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pioglitazone and metformin (Oral route)
met-FOR-min hye-droe-KLOR-ide, pye-oh-GLI-ta-zone hye-droe-KLOR-ide
May cause or worsen congestive heart failure, is not recommended in patients with symptomatic heart failure, and is contraindicated in patients with established NYHA Class III or IV heart failure. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of heart failure after initiation or dose increases and if heart failure occurs, consider dose reduction or discontinuing metformin/pioglitazone (immediate and extended-release formulations) and manage according to current standards of care. Lactic acidosis can occur due to metformin accumulation during treatment with metformin/pioglitazone (immediate and extended-release); patients at higher risk include those with sepsis, dehydration, excess alcohol intake, hepatic insufficiency, renal impairment, and acute congestive heart failure. Symptoms include malaise, myalgias, respiratory distress, increasing somnolence, and nonspecific abdominal distress; laboratory abnormalities include low pH, increased anion gap, and elevated blood lactate. If acidosis is suspected, discontinue treatment and hospitalize the patient immediately .
Medically reviewed on April 30, 2018.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Actoplus Met
- Actoplus Met XR
Available Dosage Forms:
- Tablet, Extended Release
Therapeutic Class: Hypoglycemic
Chemical Class: Metformin
Uses For metformin and pioglitazone
Pioglitazone and metformin combination is used to treat a type of diabetes mellitus called type 2 diabetes. It is used together with a proper diet and exercise to help control blood sugar levels.
Pioglitazone helps your body use insulin better. Metformin reduces the absorption of sugar from the stomach, reduces the release of stored sugar from the liver, and helps your body use sugar better.
metformin and pioglitazone is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using metformin and pioglitazone
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For metformin and pioglitazone, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to metformin and pioglitazone or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of pioglitazone and metformin combination in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of pioglitazone and metformin combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving pioglitazone and metformin combination.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking metformin and pioglitazone, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using metformin and pioglitazone with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Acetrizoic Acid
- Ethiodized Oil
- Iobenzamic Acid
- Iocarmic Acid
- Iocetamic Acid
- Iodohippuric Acid
- Iodoxamic Acid
- Ioglicic Acid
- Ioglycamic Acid
- Iopanoic Acid
- Iopronic Acid
- Ioseric Acid
- Iotroxic Acid
- Ioxitalamic Acid
- Metrizoic Acid
- Tyropanoate Sodium
Using metformin and pioglitazone with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
- Insulin Bovine
- Insulin Degludec
- Insulin Detemir
- Insulin Glulisine
- Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
Using metformin and pioglitazone with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Bitter Melon
- Guar Gum
- Methylene Blue
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of metformin and pioglitazone. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Adrenal gland problem (underactive) or
- Congestive heart failure, acute or unstable or
- Dehydration, severe or
- Kidney problems or
- Liver disease or
- Pituitary gland problem (underactive) or
- Poorly nourished condition or
- Sepsis (severe infection) or
- Weakened physical condition—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Anemia (low red blood cells) or
- Diabetic macular edema (swelling of the back of the eye) or
- Edema (fluid retention or swelling) or
- Heart disease or
- Liver disease or
- Vitamin B12 deficiency—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Bladder cancer, active or
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (ketones in the blood) or
- Heart failure, severe or
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease, active or
- Metabolic acidosis (acid in the blood) or
- Type I diabetes—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Fever or
- Infection or
- Surgery or
- Trauma—Use with caution. These conditions may cause problems with blood sugar control.
- Fragile bones (especially in women)—Use with caution. metformin and pioglitazone may increase the risk for fractures.
Proper Use of metformin and pioglitazone
Take metformin and pioglitazone only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Carefully follow the special diet your doctor gave you. This is the most important part of controlling your diabetes and will help the medicine work properly. Also, exercise regularly and test for sugar in your blood or urine as directed.
metformin and pioglitazone should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
metformin and pioglitazone should be taken with meals to help reduce the unwanted stomach effects that may occur during the first few weeks.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
Part of the extended-release tablet may pass into your stool (bowel movement). This is normal and nothing to worry about.
The dose of metformin and pioglitazone will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of metformin and pioglitazone. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage forms (extended-release tablets, tablets):
- For type 2 diabetes:
- Adults—At first, pioglitazone 15 to 30 milligrams (mg) plus metformin 500 to 1000 mg per day once or twice daily. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than pioglitazone 45 mg plus metformin 2550 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For type 2 diabetes:
If you miss a dose of metformin and pioglitazone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using metformin and pioglitazone
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that metformin and pioglitazone is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Check with your doctor right away if you start having chest pain; shortness of breath; excessive swelling of the hands, wrist, ankles, or feet; or if you are rapidly gaining weight. These may be symptoms of a serious heart problem.
Let your doctor or dentist know you are taking metformin and pioglitazone. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking metformin and pioglitazone before you have major surgery or diagnostic tests, especially tests that use a contrast dye.
Under certain conditions, too much metformin can cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are severe and appear quickly. Lactic acidosis usually occurs when other serious health problems are present, such as a heart attack or kidney failure. The symptoms of lactic acidosis include: abdominal or stomach discomfort; decreased appetite; diarrhea; fast or shallow breathing; a general feeling of discomfort; muscle pain or cramping; and unusual sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness. If you have more than one of these symptoms together, you should get immediate emergency medical help.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, unusual tiredness or weakness, weight loss, or yellow eyes or skin. These may be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, decreased vision, or any other change in vision occurs while you are taking metformin and pioglitazone. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Certain women may be at an increased risk for pregnancy while taking metformin and pioglitazone. If you had problems ovulating and had irregular periods in the past, metformin and pioglitazone may cause you to ovulate. This could increase your chance of becoming pregnant. If you are a woman of childbearing potential, you should discuss birth control options with your doctor.
metformin and pioglitazone may increase the risk for bone fractures in women. Ask your doctor about ways to keep your bones strong to help prevent fractures.
metformin and pioglitazone may increase your risk for bladder cancer if you take it for more than 12 months. Tell your doctor right away if you have blood in the urine; a frequent, strong, or increased urge to urinate; painful urination; or pain in the back, lower abdomen, or stomach.
It is very important to carefully follow any instructions from your doctor about:
- Alcohol—Drinking alcohol may cause severe low blood sugar. Discuss this with your doctor.
- Other medicines—Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes nonprescription medicines such as aspirin, and medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems.
- Counseling—Other family members need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Also, patients with diabetes may need special counseling about diabetes medicine dosing changes that might occur with lifestyle changes, such as changes in exercise or diet. Counseling on contraception and pregnancy may be needed because of the problems that can occur during pregnancy in patients with diabetes.
- Travel—Keep a recent prescription and your medical history with you. Be prepared for an emergency as you would normally. Make allowances for changing time zones and keep your meal times as close as possible to your usual meal times.
- In case of emergency—There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to wear a medical identification (ID) bracelet or neck chain at all times. Also, carry an ID card in your wallet or purse that says you have diabetes and that lists all of your medicines.
- Symptoms of fluid retention—Know what to do if you start to retain fluid. Fluid retention may worsen or lead to heart problems.
metformin and pioglitazone can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Low blood sugar can also occur if you delay or miss a meal or snack, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or cannot eat because of nausea or vomiting. The symptoms of low blood sugar must be treated before they lead to unconsciousness (passing out). Different people feel different symptoms of low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms of low blood sugar you usually have so that you can treat it quickly.
- Symptoms of low blood sugar include anxiety; behavior change similar to being drunk; blurred vision; cold sweats; confusion; cool, pale skin; difficulty with thinking; drowsiness; excessive hunger; fast heartbeat; headache that continues; nausea; nervousness; nightmares; restless sleep; shakiness; slurred speech; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
- If the symptoms of low blood sugar occur, eat glucose tablets or gel, corn syrup, honey, or sugar cubes; or drink fruit juice, non-diet soft drinks, or sugar dissolved in water to relieve the symptoms. Also, check your blood for low blood sugar. Glucagon is used in emergency situations when severe symptoms such as seizures (convulsions) or unconsciousness occur. Have a glucagon kit available, along with a syringe and needle, and know how to use it. Members of your family also should know how to use it.
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual.
- Symptoms of high blood sugar include blurred vision; drowsiness; dry mouth; flushed, dry skin; fruit-like breath odor; increased urination (frequency and amount); ketones in the urine; loss of appetite; stomachache, nausea, or vomiting; tiredness; trouble with breathing (rapid and deep); unconsciousness; or unusual thirst.
- If the symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and call your doctor for instructions.
metformin and pioglitazone Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
- Bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- frequent urge to urinate
- lower back or side pain
- swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- weight gain
- Pain or swelling in the arms or legs without any injury
- pale skin
- troubled breathing with exertion
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Abdominal or stomach discomfort
- blurred vision
- cold sweats
- cool, pale skin
- decreased appetite
- fast heartbeat
- fast, shallow breathing
- general feeling of discomfort
- increased hunger
- muscle pain or cramping
- shortness of breath
- slurred speech
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Body aches or pain
- difficulty with breathing
- ear congestion
- fever, sneezing, or sore throat
- loss of voice
- runny nose
- stuffy nose
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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