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Thiazolidinedione (TZD) medications are used totreat type 2 of the diabetes. Pioglitazone (Actos, Glustin, Zactos) is a one ofthose anti-diabetic medications, having anti-hyperglycemic effect. Pioglitazone works by sensitizing the cells of the body toinsulin. It may be used alone or combined with some other diabetic medications,such as metformin,insulin and sulfonylurea.


Report to your doctor or pharmacist any other prescription,herbal or dietary medication you have been using. Your doctor should be awareof your allergic reactions to food, medications or any other substance. If youplan to become pregnant, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding consult the doctorbefore you start the treatment with pioglitazone.

Do not use this medication if you are diagnosed withdiabetes type1, or suffering from heart failure or liver problems (when usingtroglitazone).

Patients allergic to pioglitazone or any substance presentin the medication should not use this drug.

Pioglitazone may interact with your condition if you haveprevious liver, eye or heart problems or diabetic ketoacidosis.

Side Effects

Adverse effects are rare when using pioglitazone and the studiesreveal that the incidence of side effects is similar to placebo treatment. Usually,patients experiences headache, sinus and respiratory infections, toothproblems, pharyngitis and muscle pains.

Combination of pioglitazone with sulfonylurea or insulin maycause lower than normal levels of blood sugar. Patients using insulin andpioglitazone together are considered to have increased risk of edemas.

Hematologic side effects include rare cases of anemia, morefrequent when patients used combination of drugs. Patients also experienced decreaseof hemoglobin and hematocrit.

Cardiovascular problems are also potentiated when pioglitazone isused in combination with sulfonylurea, insulin or metformin. The most common cardiovascularproblem is edema, and the incidence of this side effect is two times higher inpatients treated with the combination of the anti-diabetic drugs. There were alsoreports of angioneurotic edema. This type of edema is characterized by swellingof the lips and tongue and a sore throat.

Pioglitazone treatment may cause liver damage as hepaticadverse effect.

Patients treated with this medication may suffer from diabeticmacular edema or blurred vision. The preexisting diabetic macular edema may progressad worsen when patient use pioglitazone.


It is important to report the use of anti-diabeticmedications, rifampin and anticoagulants to your doctor.

Pioglitazone may interact with insulin, gemfibrozil or oralanti-diabetic medications and increase the risk of low levels of glucose in theblood. Rifampin could decrease the effectiveness of pioglitazone andanticoagulants may increase the risk of unwanted side effects.

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