The thiazolidinediones are a unique class of compounds that exert direct effects on the mechanisms of insulin resistance and result in improved insulin action and reduced hyperinsulinemia. Troglitazone is the first of these compounds to be approved for use in humans and has the potential not only to reduce glycemia and insulin requirements in type II diabetes but to improve other components of the insulin resistance syndrome including dyslipidemia, hypertension, and accelerated cardiovascular disease. Such compounds also hold promise for the prevention of type II diabetes and for the treatment of other insulin-resistant states including polycystic ovary disease. In addition to the novel mechanism of action through binding and activation of PPARs, troglitazone has other unique advantages, including once-a-day administration, a low incidence of minor side effects, no known drug interactions, hepatic metabolism and secretion, and potent antioxidant properties. Thiazolidinedione compounds such as troglitazone provide an important additional resource for the health care provider in the management of type II diabetes and other components of the insulin resistance syndrome.