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Actos is used for the treatment of type II diabetes along with a healthy diabetic diet, regular exercise, weight control, smoking reduction, and careful monitoring of blood glucose.
Actos may be used alone or in combination with metformin, a drug in a different class of anti-diabetic drugs, that also lowers blood glucose.
Actos is approved for treating type II diabetes in combination with insulin as well as another class of anti-diabetic drugs, the sulfonylureas.
Actos is prescribed once daily in doses ranging from 15 to 45 mg. It may be taken any time of the day, with or without meals.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Actos is a drug that reduces the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is in a class of anti-diabetic drugs, called "thiazolidinediones", that are used in the treatment of type II diabetes.
Actos also lowers the level of glucose in the blood by reducing the production and secretion of glucose into the blood by the liver. In addition, actos may alter the blood concentrations of lipids (fats) in the blood. Specifically, it decreases triglycerides and increases the "good" (HDL) cholesterol.
If a dose is missed on one day, two doses should not be taken the next day to make up for the missed dose.
Store this medicine at room temperature between 15-30 degrees C (59-86 degrees F).
Possible Side Effects
The most common side effects seen in clinical trials with Actos were
In addition, fluid accumulation (edema) occurred in less than 5% of patients taking actos alone but 15% of patients taking Actos and insulin (as compared with 2% and 7% of patients receiving placebo, respectively). Fluid accumulation can lead to heart failure.
- upper respiratory tract infection, headache, sinusitis, muscle aches, tooth disorders, hypoglycemia, and sore throat.
To date, no formal studies to evaluate drug interactions of actos with other drugs have been conducted. Nevertheless, because it interacts with the liver enzymes that eliminate some other drugs, there is the potential for actos to increase the elimination of such drugs as erythromycin, calcium channel blockers (e.g., Cardizem), cisapride (Propulsid), corticosteroids, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, triazolam (e.g., Halcion), trimetrexate, and HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (e.g., Lipitor).
Since another thiazolidinedione antidiabetic drug has been associated with liver injury, it is recommended that periodic monitoring of liver-related side effects and liver function be done in patients taking actos.
Side effects while taking Actos which may be due to liver injury include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, anorexia (loss of appetite), or dark urine. Blood liver tests also are recommended during actos therapy.
Follow the dietary and exercise plan, provided by your doctor.
Carry an identification card at all times that says you are diabetic.
Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly according to your doctor's directions. If your blood sugar level is often higher or lower than it should be and you are taking this medicine according to directions, check with your doctor.
Do not share this medicine with others for whom it was not prescribed.
Do not use this medicine for other health conditions. Keep this product out of the reach of children. If using this medicine for an extended period of time, obtain refills before your supply runs out.