Pioglitazone is an anti-diabetic drug (thiazolidinedione-type, also called "glitazones") used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. It works by helping to restore your body's proper response to insulin, thereby lowering your blood sugar.
Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Pioglitazone is used either alone or in combination with other anti-diabetic medications (such as metformin or a sulfonylurea such as glyburide).
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of pioglitazone.
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Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using pioglitazone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and if you are taking other anti-diabetic drugs. Your doctor will adjust your dose based on your blood sugar levels to find the best dose for you. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. The maximum recommended dose for pioglitazone is 45 milligrams each day.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day.
If you are already taking another anti-diabetic drug (such as metformin or a sulfonylurea), follow your doctor's directions carefully for stopping/continuing the old drug and starting this medication. Carefully follow the medication treatment plan, meal plan, and exercise program your doctor has recommended.
Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor. Keep track of the results, and share them with your doctor. Tell your doctor if your blood sugar measurements are too high or too low. Your dosage/treatment may need to be changed. It may take up to 2 to 3 months before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
Sore throat, muscle pain, weight gain, or tooth problems may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if either of these serious side effects occurs: new/worsening vision problems (such as blurred vision), bone fracture, reddish-colored urine, urgent need to urinate, pain while urinating.
Pioglitazone may rarely cause liver disease. Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of liver disease, including: dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain.
Pioglitazone does not usually cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Low blood sugar may occur if this drug is prescribed with other anti-diabetic medications (such as insulin or a sulfonylurea). Low blood sugar is more likely if you drink large amounts of alcohol, do unusually heavy exercise, or do not consume enough calories from food. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product.