Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic 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 (non-insulin-dependent diabetes). It works by helping to restore the body's proper response to insulin, thereby lowering blood sugar. Effectively controlling high blood sugar helps prevent heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, blindness, and circulation problems, as well as sexual function problems (impotence). Actos (pioglitazone) is used either alone or in combination with other anti-diabetic medications (e.g., metformin, sulfonylureas, insulin).
Actos (Pioglitazone) is indicated to control high blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes
This medication should be taken by mouth, with or without food, usually once daily, or as directed by the doctor. Dosage is based on the medical condition, response to therapy, and if the patient is taking other anti-diabetic drugs. The patient should use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. This medication should be taken at the same time each day. The patient should monitor blood glucose levels on a regular basis. It may take up to 2 to 3 months before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. The patient should take all other medications for diabetes as directed by the doctor.
This medication can cause certain side-effects: fast/pounding heartbeat, changes in menstrual cycles, new/worsening vision problems (e.g., color or night vision problems), bone fracture rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing.this medication usually does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), but this effect may occur if the patient do not consume enough calories (from food, juices, fruit, etc.). The symptoms include chills, cold sweat, dizziness, drowsiness, shaking, rapid heart rate, weakness, headache, fainting, tingling of the hands or feet, or hunger. Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, or fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, consultation should be done with the doctor immediately.
Before using this medication, consultation should be done with the doctor in case of having: heart disease (e.g., chronic congestive heart failure), liver problems, fluid in lungs, swelling (edema), anemia, eye (retina) problems.
Before using this medication, the doctor or pharmacist should be told about all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products the patient uses, especially of: other anti-diabetic medications (e.g., insulin, metformin, or sulfonylureas such as glyburide), herbal/natural products (e.g., fenugreek, ginseng, gymnema), drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove pioglitazone from the body (e.g., gemfibrozil, rifamycins including rifampin), quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin). This medication may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. This can result in pregnancy. The patient may need to use an additional form of reliable birth control while using this medication.
In case of overdose the patient should contact the local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Before taking Actos (Pioglitazone), consultation should be done with the doctor or pharmacist if: