Actos (pioglitazone) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions, Effectiveness | Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD | RxEconsult

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Actos (pioglitazone) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions, Effectiveness Category: Diabetes by - October 8, 2011 | Views: 9358 | Likes: 1 | Comment: 0  

Actos | pioglitazone Actos (generic name pioglitazone) for diabetes

Drug Class: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ)
Manufacturer:Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America
Approval Date: July 1999

What is Actos and how does it work

Actos is an oral medication that reduces blood glucose by increasing the sensitivity of muscles, liver, fat and other tissues to insulin. Actos increases insulin sensitivity by stimulating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) on tissues.

What does Actos treat

Actos is used for treating type 2 diabetes in combination with diet and exercise. It may be combined with metformin, insulin or sulfonylurea. It is not used for treating type 1 diabetes.

How effective is Actos

  • Actos 45 mg daily for 24 weeks reduced hemoglobin A1C by 0.6% compared to an increase of 0.9% in placebo treated subjects.
  • Actos 30 mg daily + sulfonylurea for 16 weeks reduced A1C by 1.2% compared to an increase of 0.1% in placebo + sulfonylurea treated subjects.
  • Actos 30 mg daily + metformin for 16 weeks reduced A1C by 0.6% compared to an increase of 0.2% in placebo + metformin treated subjects.
  • Actos 30 mg daily + insulin for 16 weeks reduced A1C by 1.3% compared to a decrease of 0.3% in placebo + insulin treated subjects.

What are interesting facts about Actos

  • Less likely to cause low blood glucose than insulin or sulfonylurea
  • Administered once daily
  • Increases insulin sensitivity

How is Actos dosed and administered

Actos is supplied as 15, 30, and 45 mg tablets. The FDA approved generic Actos (pioglitazone) in 2012. The recommended dosage is 15-45 mg orally once daily. 

What are the side effects of Actos

Common: Headache, muscle pain, respiratory tract infection, sinus infection, sore throat

Serious: Heart failure, liver failure, fractures, diabetic eye disease, ovulation, low blood glucose (when combined with insulin or sulfonylurea), fluid retention, increased risk of bladder cancer.

Actos drug interactions

Gemfibrozil, rifampin

What is the cost of Actos

The cost for 30 tablets of brand name Actos can range from $253 to $476. The price of 30 tablets of Actos generic ranges between $150 to $350 without discount coupons.   

How to obtain prescription assistance for Actos

For prescription assistance for Actos contact Takeda Prescription Assistance Program

References: Actos FDA Prescribing Information and Medication Guide


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