- Type 2 Diabetes: Learn the Warning Signs
- Diabetes Friendly Dining
- Type 2 Diabetes: Test Your Medical IQ
- What is Actos (pioglitazone)?
- Is Actos (pioglitazone) available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for Actos (pioglitazone)?
- Why is Actos (pioglitazone) prescribed to patients?
- What are the side effects of Actos (pioglitazone)?
- What is the dosage for Actos (pioglitazone)?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with Actos (pioglitazone)?
- Is Actos (pioglitazone) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about Actos (pioglitazone)?
What is Actos (pioglitazone)?
- Pioglitazone is an oral drug that reduces the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is in a class of anti-diabetic drugs called thiazolidinediones that are used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The other member in this class is rosiglitazone (Avandia). (Another member of this class, troglitazone or Rezulin, was removed from the market because of liver toxicity.)
Quick GuideDiabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
Why is Actos (pioglitazone) prescribed to patients?
- 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.
What are the side effects of Actos (pioglitazone)?
ACTOS BLACK BOX WARNING
- 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.
Other side effects of Actos
The most common side effects of Actos alone or in combination with sulfonylureas, metformin, or insulin are:
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Muscle aches
- Tooth disorders
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Sore throat
Possible serious side effects of Actos include:
Dose related fluid accumulation (edema) can occur especially when combined with insulin. Fluid accumulation can worsen or lead to heart failure. Actos 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. Actos also can reduce red blood cells.
There have been post-marketing reports of liver failure while taking Actos.
Actos has been associated with liver injury. Periodic monitoring of liver-related side effects and liver tests should be conducted in patients taking Actos.
Symptoms of liver injury are:
Actos should be stopped if patients have symptoms of liver injury and liver function test results that are greater than three times the normal level. Liver blood tests are obtained before starting treatment. Monitoring liver tests during treatment is not recommended for patients without liver disease.
Actos may cause ovulation in women who have stopped ovulating if they are premenopausal and insulin resistant. This may lead to pregnancy. For women (but not men) taking Actos, there is an increased risk of bone fractures of the distal bones of the arm and leg. Patients taking Actos should maintain proper bone health.
What is the dosage for Actos (pioglitazone)?
- Actos is prescribed once daily in doses ranging from 15 to 45 mg.
- The recommended starting dose for patients without heart failure is 15 or 30 mg and for those with heart failure it is 15 mg daily. The dose may be increased in 15 mg intervals to a maximum dose of 45 mg daily if needed.
- Actos may be taken any time of the day, with or without meals.
- If a dose is missed on one day, two doses should not be taken the next day to make up for the missed dose.
Which drugs or supplements interact with Actos (pioglitazone)?
- Gemfibrozil reduces the break down of Actos by certain liver enzymes, increasing blood levels and possibly side effects of Actos. The maximum dose of Actos should not exceed 15 mg daily when combined with gemfibrozil or other drugs that reduce the activity of liver enzymes that break down Actos. Conversely, rifampin increases the breakdown of Actos by the liver, reducing blood levels and possibly the effects of Actos.
Is Actos (pioglitazone) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- There are no adequate studies of Actos in pregnant women. Actos may be used in pregnancy if the physician feels the potential risks are justified.
- It is unknown if Actos is secreted in breast milk. Therefore, the effect of Actos on the nursing infant whose mother is taking Actos is unknown.
What else should I know about Actos (pioglitazone)?
What preparations of Actos (pioglitazone) are available?
- Tablets: 15, 30 and 45 mg.
How should I keep Actos (pioglitazone) stored?
- Tablets should be kept at room temperature, 15 C -30 C (59 F -86 F).
How does Actos (pioglitazone) work?
- Patients with type 2 diabetes cannot make enough insulin, and the cells of their body respond less to the insulin that is produced. Since insulin is the hormone that stimulates cells to remove glucose from the blood, the reduced amount of insulin and its reduced effect cause cells to take up less glucose from the blood and the level of glucose in the blood to rise. Pioglitazone often is referred to as an "insulin sensitizer" because it attaches to the insulin receptors on cells throughout the body and causes the cells to become more sensitive (more responsive) to insulin. As a result, more glucose is removed from the blood, and the level of glucose in the blood falls. At least some insulin must be produced by the pancreas in order for pioglitazone to work. Pioglitazone also lowers the level of glucose in the blood by reducing the production and secretion of glucose into the blood by the liver. In addition, pioglitazone may alter the blood concentrations of lipids (fats) in the blood. Specifically, it decreases triglycerides and increases the "good" (HDL) cholesterol.
When was Actos (pioglitazone) approved by the FDA?
- Pioglitazone received FDA approval in July 1999.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideDiabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
Actos (pioglitazone) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Side effects include:
- Sore throat
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Tooth disorders
- Upper respiratory tract infection
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Type 2 Diabetes: Test Your Medical IQ
What causes type 2 diabetes? Can it be prevented? Take this online quiz and challenge your knowledge of this common condition....
Diabetes Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do...
Metabolic Syndrome Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Metabolic syndrome is serious and you should be concerned. Learn the causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications of metabolic...
Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment, Medication
Learn about type 2 diabetes warning signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Read how diet and exercise can help manage...
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Learn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot...
Diabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
Discover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier...
Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels
Learn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise,...
Fat-Burning Foods in Pictures: Blueberries, Green Tea, and More
Learn about fat-fighting foods such as grapefruit, hot peppers, vinegar, and more. Discover the benefits along with surprising...
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain
Read about diabetic peripheral neuropathy and exercises to manage nerve pain. Learn how to cope with the symptoms of diabetic...
Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms?
What is type 1 diabetes? Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? Learn about type 1 diabetes symptoms, warning signs, causes, and...
Heart-Healthy Diet: 25 Foods to Protect Your Cardiovascular System
See 25 foods loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your cardiovascular system. Plus, find easy meal/recipes and...
Slideshow: Diabetes Management Tips and Preventing Complications
Learn 10 simple ways to better manage your diabetes. See tips for controlling blood sugar, diet and exercise and other helpful...
12 Reasons to Love the Mediterranean Diet in Pictures
The Mediterranean diet is a delicious way to eat healthy. We show you how to get the most from this diet with foods like olive...
The Worst Foods in Your Fridge
What are the worst foods to eat in your fridge? From mayonnaise to ice cream and butter to processed lunch meats, learn about the...
Pictures of 10 Muscle-Building Exercises for Diabetes
Watch this slideshow on Diabetes and Exercise. If you have diabetes, see how strengthening your muscles with these 10 weight...
Travel Tips for Better Diabetes Control
Traveling with diabetes can be intimidating, but it shouldn't stop you! Learn tips for packing your diabetic supplies, how to...
12 Tips to Avoid Diabetes Complications With Pictures
Diabetes complications can be serious problems for your health. Our experts suggest steps you can take to help cut your risk of...
10 Health Myths Debunked With Pictures
Will cracking you knuckles cause arthritis? Does sugar make kids hyper? Can a toilet seat make you sick? Learn about these common...
Pictures of Famous People With Diabetes
See pictures of celebrities that have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes including Mary Tyler Moore, Salma Hayek, and...
Top 15 Immune System Boosters
Immune system boosters include foods, supplements, and lifestyle habits to help you fight off infections. A healthy immune system...
Snacks With 100 Calories or Less
Reducing calories is an effective weight loss strategy. Here are 25 100-calorie snacks that offer quick, satisfying solutions to...
Food Cravings Slideshow: Chocolate, Carbs, Salt, Sugar
Learn which food cravings can wreck your diet. Whether your craving something creamy or crunchy, sweet or salty, food cravings...
Slideshow: Busted: Popular Diet Myths
Learn about healthy dieting myths and facts. Can't tell fact from fiction about weight loss and healthy eating? Discover the...
Portion Control Tips: Lose Weight and Stick to Your Diet
Portion control can help with weight loss and help you stick to a healthy diet. But how much is too much? This photo guide will...
Food Swaps for Meals and Snacks for Heart Health in Pictures
Explore 10 food swaps for heart-wise dining. Learn what food to buy and how to cook in order to make a big difference for your...
Sugar Addiction Facts: Cravings, Hidden Sugar, and More in Pictures
Learn about sugar addiction to see why we often crave sweets and binge on carbs. Learn how sugar affects the brain and get tips...
Tips to Eat Healthy When You Dine Out in Pictures
Recognize the dangers of eating out and stay on your healthy diet at restaurants. Learn about healthy eating at restaurants,...
Diabetes Diet: 11 Low-Sugar Drink Ideas
Searching for low-sugar drink ideas? This pictures slideshow has eleven beverages ideal for people with diabetes and those...
Easy, Tasty Grilled Foods for Dinner Tonight in Pictures
Explore easy and tasty grilled foods. When your rushed to get dinner on the table, fire up the grill and use these delicious,...
10 Tips for a Healthier Fast Food Diet
Losing weight is tough on the road. Fast food can't compare to the health of a well-planned, balanced diet. But if you must eat...
Worst-Appetizer Pictures: Spinach Dip, Potato Skins, and More
A tasty appetizer can be a great start to any meal--but some appetizers are diet disasters. Potato skins and cheese fries pack on...
Related Disease Conditions
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver most...
Diabetes Diet (Type 2, List of Foods to Eat and Avoid)
A type 2 diabetes diet or a type 2 diabetic diet is important for blood sugar (glucose) control in people with diabetes to...
Insulin resistance is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from...
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which a person's pancreas does not produce enough insulin to meet the needs of the body....
Diabetes Treatment (Type 1 and Type 2 Medications and Diet)
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar....
The main features of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol...
Diabetes and Foot Problems (Treatment)
Diabetes related foot problems can affect your health with two problems: diabetic neuropathy, where diabetes affects the nerves,...
Diabetes and Eye Problems
Diabetes and eye problems are generally caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Types of eye problems...
Diabetes and Kidney Disease
In the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose...
Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes (Similarities and Differences)
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic condition in which a person's blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. Over 29.1 million...
A diabetic diet, or diabetes diet helps keep blood glucose levels in the target range for patients. Exercise and medication may...
Sex, Urinary, and Bladder Problems of Diabetes
Having diabetes can mean early onset and increased severity of bladder symptoms (urinary incontinence and urinary tract...
Type 2 Diabetes Medications (Side Effects, Differences)
Type 2 diabetes oral medications are prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes in conjuction with lifestyle changes like diet and...
Tips for Managing Type 1 and 2 Diabetes at Home
Managing your diabetes is a full time commitment. The goal of diabetic therapy is to control blood glucose levels and prevent the...
Preventing Diabetes Naturally (Type 2, Diet, Causes, Symptoms)
Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has early symptoms of diabetes, but have not yet fully developed the condition. If...
Lipodystrophy (Acquired, Generalized, Inherited)
Lipodystrophy is a syndrome in which fat deposits accumulate all over the body, or sometimes just portions of it, like just the...
Diabetes: Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Times
Taking care of a disease such as diabetes is a life-long process. Learn how to care for yourself or loved one with diabetes in...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Diabetes FAQs
- Metabolic Syndrome FAQs
- Type 2 Diabetes FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Metformin Still Best as First Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
- Which Diabetes Drug Is Best?
- Metformin Safer for Heart Than Other Common Type 2 Diabetes Drugs: Study
- FDA: 2 Diabetes Drugs May Be Linked to Heart Failure Risk
- More Evidence Diabetes Drug Actos Raises Bladder Cancer Risk a Bit
- Could Common Diabetes Drugs Help Fight Leukemia?
- High Blood Sugar May Boost Alzheimer's Risk
- Study Refutes Notion That Diabetes Drug Actos Raises Bladder Cancer Risk
- Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Lower Risk for Parkinson's
- Tanzeum Approved for Type 2 Diabetes
- FDA to Lift Restrictions on Diabetes Drug Avandia
- Shopping Around Brings Steep Prescription Drug Savings, Report Finds
- Three New Drugs Approved for Type 2 Diabetes
- FDA OKs Generic Actos for Type 2 Diabetes
- Another Study Links Diabetes Drug Actos to Bladder Cancer
- Diabetes Drugs Avandia, Actos Linked to Vision Woes
- Diabetes Drug Actos Again Linked to Bladder Cancer
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds
- New Bladder Cancer Warning for Diabetes Drug Actos
- Diabetes Drug Actos May Also Help Prediabetes
- More Evidence Links Fractures to Diabetes Drugs
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Diabetes Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top pioglitazone Related ArticlesComplete List
Diabetes and Eye ProblemsDiabetes and eye problems are generally caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Types of eye problems in a person with diabetes include glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy. Examples of symptoms include blurred vision, headaches, eye aches, pain, halos around lights, loss of vision, watering eyes. Treatment for eye problems in people with diabetes depend on the type of eye problem. Prevention of eye problems include reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, and maintaining proper blood glucose levels.
Diabetes and Kidney DiseaseIn the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will eventually progress to kidney failure. Kidney disease in people with diabetes develops over the course of many years. albumin and eGFR are two key markers for kidney disease in people with diabetes. Controlling high blood pressure, blood pressure medications, a moderate protein diet, and compliant management of blood glucose can slow the progression of kidney disease. For those patients who's kidneys eventually fail, dialysis or kidney transplantation is the only option.
Diabetes Foot ProblemsLearn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot complications such as nerve damage, infection, and ulcers. Find tips for proper foot care to help prevent serious complications.
Diabetes MellitusDiabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Take the Diabetes QuizTake the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do with obesity and diet? Learn about life as a diabetic.
Diabetes Diet PlansDiscover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier meal combinations that retain all the foods and flavors you love.
Diabetes TreatmentThe major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with:
- and a diabetic diet.
- weight reduction,
- a diabetic diet,
- and exercise.
Diabetic Diet for Type 2 Diabetes
A type 2 diabetes diet or a type 2 diabetic diet is important for blood sugar (glucose) control in people with diabetes to prevent complications of diabetes. There are a variety of type 2 diabetes diet eating plans such as the Mediterranean diet, Paleo diet, ADA Diabetes Diet, and vegetarian diets.Learn about low and high glycemic index foods, what foods to eat, and what foods to avoid if you have type 2 diabetes.
Fatty LiverNonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver most likely caused by obesity and diabetes. Symptoms of fatty liver disease are primarily the complications of cirrhosis of the liver; and may include:
- mental changes,
- liver cancer,
- the accumulation of fluid in the body (ascites, edema), and
- gastrointestinal bleeding.
- weight loss, and
- bariatric surgery.
Foot Problems (Diabetes)Diabetes related foot problems can affect your health with two problems: diabetic neuropathy, where diabetes affects the nerves, and peripheral vascular disease, where diabetes affects the flow of blood. Common foot problems for people with diabetes include athlete's foot, fungal infection of nails, calluses, corns, blisters, bunions, dry skin, foot ulcers, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.
Insulin resistance is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into muscle and other tissues. There are no signs or symptoms of insulin resistance. Causes of insulin can include conditions such as
- metabolic syndrome, and
- steroid use.
Some of the risk factors for insulin resistance include fatty liver, heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular disease, high cholesterol, and smoking. Treatment for insulin resistance are lifestyle changes and if necessary, medication.
Metabolic SyndromeThe main features of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol abnormalities, and an increased risk for clotting. Patients are most often overweight or obese. Lifestyle modification such as the Mediterranean diet, exercise, and quitting smoking are the preferred treatment of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic SyndromeMetabolic syndrome is serious and you should be concerned. Learn the causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications of metabolic syndrome with our quick quiz.
Blood Sugar SwingsLearn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise, sleep, alcohol, and stress because these can all impact blood sugar levels and increase diabetes complications
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which a person's pancreas does not produce enough insulin to meet the needs of the body. Causes of type 2 diabetes are a sedentary lifestyle, eating excess sugar and carbohydrates, lack of exercise, being overweight, and genetics. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are often subtle, but may include:
- Urine odor
- Unintentional weight gain or loss
- Frequent urination
- Dark skin under the chin, armpits, or groin
Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by a blood test. Treatment for type 2 diabetes are a healthy type 2 diabetes diet, exercise, stress reduction, and medication. Type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease. Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes (for example, eating a healthy diet, exercising more, and reducing stress) can prevent type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 DiabetesWhat causes type 2 diabetes? Can it be prevented? Take this online quiz and challenge your knowledge of this common condition. Also, get the truth about myths and facts!
Type 2 Diabetes SlideshowLearn about type 2 diabetes warning signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Read how diet and exercise can help manage type 2 diabetes.