Actos helps to treat type 2 diabetes. Actos helps to control blood sugar. Treatment is combined with diet and exercise.
Actos is in a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones.
Actos is prescribed with a diet and exercise program and sometimes with other drugs, to treat type 2 diabetes.
Actos is not prescribed to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.
Actos works by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin, a natural substance that helps control blood sugar levels.
Actos is contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis;
- Heart disease;
- Heart failure;
- Kidney disease;
- Liver disease;
- Polycystic ovary syndrome;
- Swelling of the arms, legs, or feet;
- An unusual or allergic reaction to Actos, other drugs, foods, dyes, or preservatives;
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant;
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Actos or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what script and nonscript medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: atorvastatin (Lipitor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, and injections), ketoconazole (Nizoral), midazolam, montelukast (Singulair), nifedipine (Procardia), and rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, in Rifamate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the conditions mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section or liver disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Actos, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Actos.
- If you have not yet experienced menopause (change of life end of monthly periods) you should know that Actos may increase the chance that you will become pregnant even if you do not have regular monthly periods or you have a condition that prevents you from ovulating (releasing an egg from the ovaries). Talk to your doctor about methods of birth control that will work for you.
- If you will be having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Actos.
Do not take Actos with any of the following drugs:
- Birth control pills or other hormonal methods of birth control;
- Other drugs for diabetes, including insulin;
- Alcohol containing beverages;
- Aspirin and aspirin-like drugs;
- Female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills;
- Heart drugs;
- Male hormones or anabolic steroids;
- Drugs for weight loss;
- Drugs for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough;
- Drugs for mental problems;
- Drugs called MAO Inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan, Eldepryl;
- NSAIDs, drugs for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen;
- Quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin;
- Some herbal dietary supplements;
- Steroid drugs like prednisone or cortisone;
- Thyroid drug;
Actos side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue;
- Breathing problems;
- Changes in vision;
- Dark urine;
- Fever, chills, sore throat;
- Low blood sugar (ask your doctor or healthcare professional for a list of these symptoms);
- Muscle pain;
- Sudden weight gain;
- Swelling of the ankles, feet, hands;
- Unusually weak or tired;
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin;
- Problems with teeth;
- Slow weight gain;
- Runny nose and other cold symptoms;
- Muscle pain;
- Tooth or mouth pain;
- Sore throat;
- Extreme thirst;
- Frequent urination;
- Extreme hunger;
- Blurred vision;
- Dry mouth;
- Upset stomach and vomiting;
- Shortness of breath;
- Breath that smells fruity;
- Decreased consciousness;
- Dizziness or lightheadedness;
- Nervousness or irritability;
- Sudden changes in behavior or mood;
- Numbness or tingling around the mouth;
- Pale skin;
- Clumsy or jerky movements;
The recommended starting dose of Actos is 15 to 30 mg once a day.
If this fails to bring your blood sugar under control, the dose can be increased to a maximum of 45 mg a day. If your blood sugar still remains high, the doctor may add a second medication.
When Actos is added to other diabetes medications, your doctor may need to lower their dosage if you develop low blood sugar. If you are taking insulin, the dose should be lowered when blood sugar readings fall below 100.