Actos (Pioglitazone) is a medication prescribed to help treat type 2 diabetes. It belongs to the class of medications known as thiazolidinediones, or “glitazones.” It helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Actos works by decreasing the liver’s production of glucose, which then reduces the amount of sugar in the blood.
Actos (pioglitazone) is an oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is used in combination with diet and exercise and may be used as an adjunct to other medications for diabetes. Actos works by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and by helping to reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver.
Actos is a thiazolidinedione antidiabetic agent that works by decreasing insulin resistance in the periphery and in the liver. This leads to increased insulin-dependent glucose disposal and decreased hepatic glucose output allowing the body to better regulate blood sugar levels.
Uses and Dosage
ACTOS (pioglitazone hydrochloride) comes in the form of a tablet and should be taken once daily without regard to meals. Take Actos (pioglitazone) at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your provider or pharmacist to explain any part you don’t understand.
- The recommended starting dose for patients without congestive heart failure is 15 mg or 30 mg once daily.
- For patients with congestive heart failure (NYHA Class I or II), the recommended starting dose is 15 mg once daily, and the dose can be titrated up to a maximum of 45 mg once daily based on glycemic response as determined by HbA1c.
- After initiation of ACTOS or with dose increases, it is important to monitor patients carefully for adverse reactions related to fluid retention such as weight gain, edema, and signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure.
Serious Side Effects of Actos Including:
- New or worsening urge to urinate
- Painful or difficult urination
- Pink or red urine
- Rapid weight gain
- Shortness of breath (especially when laying down)
- Sudden or unusual pain in your hand, arm, or foot
- Unusual tiredness
- Vision changes
Common Side Effects of Actos Include:
- Back pain
- Cold or flu symptoms
- Cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sinus pain, sneezing, sore throat)
- Increased appetite
- Lack of energy
- Muscle pain
- Weight gain
Form and Strength
Actos and its generic alternative to Pioglitazone are available in the following forms and strengths.
- 15 mg
- 45 mg
- 15 mg
- 30 mg
- 45 mg
- Thiazolidinediones, including ACTOS, cause or exacerbate congestive heart failure in some patients. After initiation of ACTOS, and after dose increases, signs and symptoms of heart failure should be monitored as heart failure has been reported in some patients with no prior history of heart failure.
- After initiation of ACTOS, or with dose increases, monitor patients carefully for signs and symptoms of heart failure such as excessive, rapid weight gain, dyspnea, and/or edema. If heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care and discontinuation, or dose reduction of ACTOS may be necessary.
- ACTOS is not recommended for use in patients with symptomatic heart failure. Initiation of ACTOS in patients with established New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV cardiovascular status, symptomatic heart failure, or acute coronary syndrome is not recommended.
- If heart failure develops while using ACTOS, discontinuation or dose reduction must be considered. Patients who develop heart failure while receiving ACTOS should not be re-challenged with the drug.
- If hypoglycemia occurs in a patient who is taking both ACTOS and insulin, the dose of insulin should be decreased by 10% to 25%. Further adjustments to the insulin dose should be individualized and adjusted based on the patient’s glycemic response.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is pioglitazone Actos used for?
Pioglitazone is used with proper diet and exercise to treat high blood sugar levels caused by type 2 diabetes. It may be used alone or with other medicines such as insulin, metformin, or sulfonylurea agents.
How long is it safe to take pioglitazone?
This medicine may increase your risk for bladder cancer if you take it for more than 12 months. Tell your doctor right away if you have blood in the urine, a frequent, strong, or increased urge to urinate, painful urination, or pain in the back, lower abdomen, or stomach.
Is Actos safe to take?
Yes, Actos was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, you shouldn’t use Actos if you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis (a problem that occurs when there’s too much acid in your blood).