Actos (pioglitazone)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

GENERIC NAME: pioglitazone





  • Actos is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. It is used along with a healthy diabetic diet, regular exercise, weight control, smoking reduction, and careful monitoring of blood glucose.
  • Actos may be used alone or in combination with metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet), a drug in a different class of anti-diabetic drugs, that also lowers blood glucose.
  • Actos requires naturally-secreted insulin to be effective so it is not recommended in type 1 diabetes where the amount of insulin is very low or absent.
  • Nevertheless, Actos is approved for treating type 2 diabetes in combination with insulin as well as another class of diabetes drugs, the sulfonylureas, that increases the amount of insulin produced.


  • Actos and similar drugs can cause or women congestive heart failure in some patients. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of heart failure (for example, excessive, rapid weight gain, dyspnea, and/or edema) at the beginning of treatment and after dose increases.
  • Actos is not recommended for patients with symptomatic heart failure and patients with established New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV heart failure should not use Actos.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/20/2016

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