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Actos is an oral diabetes medication used to help manage blood sugar levels for those with type 2 diabetes.
Pioglitazone is a thiazolidinedione that agonizes receptors to reduce insulin resistance. The drug has been found to significantly decrease blood sugar levels and improve lipid parameters, helping improve glycemic control in those with type 2 diabetes.
This diabetes medication is generally well tolerated and effective at treating type 2 diabetes with a low incidence of adverse reactions.
Uses and Dosage
The dose of Actos prescribed will vary depending on the individual being treated. Follow your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully.
- Swallow tablet whole
- Take with or without food once a day
- Most adults take 15 to 30mg once daily
- Those with congestive heart failure should take 15mg once daily
- Adults shouldn’t take more than 45mg once a day
- Do not double dose
- Store at room temperature
Pioglitazone may cause some side effects while it controls your blood sugar levels. Speak with your doctor for more information about symptoms you could encounter when taking pioglitazone.
Common Actos side effects:
- Muscle pain
- Cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sinus pain, sneezing, sore throat)
Serious Side Effects
Some more serious side effects may develop when taking Actos. Stop taking this diabetes medication and call your doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- unusual tiredness
- Swelling, rapid weight gain
- Pink or red urine, painful or difficult urination, new or worsening urge to urinate
- Changes in vision
- Sudden unusual pain in your hand, arm, or foot
Stop using Actos immediately and call your doctor if you notice symptoms of liver damage which includes nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-coloured stools, or jaundice.
Do not use Actos if you are allergic to pioglitazone. If you develop an allergic reaction, stop using this medication and contact your doctor immediately.
Actos allergy symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
Do not use Actos if you have severe or uncontrolled heart failure, bladder cancer, or diabetic ketoacidosis.
Actos is not designed to treat type 1 diabetes.
Avoid drinking alcohol when taking Actos because it can lower your blood sugar levels and interfere with your treatment.
Pioglitazone may lead to new or worsening congestive heart failure. Stop taking this diabetes medication and contact your doctor if you become short of breath, notice swelling, or have rapid weight gain.
Actos may increase your risk for developing bladder cancer. Consult with your doctor to determine your risk.
To ensure the safety of taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following:
- Congestive heart failure or heart disease
- Heart attack or stroke
- Eye problems caused by diabetes
- Bladder cancer
- Liver disease
Tell your doctor if you use insulin before starting Actos. Taken pioglitazone with insulin may increase your risk for developing serious heart problems.
Some medications can interact with pioglitazone and cause adverse effects. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including over the counter medicine, vitamins, and herbal products.
Consult with your doctor if you are pregnant or become pregnant; follow your doctor’s directives. Controlling your blood sugar levels is important during pregnancy. Breastfeeding while taking Actos may not be safe. Ask your doctor about your risk levels of breastfeeding.
Pioglitazone may stimulate ovulation which may lead to unplanned pregnancy. Consult with your doctor to determine your risk and create a treatment plan that works best for you.
Women taking Actos may be more likely to break bones. Learn ways to maintain bone health from your doctor.
Actos is not an approved treatment for anyone under the age of 18.
Form and Strength
This oral diabetes medication is available in tablet form.
Actos tablet strengths:
The 45mg tablets are available in groups of 84 while the 15mg tablets are available in quantities of 84 or 90 and the 30mg ones are available in groups of 30 or 84.
Is Actos an effective diabetes treatment?
Actos will affect everyone differently depending on various factors including weight and metabolism. This diabetes medication has been found to be effective at treating type 2 diabetes with a low incidence of adverse side effects.
Can I drink alcohol while taking Actos?
You should avoid drinking large quantities of alcohol while taking Actos. Alcohol can interfere with pioglitazone by causing your blood sugar levels to drop. This means that your Actos treatment may not function properly which can lead to dangerous blood sugar levels.
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