Actos

Generic Name: Pioglitazone
Brand Names: Actos

What is Actos?

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

Actos is for people with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Pioglitazone is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other medications, but it is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Actos may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Actos

You should not use Actos if you are allergic to pioglitazone, if you have severe heart failure, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

Before taking Actos, tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure or heart disease, fluid retention, a history of heart attack or stroke, or liver disease.

Take care not to let your blood sugar get too low. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress. Symptoms include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating. Carry hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Other sugar sources include orange juice and milk. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

Some women using Actos have started having menstrual periods, even after not having a period for a long time due to a medical condition. You may be able to get pregnant if your periods restart. Talk with your doctor about the need for birth control.

Women may also be more likely than men to have bone fractures in the upper arm, hand, or foot while taking Actos. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about this possibility.

Certain oral diabetes medications may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your diabetes with Actos.

Before taking Actos

You should not use Actos if you are allergic to pioglitazone, if you have severe heart failure, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

To make sure you can safely take Actos, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

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

Certain oral diabetes medications may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your diabetes with Actos.

Some women using Actos have started having menstrual periods, even after not having a period for a long time due to a medical condition. You may be able to get pregnant if your periods restart. Talk with your doctor about the need for birth control.

Women may also be more likely than men to have bone fractures in the upper arm, hand, or foot while taking Actos. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about this possibility.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Actos will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Actos. It is not known whether pioglitazone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take Actos without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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