Pioglitazone is a diabetes drug (thiazolidinedione-type, also called "glitazones") used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. It works by helping to restore your body's proper response to insulin, thereby lowering your blood sugar.Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke.Pioglitazone is used either alone or in combination with other diabetes medications (such as metformin or a sulfonylurea such as glyburide).Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of pioglitazone.
How to use Actos
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
It may take up to 2 to 3 months before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse (your blood sugar is too high or too low).
See also Warning section.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: new/worsening vision problems (such as blurred vision), bone fracture, reddish-colored urine, urgent need to urinate, pain while urinating, signs of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, stomach/abdominal pain).
Pioglitazone does not usually cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Low blood sugar may occur if this drug is prescribed with other diabetes medications (such as insulin or a sulfonylurea). Low blood sugar is more likely if you drink large amounts of alcohol, do unusually heavy exercise, or do not consume enough calories from food. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product.
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include increased thirst/urination. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Pioglitazone may rarely cause or worsen a certain heart problem (heart failure). Tell your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of heart failure, including: shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain.
Before taking pioglitazone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease (such as heart failure, chest pain), liver disease, fluid in your lungs, swelling (edema), anemia, a certain eye problem (macular edema), bladder cancer.
You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Limit alcohol while taking this medication because it can increase the risk of developing low blood sugar.
It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because increased stress may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
Pioglitazone may increase the risk of bone fracture in women (usually in the upper arm, hand, or foot). See also Notes section.
Pioglitazone can cause changes in the menstrual cycle (promote ovulation) and increase the risk of becoming pregnant. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about the use of reliable birth control while using this medication.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Your doctor may substitute insulin for this drug during your pregnancy. Follow all instructions carefully.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Beta-blocker medications (such as metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating, are unaffected by these drugs.
Many drugs can affect your blood sugar, making it harder to control. Before you start, stop, or change any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also Side Effects section.) Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lifestyle changes that help promote healthy bones include increasing weight-bearing exercise, eating well-balanced meals containing adequate calcium and vitamin D, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol. Consult your doctor to see if you need to take calcium/vitamin D supplements and discuss lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as liver function, blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, complete blood counts, eye exams) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.