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Pioglitazone Brand Name

pioglitazone brand name

What is Actos?

Actos (pioglitazone) is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.

Actos is for people with type 2 diabetes.

Actos is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Important information

You should not use Actos if you have severe or uncontrolled heart failure, active bladder cancer, or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). This medicine is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Actos can cause or worsen congestive heart failure. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, or rapid weight gain.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Actos if you are allergic to pioglitazone, or if you have severe or uncontrolled heart failure, active bladder cancer, or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

To make sure Actos is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • congestive heart failure or heart disease;
  • fluid retention;
  • a history of bladder cancer;
  • a history of heart attack or stroke; or
  • liver disease.

This medication may increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

How should I take Actos?

Take Actos exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Actos is usually taken once daily. You may take the medicine with or without food.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office.

 Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, pale skin, irritability, dizziness, feeling shaky, or trouble concentrating.

Keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, and non-diet soda. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it.

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Pioglitazone is a member of the family of medications known as thiazolidinediones. It is used to lower high blood sugar associated with type 2 diabetes. Thiazolidinediones such as pioglitazone help insulin to work more effectively. By keeping blood sugar at a desired level, pioglitazone can help to prevent or delay the long-term problems associated with uncontrolled high blood sugar (e.g., kidney disease, eye problems, nerve problems, heart disease). Pioglitazone may be used alone when blood sugar is not controlled only by diet and exercise or in combination with one other diabetes medication, including metformin and the sulfonylureas (e.g., glyburide, gliclazide).

Side effect

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • blurred vision due to swelling (or fluid) in the back of the eye
  • fractures, usually in the hand, upper arm, or foot
  • liver problems:
  • dark urine
  • lack of appetite
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • tiredness
  • vomiting
  • yellowing of the skin
  • problems with teeth

Risks associated with Avandia and Actos

Rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos) were strictly regulated until the end of 2013 because they have been linked to serious risks, including an increased risk of heart attack with Avandia, and of heart failure with Actos. Actos has also been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer.

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