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Related terms
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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Actos®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Accel-Pioglitazone;Actos®;Apo-Pioglitazone®;CO Pioglitazone;Dom-Pioglitazone;JAMP-Pioglitazone;Mint-Pioglitazone;Mylan-Pioglitazone;Novo-Pioglitazone;PHL-Pioglitazone;PMS-Pioglitazone;PRO-Pioglitazone;ratio-Pioglitazone;Sandoz-Pioglitazone;Teva-Pioglitazone;ZYM-Pioglitazone
    • Mexican Brand Names: Actos;Zactos
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antidiabetic Agent, Thiazolidinedione

    • It is used to lower blood sugar in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes).
    • Pioglitazone raises insulin activity in the body.


    How to take

    • This drug may be used alone or with other high blood sugar (diabetes) drugs.
    • Take as you have been told, even if you are feeling better.
    • Take this drug at the same time of day.
    • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.


    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from light.
    • Protect from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.



    • This drug may cause or make heart failure worse. Talk with your doctor.
    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.
    • Please read the medication guide.


    • If you have an allergy to pioglitazone or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have a very weak heart.
    • If you are breast-feeding.


    • Wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
    • Do not run out of this drug.
    • If you are 80 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
    • If you have bladder cancer, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have a weak heart, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Have an eye exam and visit the foot doctor every year.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Do not drive if your blood sugar has been low. There is a greater chance of you having a crash.
    • If you are on a lactose-free diet, talk with your doctor.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • There is a chance of pregnancy in women of childbearing age who have not been ovulating.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work to stop pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control while taking this drug.

    Side Effects

    • Low blood sugar. Signs include anger, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, or sweating. Keep hard candies, glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or juice on hand for low blood sugar.
    • Headache.
    • Swelling.
    • Weight gain.
    • Nose irritation.
    • Cough.
    • Feeling tired or weak.
    • Weak bones.
    • Heart failure may happen.
    • Harm to the liver may rarely happen.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very low blood sugar or very high blood sugar.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Swelling in your legs or belly.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Not able to eat.
    • A big weight gain.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Sudden change in eyesight or in the way you see color.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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