Monitor liver enzymes for Rezulin patients

Reports of liver problems associated with the new diabetes drug Rezulin have prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue new warnings about the drug. The FDA said doctors should monitor and measure liver enzyme levels in patients taking the drug for diabetes. They should measure levels at the start of drug therapy and continually measure them at least monthly to ensure no liver damage is taking place.

Known generically as troglitazone, the drug has reportedly caused liver failure in some people and three known deaths. Currently, 600,000 people in the United States and 200,000 in Japan have taken the drug. Parke-Davis in Morris Plains, NJ, the maker of Rezulin, also has been told to display information about possible liver damage more prominently on the drug label.