Actos (pioglitazone) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat type 2 diabetes. The drug comes as an oral tablet that’s taken once per day.

Actos is used to help manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, along with a balanced diet and exercise.

The active ingredient in Actos is pioglitazone. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

Actos belongs to a group of drugs called thiazolidinediones.

This article describes the dosages of Actos, including its form, strengths, and how to take the drug. To learn more about Actos, see this in-depth article.

Below is information about typical dosages for Actos, including its form and strengths.

What form does Actos come in?

Actos comes as a tablet that you take by mouth.

Available strengths of Actos (15 mg, 30 mg, and 45 mg)

Actos tablets come in three strengths: 15 milligrams (mg), 30 mg, and 45 mg.

What are the typical dosages of Actos?

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust your dosage over time to reach the right amount for you. The dosage range is usually between 15 mg and 45 mg per day. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

Usually, your starting dosage will be 15 mg or 30 mg once per day. If your blood sugar level isn’t responding well enough, your doctor can increase your daily dose by 15 mg. The maximum dosage is 45 mg once per day.

Is Actos used long term?

Yes, Actos is typically taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Actos is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll take it long term.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may adjust your dosage based on certain factors.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage of Actos if you have heart failure that is less severe. On the New York Heart Association (NYHA) scale, this would be Class I or II heart failure. (Class I heart failure is the least severe, while Class IV is the most severe.) If you have this condition, your doctor will likely limit your Actos dosage to 15 mg once per day.

Also, a drug called gemfibrozil (Lopid) can increase the level of Actos in your body. Gemfibrozil is used to lower blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat. If you take gemfibrozil, your doctor will likely limit your dosage of Actos to 15 mg once per day.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the dosage for Actos.

What’s the dosage of Actos when used with metformin?

Your doctor will determine the best dosage of Actos for you based on your blood sugar level. Like Actos, metformin is used to manage blood sugar levels. So if you’re taking metformin, it may possibly affect your dosage of Actos. But your Actos dosage will be based on your blood sugar level and not on your metformin dose.

Does taking a higher dosage of Actos raise my risk for side effects?

Yes. In studies, people taking higher dosages of Actos reported more side effects.

Common side effects of Actos include headache, muscle pain, and sore throat. If you think you’re having side effects from Actos, talk with your doctor.

When starting or increasing your dose of Actos, your doctor will monitor you closely for congestive heart failure.* If you notice symptoms such as shortness of breath or a rapid increase in weight, talk with your doctor.

* Actos has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For more information, see “Boxed warning: Congestive heart failure” at the beginning of this article.

The dosage of Actos you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of the condition you’re using Actos to treat
  • other medications you may be taking
  • other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is the dosage for Actos?” above)

Actos is a tablet that you swallow once daily. You can take the drug with or without food.

You might want to try taking Actos at the same time each day. This way, it becomes part of your daily routine, which may help you remember to take the medication. But this isn’t something you have to do unless instructed by your doctor.

If you miss your dose of Actos for the day, take your next dose as scheduled unless your doctor tells you differently. Do not take more than one dose of Actos per day. If you have a question about missing a dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Actos on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm, downloading a reminder app, or setting a timer on your phone. A kitchen timer can work, too.

Do not use more Actos than your doctor prescribes. Taking too much Actos may lower your blood sugar level and cause serious side effects.

What to do in case you take too much Actos

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Actos. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. However, if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

The sections above describe the typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Actos for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Actos without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Actos exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • How will my dosage of Actos change if I’m taking other medications?
  • When’s the best time to take Actos if I’m taking other medications for my diabetes?
  • How will I know that my current dosage of Actos is working to manage my blood sugar level?

To learn more about Actos, see these articles:


I have heart failure. Should I be taking Actos?



It depends. If you have less severe heart failure, such as New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class I or II, your doctor might prescribe an Actos starting daily dose of 15 milligrams (mg). (The NYHA scale is a way of indicating how severe heart failure is. Class I heart failure is the least severe, while Class IV is the most severe.)

Your doctor may then increase your dose by 15 mg at a time to a maximum of 45 mg per day. They’ll also carefully monitor you for side effects of heart failure, such as weight gain and fluid buildup. If you have worsening heart failure symptoms, it’s likely that you’ll take no more than 30 mg of Actos daily.

If you have NYHA Class III or IV heart failure, which is considered severe heart failure, your doctor won’tn prescribe Actos.

If you have heart failure, make sure to discuss this with your doctor before taking Actos.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.