What is pioglitazone?
Pioglitazone is an oral diabetes medicine that help control blood sugar levels.
Pioglitazone 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.
Pioglitazone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use pioglitazone if you have type 1 diabetes, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests to sfaely take this medication. Before taking pioglitazone, tell your doctor if you have:
- congestive heart failure or heart disease;
- a history of heart attack or stroke; or
- liver disease.
Taking 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 pioglitazone.
Some women using pioglitazone 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 pioglitazone. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about this possibility.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether pioglitazone is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether pioglitazone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take pioglitazone without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking pioglitazone. Alcohol lowers blood sugar and may increase the risk of hypoglycemia while you are taking this medicine.
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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. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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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 pioglitazone 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 this medication 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; or
- tooth problems.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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You may be more likely to have hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if you are taking pioglitazone with other drugs that raise blood sugar. Drugs that can raise blood sugar include:
- diuretics (water pills);
- steroids (prednisone and others);
- phenothiazines (Compazine and others);
- thyroid medicine (Synthroid and others);
- birth control pills and other hormones;
- seizure medicines (Dilantin and others); and
- diet pills or medicines to treat asthma, colds or allergies.
You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you are taking pioglitazone with other drugs that lower blood sugar. Drugs that can lower blood sugar include:
- some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
- aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto-Bismol);
- sulfa drugs (Bactrim and others);
- a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI);
- beta-blockers (Tenormin and others); or
- probenecid (Benemid).
The following drugs can interact with pioglitazone:
- midazolam (Versed);
- gemfibrozil (Lopid);
- rifampin (Rifadin);
- furosemide (Lasix); or
- nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia).
This list is not complete and there may be other medications that can interact with pioglitazone. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Actos and pioglitazone
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