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Pioglitazone Hydrochloride Oral tablet

It helps to control blood sugar

Generic Name: pioglitazone

Brand Names: Actos

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 09/17/2010] ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that the Agency is reviewing data from an ongoing, ten-year epidemiological study designed to evaluate whether pioglitazone (Actos) is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Findings from studies in animals and humans suggest this is a potential safety risk that needs further study. At this time, FDA has not concluded that pioglitazone increases the risk of bladder cancer. Its review is ongoing, and the Agency will update the public when it has additional information.

BACKGROUND: The drug manufacturer, Takeda, conducted a planned analysis of the study data at the five-year mark, and submitted their results to FDA. Overall, there was no statistically significant association between pioglitazone exposure and bladder cancer risk. However, further analyses were also performed looking at how long patients were on pioglitazone and the total amount of the drug they received during that time. An increased risk of bladder cancer was observed among patients with the longest exposure to pioglitazone, as well as in those exposed to the highest cumulative dose of pioglitazone.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Healthcare professionals should continue to follow the recommendations in the drug label when prescribing pioglitazone. Patients should continue taking pioglitazone unless told otherwise by their healthcare professional. Patients who are concerned about the possible risks associated with using pioglitazone should talk to their healthcare professional.

Additional Information for Patients, Information for Healthcare Professionals, and a Data Summary are provided in the Drug Safety Communication. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

[Posted 08/14/2007] After a review of postmarketing adverse event reports, FDA determined that an updated label with a boxed warning on the risks of heart failure was needed for the entire thiazolidinedione class of antidiabetic drugs. These drugs are used in conjunction with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Manufacturers of certain drugs have agreed to the upgraded warning.

The strengthened warning advises healthcare professionals to observe patients carefully for the signs and symptoms of heart failure, including excessive, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, and edema after starting drug therapy. Patients with these symptoms who then develop heart failure should receive appropriate management of the heart failure and use of the drug should be reconsidered. People who have questions should contact their healthcare providers to discuss alternative treatments. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web], [Web], and [Web].

[Posted 03/09/2007] Takeda and FDA notified healthcare professionals of recent safety data concerning pioglitazone-containing products. The results of an analysis of the manufacturer’s clinical trial database of pioglitazone showed more reports of fractures in female patients taking pioglitazone than those taking a comparator (either placebo or active). The majority of fractures observed in female patients were in the distal upper limb (forearm, hand and wrist) or distal lower limb (foot, ankle, fibula and tibia). There were more than 8100 patients in the pioglitazone-treated groups and over 7400 patients in the comparator-treated groups. The duration of pioglitazone treatment was up to 3.5 years. Healthcare professionals should consider the risk of fracture when initiating or treating female patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with pioglitazone-containing products. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

REMS:

FDA approved a REMS for pioglitazone to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. The REMS may apply to one or more preparations of pioglitazone and consists of the following: medication guide. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]) or the ASHP REMS Resource Center ([Web]).

What is this medicine?

PIOGLITAZONE (pye oh GLI ta zone) helps to treat type 2 diabetes. It helps to control blood sugar. Treatment is combined with diet and exercise.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • bladder cancer
  • diabetic ketoacidosis
  • eye disease called macular edema
  • heart disease
  • heart failure
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • premenopausal
  • swelling of the arms, legs, or feet
  • type 1 diabetes
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to pioglitazone, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at the same time each day. Do not take more often than directed.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • atorvastatin
  • birth control pills or other hormonal methods of birth control
  • bosentan
  • itraconazole
  • ketoconazole
  • midazolam
  • nifedipine
  • other medicines for diabetes, including insulin
  • topiramate

Many medications may cause an increase or decrease in blood sugar, these include:

  • alcohol containing beverages
  • aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
  • chloramphenicol
  • chromium
  • diuretics
  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
  • heart medicines
  • isoniazid
  • male hormones or anabolic steroids
  • medicines for weight loss
  • medicines for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough
  • medicines for mental problems
  • medicines called MAO Inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan, Eldepryl
  • niacin
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • pentamidine
  • phenytoin
  • probenecid
  • quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin
  • some herbal dietary supplements
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
  • thyroid medicine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

Your health care professional will have to check blood tests regularly to assess the effect of this medication on your liver.

Learn how to check your blood sugar. Learn the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and how to manage them.

If you have low blood sugar, eat or drink something that has sugar. Make sure others know to get medical help quickly if you have serious symptoms of low blood sugar, like if you become unconscious or have a seizure.

This medicine may increase your risk of having some heart problems. Get medical help right away if you have any chest pain or tightness, or pain that radiates to the jaw or down the arm, and shortness of breath. These may be signs of a serious medical condition.

This medicine may cause ovulation in premenopausal women who do not have regular monthly periods. This may increase your chances of becoming pregnant. You should not take this medicine if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Talk with your doctor or health care professional about your birth control options while taking this medicine. Contact your doctor or health care professional right away if think you are pregnant.

Wear a medical identification bracelet or chain to say you have diabetes, and carry a card that lists all your medications.


Last Updated: February 11, 2013
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