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Prescribing Information for Actos (Pioglitazone):
What is Actos (Pioglitazone)?
Actos (Pioglitazone) is an oral medication used to improve blood sugar control in people suffering from diabetes.
Actos (Pioglitazone) is prescribed for treatment of type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. It can be combined with insulin or other medicines but it is not effective for treatment of type 1 diabetes.
Actos (Pioglitazone) can also be prescribed for other uses.
What is important to know about Actos (Pioglitazone)?
Actos (Pioglitazone) should not be used in case of type 1 diabetes or if you develop the condition of diabetic ketoacidosis (you should contact your doctor for treatment with insulin).
Before you start using Actos (Pioglitazone), inform your doctor if you develop congestive heart failure or heart disease, or if you have ever had heart attack or stroke, or liver problems.
You should know the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and be able to notice them. These symptoms include seizure (convulsions), sweating, fainting, irritability, weakness, headache, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, tremors, fast heartbeat, or coma (severe hypoglycemia can be mortal). If you have signs of low blood sugar, you should have a source of sugar permanently available.
There were cases when women taking Actos (Pioglitazone) restarted having menstrual cycles after they had not had them for a long time because of medical conditions. If your menstrual cycles restart, you may be able to get pregnant. Ask your doctor if you need to use any type of birth control.
Women have also a greater risk of bone fractures in the upper arm, hand, or foot when they are using Actos (Pioglitazone). You may ask your doctor if you need more information about this risk.
Some diabetes medicines may enlarge the odds of severe heart problems. But if you do not treat your diabetes, it can harm your heart and other parts of the body. Discuss with your doctor the odds and the benefits of using Actos (Pioglitazone).
How should Actos (Pioglitazone) be used?
Follow the prescriptions of your doctor and the instructions which come with the medication carefully. Do not change your dose and do not use Actos (Pioglitazone) for a longer period than prescribed. Your healthcare provider may need to adjust your dose to ensure you are getting the most benefit from your treatment.
Actos (Pioglitazone) is commonly used once a day. It can be taken with or without meal.
Using Actos (Pioglitazone) is not enough to cure diabetes; you should combine it with a diet, doing exercises and weight control. You may be also recommended to use other medications for treatment of diabetes.
Try to take Actos (Pioglitazone) regularly to get the best results from treatment. Get your prescription refilled when you have your medication yet.
Your doctor may need to check your blood, liver function and eyes regularly to be sure that the medicine helps you. Do not miss any scheduled appointments to your doctor.
You may need to take other medications if you get sick or injured, if you have a serious condition or if you have any type of surgery. Your healthcare provider may recommend you to stop using Actos (Pioglitazone) for some period of time if you have any of these conditions.
Do not let your blood sugar to become too low and provoke hypoglycemia. It can occur if you miss a meal, do too many exercises, drink alcohol or are in a stressful situation.You should know the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and be able to notice them. These symptoms include:
- seizure (convulsions);
- sweating, fast heartbeat;
- fainting, coma (severe hypoglycemia can be mortal);
- irritability, headache, hunger, confusion; or
- weakness, drowsiness, dizziness, tremors.
If you have signs of low blood sugar, you should have a source of sugar (for example orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk) permanently available. If you are not able to eat or drink and are having a severe hypoglycemia, you should give an injection of glucagon. Your doctor may prescribe you a kit for emergency injections and teach you to give injections.
Keep Actos (Pioglitazone) at room temperature protected from, heat light and moisture.
What side effect can Actos (Pioglitazone) cause?Seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction to Actos (Pioglitazone) (trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat). Stop taking Actos (Pioglitazone) and call your healthcare provider promptly if you develop any of the following serious side effects:
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- increased thirst or hunger, urinating more than usual;
- feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
- pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness;
- chest pain, general ill feeling;
- blurred vision; or
- swelling or rapid weight gain.
- gradual weight gain;
- muscle pain;
- tooth problems;
- headache; or
- sneezing, runny nose, cough or other signs of a cold.
Actos (Pioglitazone) may also cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you need medical advice about them.