Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Endocrine



Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Endocrine
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Lowers blood sugar.

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Our bottom line

Actos (Pioglitazone) is a last-choice blood sugar-lowering medicine since it's only moderately effective but has a lot of undesirable side effects.

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  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Lowers A1c levels by around 1%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
  • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
  • Rarely causes low blood sugar.
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  • May take several weeks to lower blood sugar.
  • You have to check your blood sugar regularly with this medicine.
  • Has more side effects than similar medicines, so it's usually not the first choice for new Type 2 diabetes patients.
  • More likely to cause weight gain (2 to 6 pounds or more) compared to other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
  • Up to 1 in 10 people might get fluid retention (edema), ranging from mild ankle swelling to severe swelling in the lungs that makes it hard to breathe. People with severe congestive heart failure shouldn't use Actos.
  • Raises the risk of bone fractures, especially for people who already have a risk for fractures.
  • Slightly raises the risk of bladder cancer.
How it works

Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.

What to expect when you take Actos (pioglitazone) for Improves blood sugar levels

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Side effect rates for Actos (pioglitazone)

865 From clinical trials of Actos / Type 2 diabetes
  • Swelling due to excess fluid
  • Low blood sugar
  • Swelling due to excess fluid
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection
  • Headache
  • Cardiac failure
  • Back pain
  • Sinus inflammation
  • Pain in extremity
  • Muscle pain

Risks and Warnings for Actos (pioglitazone)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Heart failure diagnosis

    Actos (Pioglitazone) can cause too much fluid buildup in your body, which can cause or worsen congestive heart failure. Your doctor should follow your blood tests and weight closely when you start Actos (Pioglitazone) or increase your dose. People with heart failure classification NYHA Class III/IV shouldn't use Actos (Pioglitazone).

Common concerns from people taking Actos (pioglitazone)

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  • More likely to cause weight gain (2 to 6 pounds or more) compared to other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
  • Can cause weight gain, headache, and fluid retention.
  • Had weight gain without changing eating habits nor exercise habits