is prescription medicine of the thiazolidinedione class with hypoglycemic action for treating diabetes. In Canada, UK, Germany and in USA Pioglitazone is marketed with Actos
trademark. In US in 2008 the tenth best selling medicine with sales of $2.4 billion was Actos. Pioglitazone (Actos) is a medicine which reduces amount of glucose in blood. Pioglitazone (Actos) is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Rosiglitazone (Avandia
) is other member of this class. Due to liver toxicity another member of this class Rezulinor was removed from market. In some countries Pioglitazone (Actos) has been withdrawn as it was subsequently found in association with bladder tumor.
Type 2 diabetes patients are not able to make sufficient insulin, and cells of their body normally do not respond to reduced insulin amount which is present. Pioglitazone (Actos) attaches to insulin receptors on cells in the body which makes the cells more sensitive for insulin and therefore Pioglitazone (Actos) is called as the insulin sensitizer. This results in more glucose removal from blood. Pancreas must produce some insulin so that Pioglitazone (Actos) can work. Level of blood glucose is lowered by Pioglitazone by reducing the secretion and production of glucose in body by liver. It increases good cholesterol that is HDL and decreases triglycerides. On 16 July 1999 Food and Drug Association approved Pioglitazone.
The tablets are available in 15mg, 30mg and 40mg. They are stored at room temperature. Type 2 diabetes with regular exercise, smoking reduction, weight control, careful monitoring for glucose level and healthy diabetic diet is treated with Pioglitazone (Actos). It can be used alone or with metformin for treatment. The insulin is absent or very low in type 1 diabetes patients and Pioglitazone (Actos) is not suggested for these patients. Only one dose varying from fifteen mg to forty five mg of Pioglitazone (Actos) per day is suggested. It can be taken without or with meals at any time of day. To make up the missed dose two doses at a time are not allowed. In patients having hypersensitivity for Pioglitazone (Actos), it should not be used. It is inefficient in type 1 diabetes and may be harmful also. Pioglitazone (Actos) is contraindicated with heart failure patients.
It is not established yet that Pioglitazone (Actos) is safe or not in pregnancy. It passes in breast milk or not is also unknown. So the safety for nursing mothers is also unknown. If some serious side effects such as short breath with mild exertion, chest pain, swelling or rapid gain in weight, general ill feeling, jaundice, clay colored stools, loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, stomach pain, nausea, blurred vision, urinating more, increased hunger or thirst, pale skin or weakness occurs stop with Pioglitazone (Actos) and consult doctor. Runny nose, cough, sneezing or other symptoms of cold, gradual weight gain, tooth problems or muscle pain are some less serious effects of Pioglitazone (Actos). Women taking Pioglitazone suffers from bone fractures in foot, hand or in upper arm. Menstrual periods start again after a long break in women having this medication.