Uses:

Actos is a medicine that contains pioglitazone. It is an anti-diabetic medicine prescribed instead of metformin (after it stops working) to the patients of type II diabetes mellitus. This type of diabetes is not usually insulin dependent and occurs in the 40’s.

The medicine controls the blood sugar level by effectively using the insulin produced in the bodies of diabetes patients (type II).

Actos may be individually prescribed to the diabetics or can be given in combination with other medicines such as metformin or insulin (if they fail to effectively control the blood sugar level of the patients).

Dosage:

It is crucial to take care of the instructions of your doctors about the dosage of Actos. Never alter the dosage according to your own whims because this can lead to serious repercussions.

The usual dosage of the medicine starts with a 30mg tablet per day that can increase to 45 mg if the doctor doesn’t see the desired results in controlling the blood sugar level. 

The dose of Actos may be lowered if you’re on a combination therapy with Actos. The other medicines such as insulin may be used in combination with Actos.

While taking Actos, you should follow the diet and exercise plan provided by your doctor to keep the Blood sugar level in control.

If you see a sudden change in body weight, immediately discuss with your doctor.

An overdose of the medicine can cause your blood sugar level drastically that can lead to fainting if not given immediate attention.

In case of an overdose, give the patient something sweet to eat so that the blood sugar level can increase.

In case of a missed dose, do not take a double dose. Carry on the medication on its prescribed time, leaving the missed dose.

Side Effects:

The side effects to this medicine include dizziness, numbness, inflammation of the sinuses, weight gain, hypoglycemia, headache, shortness of breath, vertigo, an increased appetite, joint or back pain, impotence, sweating, fatigue and sometimes sugar or protein in the urine.

Some of the side effects can be commonly found in the patients taking Actos while side effects such as increased appetite, vertigo and sweating are not common, so if you experience any of them, immediately contact your doctor.

Heart failure is a very common side effect in patients who are treated with a combination of insulin and Actos. The symptoms may include a fanned breathing or an increased pulse rate.

In some cases, Actos usage is linked with bladder cancer as well.

A higher number of broken bones are reported in the patients who are taking Actos.

Precautions:

  • For old patients who experience fluid retention in their bodies due to a combination therapy with Actos, a checkup with the doctor is a must.
  • The women with polycystic ovaries should take contraceptives while they are taking Actos, because it increases the chance of getting pregnant.

If you have an impaired liver or kidney function, get your blood work done on the order of your doctor to ensure safe dosage of Actos.