Actos (PIOGLITAZONE) is used with a diet and exercise program and sometimes with other medications, to treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). It works by increasing the bodyâ€™s sensitivity to insulin, a natural substance that helps control blood sugar levels.
How To Use
Take Actos exactly as it was prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts, or take it for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from Actos. This medicine is usually taken once daily. You may take Actos with or without food. Actos is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Your doctor may also recommend other medicines to treat your diabetes. It is important to use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. To be sure Actos is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested, and you may need regular eye exams. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Possible Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Actos and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
• feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion
• swelling or rapid weight gain
• chest pain, general ill feeling
• nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
• blurred vision
• increased thirst or hunger, urinating more than usual; or
• pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness
Continue taking Actos and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:
• sneezing, runny nose, cough or other signs of a cold
• gradual weight gain
• muscle pain
• tooth problems
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
Before taking Actos, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances, if you are allergic to any ingredient in Actos, if you have a history of liver problems, abnormal liver function tests, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure), eye or vision problems or have swelling problems (edema), if you have diabetic ketoacidosis (a severe problem associated with diabetes) if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast–feeding. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Actos while you are pregnant. It is not known if Actos is found in breast milk. Do not breast–feed while taking Actos. Some medicines may interact with Actos. Therefore tell your doctor of all prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement that you are taking. Do not take Actos if you have type 1 diabetes. You should carry an ID card at all times that says you have diabetes. Proper diet, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar testing are important for best results with Actos. Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your doctor. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor. If they are often higher than they should be and you take Actos exactly as prescribed, let your doctor know. It may be harder to control your blood sugar during times of stress such as fever, infection, injury, or surgery. Talk with your doctor about how to control your blood sugar if any of these occur. Do not change the dose of your medicine without checking with your doctor. Actos may lower your blood sugar levels when it is used along with insulin or other oral diabetic medicines. Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your heart beat faster, make your vision change, give you a headache, chills, or tremors, or make you hungrier. You should carry a reliable source of glucose (eg, tablets or gel) to treat low blood sugar. If this is not available, you should eat or drink a quick source of sugar like table sugar, honey, candy, orange juice, or non–diet soda. This will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. To prevent low blood sugar, eat meals at the same time each day and do not skip meals. Actos may cause ovulation in women who have not reached menopause but do not ovulate. Be sure to use effective birth control while using Actos. Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Actos before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery. Actos may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Actos should not be used in children younger than 18 years old. Safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. You may have signs of low blood sugar, such as hunger, headache, confusion, irritability, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tremors, sweating, fast heartbeat, seizure (convulsions), fainting, or coma.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Store at 77 °F (25 °C), excursions permitted to 59 to 86 °F (15 to 30 °C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep out of the reach of children.