pioglitazone, Actos (cont.)

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

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of pioglitazone alone or in combination with sulfonylureas, metformin, or insulin are:

In addition, dose related fluid accumulation (edema) can occur especially when combined with insulin. Fluid accumulation can worsen or lead to heart failure. Pioglitazone should not be used in patients with heart disease classified by the New York Heart Association (NYHA) as Class III and IV heart failure or symptomatic heart failure.

Fluid accumulation also may lead to macular edema, resulting in reduced vision. Pioglitazone also can reduce red blood cells.

Pioglitazone has been associated with liver injury. Periodic monitoring of liver-related side effects and liver tests should be conducted in patients taking pioglitazone.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/18/2014

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