Generic Name: Pioglitazone (pye oh GLI ta zone)
Brand Name: Actos
Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
- This medicine may cause or make heart failure worse in some people. Tell your doctor if you have ever had heart failure. Do not take this drug if you have moderate to very bad heart failure or if you have any signs of heart failure. You will be watched closely for signs of heart failure when you start pioglitazone and if your dose is raised. Call your doctor right away if you have swelling in the arms or legs, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, sudden weight gain or weight gain that is not normal, or are feeling very tired. Talk with your doctor.
Uses of Pioglitazone:
- It is used to lower blood sugar in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes).
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Pioglitazone?
- If you have an allergy to pioglitazone or any other part of pioglitazone.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Acidic blood problem, bladder cancer, or type 1 diabetes.
- If the patient is a child. Do not give pioglitazone to a child.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with pioglitazone.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take pioglitazone with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Pioglitazone?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take pioglitazone. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Do not drive if your blood sugar has been low. There is a greater chance of you having a crash.
- The chance of getting bladder cancer may be raised when taking pioglitazone. Talk with the doctor.
- Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- It may be harder to control your blood sugar during times of stress like when you have a fever, an infection, an injury, or surgery. A change in level of physical activity or exercise and a change in diet may also affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may raise the chance of broken bones. The chance may be higher in women. Broken bones were seen after people took pioglitazone for 1 year. Most of the broken bones happened in the upper arm, hand, or foot. Talk with your doctor about how to keep your bones healthy or if you have any questions.
- If you are 65 or older, use pioglitazone with care. You could have more side effects.
- There is a chance of pregnancy in women of childbearing age who have not been ovulating. If you want to avoid pregnancy, use birth control that you can trust while taking pioglitazone.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using pioglitazone while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Pioglitazone) best taken?
Use pioglitazone as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking pioglitazone as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Bone pain.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Change in eyesight.
- Pain when passing urine or blood in urine.
- Passing urine more often.
- Low blood sugar can happen. The chance of low blood sugar may be raised when pioglitazone is used with other drugs for high blood sugar (diabetes). Signs may be dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy, feeling weak, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs. Follow what you have been told to do if you get low blood sugar. This may include taking glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or some fruit juices.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with pioglitazone. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Pioglitazone?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Pioglitazone?
- Store in the original container at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time pioglitazone is refilled. If you have any questions about pioglitazone, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about pioglitazone
- Pioglitazone Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 35 Reviews
- Drug class: thiazolidinediones
Other brands: Actos
- Pioglitazone Hydrochloride (AHFS Monograph)
- Pioglitazone Tablets (FDA)
- Pioglitazone (Wolters Kluwer)