Actos and Diabetes Control

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Actos and Diabetes Control

Actos is the brand name for pioglitazone, a prescription medication for type 2 diabetes. It is classed within the thiazolidinediones, which is a group of drugs that increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Cells normally absorb sugar from the bloodstream when insulin is released. Type 2 diabetes is a disease where the cells don’t respond to the insulin, so the blood sugar level rises.

Actos isn’t used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. For type 2 diabetes, Actos is prescribed to help control blood sugar levels. A diet and exercise plan is generally recommended while taking Actos to improve the overall health.

How to Take Actos?

Actos is in a tablet form and is taken by mouth. The dosage is usually one tablet per day. You can take the medication with food or without food. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Actos since it can affect blood sugar levels. It is recommended to take the drug regularly, around the same time each day, for best results.

Actos can cause fluctuation in blood sugar levels. Regular blood tests are recommended to determine the blood sugar level while taking Actos. While taking the drug, be able to recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is characterized by headaches, hunger and weakness.

During periods of low blood sugar, have a supply of sugar to boost the levels. This includes orange juice, glucose gel and milk. If your blood sugar drops too low, and you are unable to eat, a glucagon injection is recommended.

Side Effects

There are several side effects associated with Actos and diabetes control. Serious side effects include shortness of breath, edema (swelling), rapid weight gain, chest pain, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pain, dark urine and yellowing of the eyes or skin, paleness, blurred vision, easy bleeding or bruising, polyuria (urinating a lot) and increased thirst or hunger. If these symptoms occur, stop taking the drug and consult your health care provider right away. Some users of the drug may experience an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, tongue and throat. If these symptoms occur, seek immediate medical attention. Less severe side effects of the drug include runny nose, cough and headaches.


Actos may not be suitable for everyone with type 2 diabetes. Actos can worsen congestive heart failure. Inform the doctor about fluid retention including swelling of the arms or legs. Those with a history of heart attacks, strokes or liver disease may have further complications by taking Actos.

Pregnant and nursing mothers should consult with a doctor before taking Actos.

Actos interacts with several drugs including atorvastatin, gemfibrozil, hormonal contraceptives, ketoconazole and rifampin. Inform your doctor of all drugs, vitamins and herbal products before taking Actos.


1. “Actos.”

2. “Pioglitazone.” PubMed Health.