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Pioglitazone (Actos)



Pioglitazone is a thiazoladinedione used to treat type 2 diabetes. It increases insulin sensitivity, decreases the amount of sugar the liver releases, and can affect levels of fat in the blood.



How to Use


Take this medication by mouth with water, take it at the same time every day.


Take it exactly as directed, do not take it more than directed.


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is already almost time for your next dose, take only that next dose. Do not double up on any dose.



Important Information


A medication guide will be given to you when you receive the medication, be sure to read this information carefully.


You will receive an A1C test every 3-6 months while taking this medicine. This test tells us about your sugar levels over the last few months.


Learn and monitor yourself for symptoms of high and low blood sugar. Carry sugar tablets, or candy on you to take in case you develop low blood sugar. Inform others around you that symptoms of low blood sugar can be serious such as choking, seizures, and unconsciousness and it is important to get help at once.


This medicine can increase your chances of becoming pregnant because it can cause ovulation in women who do not have regular monthly periods and are premenopausal. Discuss birth control methods with your doctor before taking this medicine. Contact your doctor immediately if you believe you are pregnant while taking it. You should not be taking this medicine if you are pregnant.


If you develop chest pain, tightness in the chest, or pain traveling to the jaw or arm, contact a healthcare provider. This medicine can increase your risk of heart complications.


Carry an ID card and a bracelet or ID informing others of your condition and of the doses of your diabetes medication.


Avoid skipping meals and maintain a healthy balanced diet while on this medication.


Symptoms of high blood sugar include increased thirst and urination, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, fruity breath odor, dry mouth, and fatigue.


Symptoms of low blood sugar include anxiety, shaking, increased heart rate, fatigue, seizures, unconsciousness, nightmares, headaches, mood changes, sweatiness or clamminess or irritability.



Be sure that your prescribing doctor is aware if you have any of the the following conditions before taking this medication


Type 1 diabetes, swelling of the extremities, premenopausal, polycystic ovary syndrome, liver disease, kidney disease, heart failure, other heart diseases, macular edema, diabetic ketoacidosis, bladder cancer, allergic reaction history, pregnancy, breastfeeding, trying to become pregnant.



Side effects that should be immediately reported to your healthcare provider


Allergic reactions(hives, itching, rashes, swelling of the face or mouth), trouble breathing, blood in the urine, bone fractures or breaks, darkened urine, fever, chills, excessive urination, pain when urinating, weight gain, swelling of the feet or ankles, yellowing of the skin or eyes, signs of low blood sugar such as anxiety, shaking, increased heart rate, fatigue, seizures, unconsciousness, nightmares, headaches, mood changes, sweatiness or clamminess or irritability.



Other Side Effects


Headache, muscle pain, joint pain, runny nose, sore throat.



Adult Dose


Type 2 Diebetes


15-30 mg by mouth once daily as a starting dose. The dose in then titrated by 15 mg increments.




1. Actos (TM) oral tablets, pioglitazone oral tablets[package insert]. Deerfield, IL: Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (per FDA); 2013.


2. Actos (pioglitazone) [package insert]. Deerfield, IL: Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.; 2013.

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