Drug Facts:

  • Actos- generic name is Pioglitazone hcl.
  • Pioglitazone is the generic component for the prescription drug sold under the branded name Actos.
  • Actos is a hypoglenic agent or oral antidiabetic agent used to treat Type 2 Diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels.

The Uses of Pioglitazone

Pioglitazone is used to treat diabetes either alone or in combination with Metformin. The combination is branded under the name of Actos Plus

30 mg of Actos

Image Courtesy : National Library of Medicine

Met XR.

Actos should be taken once daily and can be taken without regard to meals. In those patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), the recommended starting dose is 15 mg daily.

The dose of Actos can be increased or titrated up in increments of 15 mg to a maximum of 45 mg once daily based on the desired blood glucose level or achieve the HgAlc wanted (<7).

Normal blood glucose range = 70-130 mg/ DL.

HgAlc= your Alc level is based on a test that measures your average blood sugar level over a 12 month period. A good level would be <7.

After initiation of Pioglitazone, patients should be monitored for weight gain, edema, and signs and symptoms of CHF.

Pharmacist advise : Pioglitazone

Liver tests should be obtained prior to initiating Pioglitazone and routine liver tests should be performed at least every six months or annually during treatment.

 Side Effects:

  1. Can cause fluid retention and peripheral edema. This side effect can precipitate congestive heart failure (CHF).
  2. Anemia
  3. Mild Weight Gain
  4. In some studies: Higher Incidence of upper respiratory Infections (URI), sinusitis, and head aches.
  5. Upon chronic use of Pioglitazone, Hepatitis can occur.
  6. Upon chronic use of Pioglitazone, bladder cancer was shown to be significantly increased. Actually the statistic is those taking Actos have 2 x greater chance of getting bladder cancer.. In June of 2011 the risk of bladder cancer was so significant that this risk was added to the warnings on the label for Pioglitazone products.


Some drug interactions of Pioglitazone therapy was a risk of pregnancy for those on oral contraceptives. When Pioglitazone was used in combination with Insulin or Sulfonylurea (Metformin), there was an increased opportunity for hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

Type 2 Diabetes can affect all people regardless of age. An estimate of one out of every three people with Type 2 Diabetes is not aware that they have the illness. Diabetes interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates for energy leading to higher levels of blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is a condition that can be treated with oral agents or pills.

            Type 1 Diabetes requires treatment with insulin and requires subcutaneous injections to control blood sugar.


Know the Warning signs of Diabetes

One of the leading signs of Type 2 Diabetes is an increase in thirst which can also lead to frequent urination. Other symptoms are an unusual feeling of hunger, dry mouth, weight gain or loss, fatigue, dizziness, and blurred vision. Other signs are frequent yeast infections and urinary track infections and itchy shin.

Negative health consequences of Diabetes:

Are infections and sores that take a long time to heal and increased possibility of blindness

Type 2 Diabetes Management and Prevention:

  1. Diet- maintain a healthy weight, decrease calorie intake, maintain and decrease carbohydrate intake, monitor fat and protein consumption.
  2. Exercise- moderate regular exercise, ex. walking 30 minutes a day.
  3. Reduce Stress- breathing, exercise, visualization, mediation.
  4. Oral Medication- ex. Pioglitazone or Branded Actos as one of many agents used in treating Type 2 Diabetes