Insulin resistance is a major endocrinopathy underlying the development of hyperglycaemia and cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes. Metformin (a biguanide) and rosiglitazone (a thiazolidinedione) counter insulin resistance, acting by different cellular mechanisms. The two agents can be used in combination to achieve additive glucose-lowering efficacy in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, without stimulating insulin secretion and without causing hypoglycaemia. Both agents also reduce a range of atherothrombotic factors and markers, indicating a lower cardiovascular risk. Early intervention with metformin is already known to reduce myocardial infarction and increase survival in overweight type 2 patients. Recently, a single-tablet combination of metformin and rosiglitazone, Avandamet, has become available. Avandamet is suitable for type 2-diabetic patients who are inadequately controlled by monotherapy with metformin or rosiglitazone. Patients already receiving separate tablets of metformin and rosiglitazone may switch to the single-tablet combination for convenience. Also, early introduction of the combination before maximal titration of one agent can reduce side effects. Use of Avandamet requires attention to the precautions for both metformin and rosiglitazone, especially renal, cardiac and hepatic competence. In summary, Avandamet is a single-tablet metformin-rosiglitazone combination that doubly targets insulin resistance as therapy for hyperglycaemia and vascular risk in type 2 diabetes. © 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.